The builders of Florence, especially those building from about the year 1000 A.D. to 1500 A.D., lived and worked with an unshakable belief in God. As one looks at the works that came from their hands, God is everywhere: in the paintings now hanging in the Uffizi, in the Baptistery, in San Miniato, in the life and death of Beato Angelico living in his cell in the monastery of San Marco. For them, every stone was a gift to that unshakable belief in God they shared. It is the belief, the unshakable nature of the belief, its authenticity, and above all its solidity, which made it work effectively for them. We, in our time, need an authentic belief, a certainty, connected with the ultimate reaches of space and time — which does the same for us. – Christopher Alexander, The Luminous Ground, page 42The self-understanding of modern man has made itself manifest in modern architecture. All that it say is: Look at me, look at me!
The Middle Ages was the peak of European history and culture. Because of their self-understanding as part of something much larger than themselves. In our individualistic ego-culture we have lost this perspective entirely. Indeed, we are the ones that live in the dark ages!
- Self-understanding through peer to peer and the commons