Space is the Place
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Space Binding
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In Japan, there is a word that mean both space AND time: “MA” (). That’s just plain cool.

Now let’s practice.

A Himorogi is a Shinto alter. What makes Himorogi different from votives of the Virgin Mary, for example, is that Himorogi is all about the binding and demarcating of “empty” space (I know you looking at the tree and saying “that’s not empty” but just work with me). In Shinto, kami spirits can be coaxed into descending form the heavenly plain to inhabit an empty space, and maybe even bless you. So how do you make one of these little spirit magnets? Easy: you just bind some empty space and in the center, place a natural object for the spirit to hang out in when they get here. Once you’ve demacated the space, you’ve made a sacred field, so don’t go reaching inside, ok?

Screen shot 2010-10-20 at 1.48.48 PM

In the west, we’re all about the thing itself. Statues statues are solid, like our buildings and our images of Jesus. Lot of people talk about how the Japanese love the “ephemeral,” but I think the more interesting preference is their attention to rich, fertile, emptiness.

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