[This proposal was originally written as a
series of emails to friends, starting on 29 September 2001. We at
Meru Foundation would like to see the ideas sketched below drawn up in
a professional manner, suitable for presenting to persons responsible
re-building the World Trade Towers site in New York. If you have
expertise or contacts in this field, please contact Stan or Cynthia
[UPDATE, March 2009: We produced a somewhat
more detailed version of this draft during 2001-2, which is posted at
Much has happened since this piece was written. We would still like to
see the Gesture Garden made into reality. --Levanah Tenen]
September 29, 2001
I'd like to propose what might be built on the Trade Center site in New York.
What I envision is an essentially square area, with 50- or 60-story office buildings and shops at each corner of the square. Each building would be square and vertical on the outside of the square and rise to its full height. But the inside corners and faces would slant down in terraces in steps for each floor, towards the center of the area.
That means there'd be valleys between the corner buildings that would open to the center on all four sides.
A person walking through these valleys between the corner buildings would come upon a large circle, that consisted of a very open, apparent fencing. But it wouldn't really be fencing. Each fence-post, perhaps 10 feet or more apart, would carry a window just above reach (to inhibit vandalism), with a pane that if a person stepped back and looked through, would turn out to hold a holographic image of the Trade Center as it once stood. In other words, if you look between the panes, you'd see an open circle, and what's within it, which I'll describe below. But if you looked a bit up, and through the panes, you'd see holographic ghostly images of the towers.
That way, the towers would still be there, and they'd be indestructible.
The circle would enclose a "World Peace Park". It would have benches, and trees, and greenery.
Within the peace-park circle, there would be a sculpture garden, which would consist of statues of men and women of all ages, all races, and all cultures, each making gestures including Tai Chi gestures, meditational gestures (mudras, etc.), and including, intertwined with each other, a walk showing statue-people making gestures that produced all of the letters of the Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic alphabets. This would teach by look-see demonstration the intertwinedness of all peoples and cultures, and a universal hand-gesture alphabet-language that could be used world-wide and including hearing-impaired persons (and possibly, incidentally, even understandable to gorillas like Koko). A natural and usable universal language would really spread the world peace park to the world.
Within this spiraling circle of living movement (in stone), there would be a central area, canopied by two Continuous Creation full "hands". And in the center, an eternal flame. (Possibly a vertical laser, which could be modulated with visual imagery from all cultures and the arts and sciences. For example, if this were feasible, the images could include a seasonally changing selection of dynamic demonstrations of the physics of light and wave-particle duality, various dances including the "wine dance", and other ancient and modern manifestations of the same principles, not otherwise represented in the park.) The dynamic 3-D version of the Sri Yantra (the "Octa-Yantra") could also be considered as part of the park, or part of the "light show", and/or projected on to the inside of the circle and viewable from within the park.
This is the barest of outlines. The park would be a balanced representation (and manifestation) of people, science, and business (this world), and of light, spirit, and greenery (representing higher goals). I've set up several versions in my mind's eye and walked through them. I think something like this, or inspired by this perspective, or possibly including some of the ideas, would be worth our writing up and formally submitting to the New York City, business, and Federal officials involved in reconstruction. We might present it to Congress.
Please get back to me with your comments, additions, and criticism. Also, perhaps we could make a computer model for people to see, and include it in the proposal.
29 September 2001
Responses to this email follow:
October 4, 2001
This is really good. Vary evocative and functional also. The land under
the Trade Towers is now America's new holy ground on par with Gettysburg or
the Beaches of Normandy. Being from New York you must be feeling this in a
very personal way.
Yes, I agree with you. I grew up before the towers, so the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty (and the George Washington, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges) were my landmarks. Before the towers were built, the Hudson Tubes New York-New Jersey subway tunnel terminal building was on the site, and it was surrounded by dozens of electronics surplus dealers, where I spent my summers drooling over things I couldn't afford. I had dinner at the restaurant at the top (of #1, I think) back in the late 1970's, but the view from the Empire State Building remained my sentimental favorite.
The towers dominated the skyline, and could be seen from all of the highways surrounding Brooklyn and Queens, and on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike. Cynthia and I have seen them pretty much weekly on our visits to my mother near Asbury Park in New Jersey. We might even have had lunch near the towers on the 11th, if it hadn't been for a meeting scheduled here (that didn't happen). Personally, I would like to see something fill the void in the skyline, but I don't think rebuilding another pair of tall glass cuboids is the best approach.
We need something that tells the destroyers that they didn't succeed, and it has to both replace the business and commercial facilities, and create some sort of inspirational center that roundly and softly trumps the terrorism, in every way.
I believe the problems we are having with the Muslim world right now can only be solved at the deepest religious/spiritual/esoteric and scientific levels. What is the Koran, what is the Torah and what is the New Testament at their deepest core and why the conflict? If a spectrographic reading or anylisis of all three books could somehow be accomplished in the same way we take spectrographich readings of stars or chemical compounds, we would then have a tremendous tool for bringing about real dialogue and change.
What would be the elemental composition of the waves emanated by the three Holy books and what would their geometrical shapes look like. This information would then give us the scientific basis for making recommendations and behavioral changes in the way the followers of those books interact. The problem from this point of view is really one of chemistry and physics at the esoteric level.
In general, this sort of perspective has been what I've been working towards since visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem in August 1967.
All the political rhetoric is really bull-**** and doesn't begin to address the hidden or concealed levels or layers where the problem emanates from. I believe this situation cries out for a spiritual solution, one that shows unequivocally the distinct but equal roles of the West's three major religions. As you have emphasized in your work over the years, Christianity, Islam and Judaism are a trinity and each contains an essential component of the whole creation story. If somehow the absolute equality of the three could be demonstrated in an undeniable and comprehendible way, this would neutralize the need for one religion feel superior over the others which is at the root of the present problem.
Thanks. Will you take "yes" for an answer? <appreciative smile>
Dear Scott, Meru-MERG, and Short List,
Here's some ideas for additional details of the Peace Plaza in the center area.
Perhaps there should be a kind of "double crater effect" with a double-center. If there were two "hands" pointing downward as the appear in the center of the Continuous Creation poster, they could be offset to mimic the spatial orientation of the two towers. Each of the downward-pointing model-hands could be grasped by the fingers and thumb of a sculptured anatomical hand, both anatomical hands rising on arms from the sides of the dual crater -- sort of like two arms, extending out of the walls of the garden-crater. Holding the model hands in the curled fingers makes them into hilts of two swords, pointing vertically upward. These "swords" could be towers of light. The posture of the two arms and hands could be that of a meaningful tai chi or defensive-arts gesture.
One of the two hand-hilt light-swords at the double-center
Note: For a clearer image of the hand-hilt/"Plato's Cave", go to the "Continuous Creation" poster at <www.meru.org/contin.html>. On this poster, the hand is held on the hand, like a glove, instead of outside of the hand, like a sword-hilt as pictured above. But the shape is the same. This is also the same shape that generates all of the Hebrew (Greek and Arabic) letters, as 2-dimensional "shadowgrams" of particular hand-gestures, as shown on the chart at <http://www.meru.org/Gestures/Atbashgest.html>.
As the arms that become the hands that hold the center part of the vortex hilt-swords erupt from the ground, they become more and more tenuous. At the ground, they are sculpted as fully "plastered" cross-section arms, but as they extend towards the wrists and hands, the "plaster" breaks away to expose an underwire/"skeleton" of the hands (not a real skeleton design, rather an outline of hands and fingers), so that the fingers that actually hold the vortex hilts are just open wire-frame, so they are essentially transparent. (Or, in another mode, the wire-frame hands could incorporate the 27 bones of real hands.) They're the hands reaching out for rescue that don't quite reach far enough for their owners to be pulled out.
These hands that extend from arms arising from the crater walls hold light-swords pointing upward, signifying ceasing from battle. (Again, perhaps in a suitable tai chi-type gesture.) There is a spiral walkway that comes down into the crater and around one vortex, and then across a "vesica pisces" area, and around the other vortex, and then back up the crater. Looking down on these spiral paths they appear to be a "valentine's heart". (That is, two hyperbolic spirals face-to-face, not two log spirals. <smile>) People walking under the canopy of each model-hand/hilt would see the names of the lost, engraved on the inside wall of each canopy (as if it were the wall of Plato's Cave). There would be one hand-hilt-canopy for each tower. It would be as if each of the names were gathered into the vortex, and then to ascend in its tower of light.
Descending into the crater, the garden becomes increasingly quiet and solemn.
The framework that supports the path that people walk on in the middle of the dual crater is the form of a Sri Yantra latticework, or the crater is stepped in the form of the Sri Yantra at its vertex. (The vertex of the Sri Yantra (the bindu) is a still "missing" point between the vertices of the twin craters.)
I hope this isn't becoming too complicated for others to visualize. I'd like to try to work out some sort of computer sketch, maybe in 3-D. Does anyone have suitable software, preferably for a Mac?
September - October 2001
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