Inspired: thoughts reaching up to the heavens; ‘light-bulb’ moments, moments of clarity and new unique thinking, breathing in, letting go of the old, taking a deep breath and a leap of faith to fly into the unknown.
Walking through northern France we are given reminders of devastation caused by the destruction of World War I. We also pass villages who through destruction has created unique new ways of thinking, of building.
Churches of the post World War I reconstruction are marked by Art Deco which was boosted by a new building technique: reinforced concrete. Through its plasticity, this new material breathed new life into the art of building.” (Jacqueline Danysz) 
The destruction of the old allowed for reconstructed churches to be built in the style of the time. Walking through villages I passed spires that became increasingly ‘daring’. Spires that were designed with imagination.
Spires that were very sculptural. Like ethereal rocket ships launching headlong for the stars. Solid spires were replaced with intricate filigreed masterpieces. Spires with angels peering into the distance beckoning churchgoers to service.
Inspired: Breathe In
These architects and villagers needed to take in a deep breath. They saw the destruction, and with new inspired vision and new building techniques were able to not reconstruct the past but look towards the future.
Churches were hubs. They were towering beacons which could be seen from miles away across fields and forests.
Standing in a field there were moments that one could look around in each direction and be able to see the spires towering over the landscape allowing us to calibrate our progress. Located in the centre of villages they were hubs of communication and exchange of goods, services, and ideas.
The spires reaching to heavenly heights in the past would have provided inspiration for weary pilgrims with their view looking upwards to God as they reached the church. Their belief provided the rocket fuel that kept them going in challenging moments.
As we walk to Jerusalem I can only imagine how much more difficult this journey would have been and the hardships they would have endured. Deep faith would have been the saving asset.
As I sit here writing I think about all the beautiful churches and cathedrals we have visited on our way and how belief is such a powerful force.
Leap of Faith
Belief is really a leap of faith. It is not being able to see something but nonetheless suspending our rational thoughts. I think about the modern wonder of electricity. We passed many electrical pylons yesterday along our path. They are our modern day spires.
Electricity charges our belief. We cannot physically see electricity but miraculously it lights up our houses, it powers our appliances and communications. It would be impossible for most of us now to think of a life without this invisible wonder.
The mind is a powerful force. It can enslave us or empower us. It can plunge us into the depths of misery or take us to the heights of ecstasy. Learn to use the power wisely.
Beliefs can inspire us to great heights. Beliefs can also take us to the depths of misery. Some beliefs can provide us with passion and life purpose. Some beliefs can ruin happiness and create despair. Our mind can liberate and electrify us with excitement or send us into darkness and deep despair.
Habits of Thinking
Beliefs are simply ideas that are repeated enough times that they become real in our minds. They are habits of thinking. If you want to believe something you just need to think the same way enough times before habit creates your reality.
Science has started to understand the power of thought and how our repeated thoughts forge new neural pathway to a point that we operate in automatic mode.
If you are driving a manual car for some time you no longer think about every move you make. You don’t think about I’m in first gear, then to increase the speed I need to press the excelerator with my right foot then push in the clutch with my left foot to change gears and at the same time I need to hold the steering wheel, pay attention to the traffic ahead, while monitoring the road conditions in front of me and behind me in the rear view and side mirrors.
Many women are adept to put on make up, speak on their hands free phone, drink a coffee, tell the kids in the back to settle down and drive at the same time!
New Network of Possibilities
As you repeat your thoughts you open up a new network of possibilities. Yesterday we walked along the canals. We saw barges stationed by the banks and plying their way along the watery highways.
Canals in the eighteenth century were much more important than they are today. Canals provided a transportation network for goods and industry and no doubt new ideas. They allowed villages along their banks to grow and expand creating new opportunities.
Human Hubs of Industry and Endeavour
The new churches or hubs of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were industry and factories. The Industrial Revolution transformed Western civilisation and was the start of the consumer society. Good or bad, belief began to shift from the heavens to humanity. There was a greater belief in human endeavour.
New Hubs of Possibility
In the twenty first century the advent of the internet has totally transformed the way we think, communicate and live. There have been advances again both for the positive and the negative. The positive is that it has given humans the ability to express their individuality. It has also provided confidence in individuals being able to both take control of their financial destiny with the surge in internet entrepreneurs, where every day people can compete against bigger companies and be able to affect the consciousness of many more people than any other time in history.
Our mobile phones have become communication hubs giving us the power to affect and be affected by others. A double edge sword and who’s power we are summoned to use wisely.
The internet has also allowed an incredible boom in consumerism as individuals have easy access to the entire world of products and services. It has created new transportation networks and expanded old ones. One of the biggest concerns has been the effect that the massive increase of consumption has had on the environment.
We are seeing terrible destruction of our natural world. We are opening ourselves up to new challenges with climate change. Just like the destruction of the old that northern France had to endure, its people were able to rebuild with new ideas.
Brave New World
The spires of churches have always provided a beacon to weary pilgrims and travellers.
In this brave new world we are summoned to walk forth with courage, to climb the steps of the steeples and spires, to open ourselves to new habits, new beliefs, new ideas, to peer across a new horizon, to see a vision of the world we want to see, to look into ourselves and see our incredible lightness, to take in a deep breath, look up and forward and never down, and with a leap of faith like the angels surge forward and fly into this new world as we reach for the stars.
Power of the Mind
Those that came before us have shown us how awe inspiring humans can be to create such beauty and simultaneously such destruction. We have given a glimpse of our greatness. The door has been opened to the power of our mind, and how thoughts are energy and how this invisible energy is so powerful.
How will you use your energy? Will you create daily thoughts that empower you or destroy you? It is incredible, no other time in the history of humankind have we experienced such affluence, comfort and consumption. At the same time many of us daily battle with great misery crippled by our thoughts.
How can you in your own individual way lift your energy, your thoughts? How can you create consistently powerful life affirming thoughts?
If you did nothing else, I believe that your beautiful, loving joyful thoughts can transform your own world and the energy of those around you.
It is time to create transformation in your life. Inspire others by your energy. Be the candle. Become the great transformer.
Sign at Martigny’s Church describing the new building technique of formed concrete for the reconstruction of post World War I church spires.