LOGOSAFARI

Logosafari is a term invented by Edward Matchett that can be roughly translated as ‘journey through meaning’. It is a basic transformative action in which a physical journey through a landscape becomes a meaning journey.  Many people experience such a thing spontaneously; especially those who enjoy walking in a landscape of beauty for its own sake or for receiving insights on some problem they are grappling with. Part of the energy for such a venturing comes from the sheer exercise of the body. But the greater part comes from a kind of reversing of direction of perception. William Pensinger reports years of walking meditation in which he drew back out of his perceptions the very material of his inner reality.

Walking meditation relates to pilgrimage and thence to sacred geography. Sacred geography is the notion that the very surface of the earth has been shaped and ‘visited’ by higher forces, or at least modified by histories of meaningful events. An example is the supposed Michael-Apollo Line stretching from Mount Carmel in Israel to Skellig Michael off the east coast of Ireland. Along this line are a chain of sacred sites including a large number devoted to Michael. Ancient pilgrim routes follow lines of meaning laid down for centuries. But much the same thing can operate on a smaller scale and this even applies to the creation of gardens in both East and West(the word ‘paradise’ comes from the Persian word for walled garden).

The science of pilgrimage has been a lost art but seems to be making a return through new understandings of sacred geography. This applies also to the design of cities as well as to more natural settings and ancient monuments. The logosafari approach of Matchett opens us to realising meaning in almost any place. I myself have conducted such in Waterloo Station.

The basic method is to open to the unknown spiritual world and take notice of ‘moments’ when an immediate meaning emerges – from something seen, or from the ‘energy’ of a certain spot, or the feeling that comes from something that transpires – allowing it to take root in oneself and act as guide.