Within each of us there are images waiting to be brought to light. The psyche is life, inner movement, it goes out of itself, it opens itself to the world and returns to itself laden with a rich loot, with the images it keeps either on the surface, in its depths or in an intermediate zone. One of man's aspirations, perhaps the most significant, is to resonate with the world, and this primordial phenomenon can also be translated thus: to let the images within us speak, to breathe, to awaken them, to bring them out of hiding into the discreet light of consciousness. "To dwell poetically on the earth" means perhaps just that.
For several decades now, philosophy and architectural theory have been taking seriously Baudelaire's great idea that the imagination is "the queen of faculties". Imagination creates bridges, it connects the inner man with the man who belongs to the outside world, to public space. It is the force that brings images out of dormancy, brings them up to date.
Contemporary man's imagination seems drained. The question then arises: can we still resist the deadly forces that undermine the capacity to imagine, to update inner images? But what can we say about these forces? On the one hand, we are dealing with the endless multitude of external images, not least the images of the virtual world; on the other hand, we cannot ignore the mesh of concepts thrown over the minds, which separates them from the energies of life, feeling and imagination. It is as if today's man wants to respond to the "bombardment" of surface images with conceptual edifices, with theories referring to other theories, without any concern for human reality, that of the living body and its psyche.
The task of phenomenology is, in these circumstances, to return to man, to the very life of the whole man – body, psyche and thought. Against intellectualist interpretations of architecture, I stress that architecture is made for man, perceived as a whole: not for the separate thought, called "autonomous reason", nor for the moving body detached from imagination and feeling, but for the human being, whom contemporary posthumanism keeps at a distance.
Therefore, when we talk about "the architecture within us" – the theme of this year's summer school – we must first find out who that "us" is. From there we can also talk about architecture: about the inner images of architecture and the "real" architecture that corresponds to them.
The question arises, however, of access to the human being, which we implicitly have in mind when we talk about "us". Some contemporary phenomenologists have pointed out that classical phenomenology depends on certain conceptions of modern philosophy, from which, at the same time, it tries to free itself. For instance, Husserl's concept of intentional consciousness and Heidegger's concept of Dasein tend to leave aside the embodied human being. Indeed, the latter is not primarily "thrown" into the world (Geworfenheit – thrownness), but rather a living body which affects itself and which, starting from primordial affectivity, participates in the sensible world, penetrates it through feeling, perception and imagination. Thus, "the inaugural act of the new phenomenology must be the attempt to bring within the reach of the comprehensive gaze the involuntary experience of life, blocked out by thought preoccupied as it is with conceptual constructions [...]. People have become defenceless in the face of the excess of undeniable possibilities made available to them by technological progress and social media, with no clear conceptual criteria that allow them to reflect on themselves in order to assert themselves ." We can say all sorts of things about what allows us to return to ourselves in order to assert ourselves, against the alienation that Schmitz talks about. But the way we experience and think the image seems determinant anyway. As Pallasmaa pointed out, inner images form the basis of metaphorical thinking, without which architecture would be reduced to the banality of mere construction. However, inner images can "breathe", can be awakened and maintained in a movement that does not exclude a rest – in the environment of inner life and only in it.
I call affectivity the movement of life within itself, which is at the same time a self-revelation of life. Heidegger showed that affective tonality is the condition of openness to the world, of being in the world. Michel Henry shows, however, that human life manifests to itself before it opens itself to the world, the self-manifestation of life within itself being the primary condition of the manifestation of the world. The sense of life is the foundation of the manifestation and existence of the world itself as the world of life. But we must distinguish between the everyday life world into which, says Heidegger, we are "thrown", and the world as world. This is pure openness, the emergence of the fact that the world is, the primordial wonder that lies, as we know, at the foundation of philosophy.
The affective tonality that constitutes the opening towards the world as such, towards the emergence of the world as a whole, is what we can call silence. Silence manifests itself in inner images, which in turn only exist in and through it.
Affective life has been described since Plato as an accumulation of passions, an inner turmoil, corresponding to the state of being thrown into the world of everyday life. These passions, which are the basis of our convictions, not least political ones, do not, however, allow more subtle and deeper feelings to emerge and, above all, to remain in our consciousness. There is no question of neutralising passions, as the Stoics aimed. Rather, the affective state in which the passions are reduced to... silence must be named and highlighted. This state is silence itself. In it the deepest layer of being and of the world itself can manifest itself.
Man's silent relationship with the world can be understood in these terms. "We have to respond to the things around us, which are watching us and quizzing us, in silence. Man is a mediator between silent things and what is above man. And by the very silence of things we are linked to a higher silence. We need to pause before things, to have time for them." The idea I have in mind is this: the house itself is such a thing. The house is not the building we think of when we pronounce this word, ordinary language does not help us grasp the essence of a thing. The house is the core of architecture; it is that space intended for living, living itself being thought of as the act of being around things. In other words, these three – having time for things, things themselves and the house – form an inner figure in the midst of which we are already. It is what we can call "the architecture within us", to which architecture in the ordinary sense corresponds when it is in tune with the inner images.
We return to ourselves by discovering the silence, to which corresponds the silence of things – from which we think the essence of the house. This process is matched by a language, which is, however, mostly covered by noise. "Nowadays the word is no longer born out of silence, through an act of the spirit that gives meaning to the word and also to silence, but out of another word, out of the noise of other words, nor does it go back into silence, it no longer ends in silence, but into another noise of words and is lost in its din [... ] The birth of the word takes place in the qualitative sphere, the birth of the noise of words, in the quantitative sphere [...] The noise of words puts everything on the same plane, makes everything the same, it is a levelling machine." In the world of noise, which is none other than that of the impersonal one (Heidegger), in which one does something, one speaks (about something), without any-one taking responsibility for the actions and statements, the word tends to become a mere sign, caught in a network of signs and references, in the process of "communication" that takes place on a single plane, the dimension of depth and silence being ignored.
About the original word, on the other hand, we can say that it is not merely the bearer of significance, but also of meaning, insofar as it is rooted in silence. "Silence is in the word even after the word is born from it. The world of the word is built on the world of silence. The word has no certainty that it can move amply in phrases and thoughts unless beneath it lies the unbroken depth of silence. Silence is, for the word, like the net stretched beneath the dancer on the wire [...] Silence is the natural basis of the spirit in general: the unspoken in the word of the spirit binds the spirit to silence, makes it at home in silence." The word rooted in essential silence constitutes the language of poetry. Man opens himself to the world from within the silence by naming things and affective tonalities that are not qualities of the psyche, but instead ways of being of the whole man oriented towards himself and, starting from himself, towards the world. Man expresses himself and at the same time expresses the cosmic world whose centre is in poetry and poetic prose. The sphere of poetic knowledge is what anthropologists and other theorists call the imaginary.
This is certainly not the everyday way of being. The essential silence from which the word springs is opposed by chatter, analysed by Heidegger in Being and Time. Mere communication  has no access to the essential word, insofar as socialised man ignores even the idea of depth. Chatter is being stuck in the present of public life, ignoring the human man who is capable of silence, and the world that corresponds to him.
There is no architecture that is not accompanied by words: architecture always translates an intention. We can then ask the question: to what extent does architecture succeed in being itself, in creating starting from the essential word? What has been said so far leaves room for an answer: through the act of creation, which is rooted in the language of poetry. "The poet, says Pallasmaa, also speaks of encounters on the "threshold of existence", as Gaston Bachelard points out. Art guides us to this threshold and traces the biological and unconscious realms of body and mind. In this way it maintains vital links with our biological and cultural past, the realm of genetic and mythical knowledge. The essential dimension of art therefore points to the past, not the future; valuable art and architecture preserve roots and traditions, neither uprooting nor inventing [...] Any true work of art reinforces the perception and understanding of human bio-cultural history and continuity." Like art in general, architecture shies away from believing that producing aesthetically appealing forms is its highest goal. It is not primarily addressed to the eye, but to the whole man: to the living body and the psyche, since they intertwine. The essence of the psyche is, according to contemporary phenomenology, the emotional life that reveals itself and expresses itself in gestures and words. Silence is not a non-word, but instead a fundamental affective tonality: the source of creative thought that "preserves roots and traditions". The core of traditions is the "realm of mythical knowledge", the fertile soil of literature and poetry. To the extent to which it is not mere construction, architecture is rooted in this soil, working, like poetry, with inner images.
We can therefore think about the architecture in us from the archetypal image of the house. In the layout of the traditional house, the porch plays a major role in integrating the house, and the dwelling itself, into the cosmos. "The circular porch (open, without railings, or closed, with railings) was not only an architectural element of external protection of the walls from the weather, but also a mythical space of transition between outside and inside, of passage from the courtyard to the house (or vice versa), where periodic or occasional magical-mythical activities took place. This transitional space of the circular porch symbolized the land entering the house and the house extending its domain outside the walled enclosure." Contrary to Western symbolism, in which the dominant symbol is the fortress, the stone house, the symbolism of South-Eastern Europe is that of the house with a porch, whose function is to cosmicise man, habitation being not a withdrawal from the world in order to conquer the world, but, from the very beginning, an opening towards the world. However, this type of habitation is inseparable, as we have shown, from a certain kind of thinking, which we can call poetic – thinking in images. The phenomenology of habitation, developed in the writings of Bachelard and his disciples, shows that these archaic images are present in the psyche of modern man. Moreover, a certain architecture starts from these images and is underpinned by them, as Pallasmaa shows.
In traditional thought the house is "the spiritual centre of man's whole life, the enclosure where the profane and the sacred are intertwined." The traditional house constitutes the architecture within us, insofar as the entire past of humanity with its spiritual contents endure within us and waits to be awakened, brought to light by a creative act. The obvious question arises: how is this possible? What is the connection between the society of performance, of uninterrupted communication, and the traditional world that expresses itself in the language of myth and poetry?
We have found a first element of the answer: each of us; man himself since he is capable of silence, of the affective tonality in which essential thought can emerge. To this way of being corresponds a content, which is none other than that of Tradition. Tradition, in its turn, is actualized in what Roger Scruton calls "high culture", the spiritual treasury of mankind that is handed down from generation to generation and from which the new can emerge. In today's world, however, high culture is no longer the universal reference point, the primordial datum recognised by all; education itself seems to have a different content. There is a strong temptation to talk about the death of high culture, after talking about the "death of God". However, we must not be hasty. As a simple social bond, tradition survives in its own traces and in the shape of local traditions. On a deeper level, however, phenomenology has taught us, if I may use this phrase, to de-intellectualize culture, not to reduce it to a multitude of references offered to the interpreting mind, but instead to understand it as a manifestation of life. The moment we understand that inner life is the place of openness to the other – of "intersubjectivity" – it is not difficult to grasp the role of architecture as an act of culture, in the sense defined here. Architecture becomes again a symbol in its original sense, a countersign for those who know that a human life is destined for becoming and transformation: "it wills transformation", says Rilke. Rooted in the fertile soil of life, architecture is not subject to the imperatives of the society of the spectacle. In it and around it is formed the community of those who feel and consider that the phrase "freedom of the spirit" still has meaning.
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