Cosmos comes from the Greek word for order. Religions build conceptual worlds, imagining realities that are patterned, purposeful, regulated — in a word, ordered — and thus inhabitable. Through pattern, people divine the fundamental forces at work in their worlds, elaborating these patterns into complex systems of correspondences, and aligning themselves with those forces. Artworks called cosmograms mirror these sacred realities, allowing people to visualize the structures of space and time and draw connections to the human condition. Cosmograms are maps of reality, but they also provide models for religious agency. When employed as study guides or meditation devices, cosmograms become a means of reaching salvation or attaining enlightenment.

Gregory Spinner



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