The Sea Archetype

By August 26, 2008May 21st, 20192 Comments

For almost thirty years now, I’ve been working on a theory that relates how we feel to the forms we create on the land. It all started when I wrote my thesis on Contemplative Places in Cities for my masters degrees in architecture and city planning at MIT. Ten years later, I wrote my first book, Contemplative Gardens, and developed the ideas further. I ended up with seven “spatial archetypes”-fundamental forms-that can be found in nature and in all built form: the sea, the cave, the harbor, the promontory, the island, the mountain, and the sky. These are also explained in The Inward Garden, my 1996 book that I’ve recently reissued with Bunker Hill Publishing. I’ve been thinking, writing, and lecturing about the archetypes for years now, and am finally ready-is it mature enough?–to turn all that I’ve learned about them into a book.

This video is about our very first experience of space-The Sea. My brother-in-law, Robert A. Jonas, offered to videotape me last fall and this informal talk is the result of many hours of editing on his part. I am so grateful.

Please go to his website: to learn about his philosophy, see more of his videos, view examples of his exquisite photographs, and to hear his beautiful recordings of Japanese shakuhachi music, both solo and in concert with other fine musicians.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jacqueline Zanders says:

    Hi Julie….so good to see you and to hear you!!…my dear NOTHING has changed….your the same Julie as I know from Wilton. yes I can see in your face as I see in mine that we are “developing”. Nice. I feel it has to do with having that passion for work, with goals to follow….with family and friends……it keeps us who we are and make us stronger each day.Love your work…could not get your voice going, it cut out and came back…..
    Big kiss from me and we keep in touch. You will not hear from me for a few weeks again. I am on my way to Europe. Marilie will have her baby soon.

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