By Rabbi Daniel Lapin
July 6, 2011
Here’s a proposal: Governments concerned about climate change, carbon emissions, and mankind’s assault on the environment should ban above-ground buildings. In fact, the United Nations should require all new construction to be below ground.
Instead of building up, let’s build down!
After all, a conventional 30 floor building can require a 100 foot deep excavation for its foundation. Putting the entire building underground requires excavating only a bit more, say, 400 feet. Here are a few of the advantages to this kind of downwards development:
Immune to terrorist airplane attacks.
• Considerably less expensive to construct.
• Uses less energy to heat in winter and cool in summer.
• Needs only a small entrance lobby and drive-in ramp at ground level. The building’s footprint can be covered with grass or used to grow crops. Entire cities could be made almost invisible!
• Does not interfere with birds’ migratory patterns.
Some will point out that my buildings lack windows but many people already work in rooms without them. Excellent air conditioning can provide fresh air. Large LCD screens can take the place of windows, depicting attractive scenes to suit the room’s occupants.
Claustrophobic, you say? Well, not too long ago, experts assured us that nobody would be willing to be hermetically sealed in a long aluminum cylinder for twelve hours while hurtling across continents. Yet, today we take long trips on jetliners for granted. People would quickly become accustomed to taking the elevator down rather than up when going to work or coming home, especially if the rent they are paying is a fraction of what it had been in their old-fashioned skyscrapers. It just makes too much sense not to catch on.
The only reason I can think of for why my obvious idea hasn’t become widely acclaimed is that God created us with a spiritual instinct to aspire upwards not downwards.
For thousands of years, those of us who view the Bible as God’s message to Mankind have recognized God as Omnipresent. He is everywhere. He is with us wherever we work, play or pray.
I God only from nearby, says God; and not God from afar…
Do I not fill the heaven and the earth?
And yet, it is the Bible that encourages us to associate heaven with God more than we’d associate say, the oceans with Him.
According to ancient Jewish wisdom, early Biblical mentions of heaven identify it as the repository of ultimate spiritual power and the place representative of God. While God created both heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1), only the earth, representing the physical and material world is in a state of chaos (Genesis 1:2). Heaven is perfect.
Because of these and many other Biblical references that have crept into our religious consciousness, we raise our eyes upwards in prayer, towards heaven.
I think this is why we build upwards, expressing our deep, subconscious desire to reach toward heaven and become closer to God. Yes, it is more expensive and dangerous to build upwards but civilizations that love God will never settle for living underground. It is not an issue of cost and convenience.
Those aspiring to God’s model of civilization recognize heaven as the aspiration of all who love life and see the subterranean world as being dark, sinister, and deathlike. Horror movies thrive on mutant creatures that live underground. Those who recognize Adolph Hitler’s pagan leanings aren’t surprised that he was obsessed with the Wagnerian musical drama, The Ring of the Nibelung, with its dark subterranean dwarfs.
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We humans have only so many years to improve this world and our own lives. We can avoid foolish ideas such as the one I offer above by paying attention to God’s User Guide to the world. Studying it provides us with both heavenly and earthly paths through life.
As we move outdoors this summer, let’s remember to provide protection for our souls as well as for our bodies. Profanity pollution is so widespread that I am making my audio CD, Perils of Profanity available at half price online. Find out how avoiding profanity even increases economic prosperity and romantic opportunities. Listen to it yourself and provide those you love with its armor.
© 2011 Rabbi Daniel Lapin - All Rights Reserved
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Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.
You can contact Rabbi Daniel Lapin through his website.
Web Site: www.rabbidaniellapin.com