The Profane, The Sacred, and the Magic of the Glass Cube Apple Store in Manhattan

 We live in two worlds—the day world and the night world, and we experience both in many ways.  Down through the ages, the perennial philosophers describe these two contrasting worlds in a variety of ways.  Ori Soltes, Professor at Georgetown University, in his book, Mysticism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam describes our ordinary world as the profanus or profane – the day world.  He contrasts this world with the world of the sacer—the sacred—the night world.  I don’t know if Steve Jobs had this in mind with the design of the Glass Cube Apple Store on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in Manhattan, but I recently had a transformative experience of going abruptly from one world to the other world.  I entered the Apple Store in early evening while it was still light outside.  The 24/7 store is brightly lit around the clock.  From this world of daylight I ensconced myself in the glass elevator inside the glass cube and quickly emerged into the night.  In that moment I felt transported into the spiritual realm—into the pandimensional realm with no spatial or temporal attributes—the world of the sacer.  The contrast was strikingly vivid as I was thrust rapidly from the ordinary profane world of clock time and three dimensional space into the invisible sacred world.  I was enchanted by the magic of the night in all its material and spiritual beauty.  To my upper left was the top of the Crown Building with its crown lit up with colorful lights as jewels.  The new moon was slightly above on the right of it.  Then directly across the street from me was the Plaza Hotel dazzling with its architectural splendor.  Behind me on each side of the glass cube were fountains spraying into the night.  I walked mesmerized in the dark until the subway stairs took me back down into the daylight of nighttime, busy 24/7.  I was reminded that life is like this—venturing between the light and dark worlds both inhabited by power-as-freedom and power-as-control bringing about continuous change.  Being aware of the choices we make and acting on them to actualize our intentions is the power we have as humans.  It’s up to us whether we walk the path of power-as-freedom or power-as-control. 

Sometimes things happen when you least expect them.  So it was the night I emerged from the light into the dark—from the ordinary into the spiritual.  I am grateful for the magic of that night.  Please comment on this blog.  I’d love to hear from you and so would other visitors to this blog.