Previous: The thought
The reflection, that made Carnac possible, paved the way for something, that opened up new avenues, not in the food-space and self-sufficiency, but in an intellectual dimension.
The rows of stones – if you have never seen them and walked along their entire length, you cannot have an impression of them, you cannot imagine what Carnac means! That is to say, you are missing an experience that is not only sentimental, but primordial.
The mind escapes the narrowness.
These gigantic stone rows virtually fly out into the plain and lose themselves in the horizon. They detach themselves from the strict round, narrow shape of the dolmens and cairs and thus form clearly a far-reaching liberation.
The spirit escapes the narrowness of the self-contained, the circle, and ventures out into new fields.
The territory of Brittany is today characterized by a multitude of pastures and forest plains. The free spirit can wander far and wide and finally lose itself in distant lands. The immense rows of stones absorb this feeling and translate them into a geometric shape.
The wind plays with the edges of the erected pieces of rock – hissing, whistling, harmoniously.
Whether or not it was already clear at the beginning of a supposed planning of the stone rows as an integral part of what was to become, that the stone rows were to be drawn far out into the plain, will probably remain hidden from us forever. But the result, the construction, is quite visible and will have impressed the locals as well as the visitors of that time, when they moved between the silent columns. Possibly the wind played with the edges and jags of the erected pieces of rock – hissing, whistling, harmoniously.
Not only the length of the rows is surprising, but also their number. If there had been two or three lines running side by side, almost at the same distance, this would have been possible. One could have thought of a coincidence, of a game, that the spirits of yesteryear tried to play when they set out to realize their miracle.
If you look into the menhir chains, your gaze opens not only into the vastness.
The now standing sequences of the sober-looking stones, however, drag on like a broad band. If you look into the menhir chains, if you are in the middle of them, your gaze opens not only into the vastness but also into the width.
This width leads to the fact, that the observer, when looking around, to the left and to the right, forwards and backwards, is suddenly at the mercy of the feeling, that he is in a forest of giants, blocks and dwarves, which remain together in a frozen position and made from a substance of the same nature.
Seen from close up, this sparse forest, which is not made of wood but stone, appears as if hazard had meticulously determined the location of each monumental individual piece. This is not so. Looking back and forth and to the side teaches the viewer, especially if he slightly shifts his position, a better lesson. The shifting geometric perspective affects the mind like a game of constantly moving shadows and reveals the first impression as an illusion.
With each additional gaze, the feeling arises that the rows create a different order in one’s own thought.
With each additional gaze that is directed among the alignments, the feeling arises that the rows of stones are readjusted and thus create a different order in one’s own thought. The mass of the stones, their number, their repetitive shapes and the impeccable stretches they constitute, generate a clear structure in the mind. One step further, and the viewer has the impression, that this order is falling apart again. Once again, it looks as if one is about to be struck down by the mighty boulders.
It is to be considered, and this once again, that according to the statements of researchers, the people of that time were smaller in stature than us, the current inhabitants of the globe, and therefore the large menhirs, but also the smaller, more graceful, appeared greater to them than us today, that we stand full of surprises among these amazing stones.
The multitude of menhirs allow very different views.
The well-kept stone avenues invite you to stroll. It was not only an achievement to bring the many stones to the site and set them up. Rather, a new achievement followed, the guiding idea of which was not given by the tumuli, cairs and dolmens, but by the menhir standing straight and its meaning. The menhir stood for life, the multitude of menhirs, erected in a row, stood for a new order, an order, however, which breaks the straight line of the single menhir line. This allows quite different views due to the different stone rows.
Not only the number of the parallel rows and the stones has a stimulating effect on thinking and brain. In the west there are huge boulders. Towards the east they become smaller and more graceful at a certain distance. They even allow the observer, to look over the different series of stone blocks because of the clearly shrunken vertex height of the individual monuments. The boulders at the beginning of the route, which, due to their mass and size, capture the entire attention of the beholder, give way to finer structures, that suddenly provide an overview and far-sightedness, thus opening up space for freer mental perspectives.
There are even more surprises in Carnac. The topography of the site allows at a certain location a bird’s eye view of the culturally and historically significant site. At the place, where the stream with the coquettish name Kerloquet cut a valley into the plain, the observer looks over from a superior ridge to the other side of the valley and notices, astounded, that he is spotting down on a whole number of menhirs, that seem to rush up a hill. This means, that man stands above the stones, seems to control them by having the overview, while at the beginning of the alignements the stone controls man.
This liberation of thought becomes possible, because the man used an irregularity in the terrain.
This liberation of thought becomes possible, because the man of yesteryear skillfully used an irregularity in the terrain, a valley, to lay out his stone trellises. In this way, the builders of the galleries opened up more different perspectives on their nimble creation.
The place, which the visitor reaches after almost three kilometers of march through the stone colonies, and which allows the view, as if from the flight of a seagull, of the crowd of stone figures hurrying upwards, is extremely interesting for another reason.
Not that for a moment the uphill hurrying still images from primeval times seem like a snapshot in a film sequence!
The forests had to be cleared anyway.
It may be a coincidence, that the menhir rows sheer off slightly to the northeast at exactly this point.
If this had been the builders wishes, they could have been moved straight on. If forests stood in the way of the planners for this project, the trees certainly did the same to the left and right of the straight line. If there were forests, they had to be cleared anyway to clear the way for the menhirs.
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