the cosmic bath

The American poet Walt Whitman declared, “the whole earth and all the stars in the sky are for religion’s sake.” In an era of decreasing adherence to dogmatic religion, humanity once again turns to the stars for spiritual nourishment. This is evident in the resurgence of astrology among younger generations. Yet, the stars have always served as spiritual points of reflection and veneration. As the astronomist Carl Sagan states, “Over the dying embers of the campfire, on a moonless night, we watched the stars.” Our ancestors nearly 35,000 years ago engraved star charts on mammoth tusks, and the first primitive faiths emerged from the earth’s relationship to these inexplicable glowing orbs in the sky. Every molecule on Earth originated in the stars; it is from the cosmos that the atomic layer of life derives its sustenance — and so too the spiritual.  

In the Cosmic Bath, humanity once again comes together to gaze upon the night sky, to contemplate the stars and our relation to the Universe and to each other. Pilgrims to the site, located along Australia’s Great Ocean Road in the Twelve Apostles National Park — one of the most pristine locations for stargazing on Earth — pass through a subterranean tunnel and through a series of labyrinthine spaces which degrade in levels of privacy. Merging the typologies of the bathhouse and the observation tower, pilgrims strip down to their natural state, equal and common, before entering a large spherical space filled with ocean water. Here, they may wade and float, as though in a womb, gazing upon the cosmos. Here, the point of veneration is not an abstract deity; we worship the Commonality of Man —  the common body and soul of humanity, the Cosmos: the ineffable ether from which this reality propagates.

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