A visit to the museum starts formally in the Golden Lobby. This entire area is designed
as a spiritual window, based on the human eye. It is hoped that visitors will be
encouraged to open not just their eyes but also their hearts, so that they can truly
experience the beauty of religion. Standing in the center of the resplendent golden
lobby, visitors can see two great pillars inlaid with gold-colored mosaic on which,
in fourteen languages, is written the sentence:
Love is our shared truth - Peace
is our eternal hope
This truly represents the founding inspiration of
the Museum of World Religions.
For thousands of years people have continually dreamed of the cosmos, developing
different interpretations of the stars' meaning that have greatly influenced humanity's
worldview. Accordingly, the ceiling of the Golden Lobby represents sacred heaven,
and when light from the 12 star signs on the ceiling is projected on the floor,
the symbolic bridge between heaven and earth is built.
On the floor of the Golden Lobby there is a "Cosmograph" representing the three
dimensions of the cosmos—Heaven, Earth and humankind. It combines traditional images,
colors, materials and motifs of the world's various religions. The labyrinthine
pattern of the Cosmograph resembles the maze on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral,
France, which has been slightly altered to include colors and animal images symbolizing
the world's major religions, and adjusted to lie in harmony with the four main compass
points on which the MWR lies.
Each color, image and direction in the design has its own religious connotation.
In Western traditions, even the process of walking through a maze represents a kind
of search for truth. As visitors stand on the design, they may carefully search
out each color and image, and work out the meanings they symbolize.