The Castle symbolizes the state of grace, the transcendence of the human condition, ""the consummation of all deepest wishes"" -- actualized in a society's common cultural vision. Like our personal glimpses of it -- ""breakpoints"" in our mundane lives -- a people's Castle is ""prelogical and prerational,"" but supremely human. Martin (The Encounter, 1969) finds the Castle embodied in various civilizations: Mecca (""immediacy of spirit"" in its arabesque architecture), Jerusalem (the chosen place), Rome (the community of persons), Peking (Mao's tenet that the ""inner self"" must be cultivated and integrated in the state), Angkor Wat (""calm and confident merriment""), Wittenberg (rebellion against sophistry and scholasticism) and America (Peru, Indiana -- the vision of economic and technological growth). But, Martin observes, there is no Castle now, no animating images of purpose or belonging; given the impossibility of the old civil religion, we are threatened with ""an Armageddon of humanness."" Con Ed and MacDonald's don't inspire our spirits. A different Castle will soon be glimpsed: it will be ""as new and unexpected -- as unforetold by what precedes it -- as that of each Castle vision before it,"" although Martin is certain that it will ex. press ""a new liberty for the self."" The book is agreeable and forthright -- at times even imaginative and eloquent -- but some readers will find this old hat.