The desert of Judaea as seen from Masada / I.A. Daglis, thanks to Tsvi
The desert is the environment of revelation, genetically and physiologically alien, sensorily austere, esthetically abstract, historically inimical... Its forms are bold and suggestive. The mind is beset by light and space, the kinesthetic novelty of aridity, high temperature and wind. The desert sky is encircling, majestic, terrible... To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality.
Paul Howe Shepard [Man in the landscape: A historic view of the esthetics of nature, 1967]