The Ark is a real entity that exists in time.  It was born (or it took on its present form) in the late 18th century under the aegis of Transcendentalism.  It has been carried by about 10 generations of people who are now dead. It requires conceptual and imaginative labor to understand what the Ark is and the forces that give rise to it - and paradoxically to do this work and recognize the Ark as such is already to contribute to it, and also transform it.   Of course every practice is like that (to truly engage in any activity is to transform something about the way it is done - this is how the arts progress, for example).  But the Ark has a special status because it relates to the totality of the world and human destiny.   Maybe the Ark is a way of being human that transcends the horizon of human nature