Saturday, April 9, 2011

"The God and The Universe Conversations". Week Nineteen.

"Living into the Labyrinth"

"The being who is the object of his own reflection, in consequence of that very doubling back upon himself, becomes in a flash able to raise himself into a new sphere. In reality, another world is born. Abstraction, logic, reasoned choice and inventions, mathematics, art, calculation of space and time, anxieties and dreams of love--all these activities of inner life are nothing else than the effervescence of the newly-formed centre as it explodes onto itself."
Teilhard de Chardin The Phenomenon of Man, 1955

From the Editor: In our contemporary world, The Word has taken on the promise of a new Significance at the cost of a potential lose of Meaning. We email, we text. We Tweet and blind copy. Blogs, conference calls, social network comments, LED scrolling, and white wall tires. We are inundated with words. Inhale them from a Language Noosphere the like of which Teilhard de Chardin may have grossly overestimated.

© 2011 Mary de Wit, in2Wit, LLC

Then in an implosive irony, we lament a lack of meaning in our lives. Suffer through the maladies of an alienated self. We seek therapy for assistance in discovering the roots of our being. Drown our wellness in oceans of despair. We dare to pick apart Sacred and Ancient texts so that we might find some Historical confirmation to hang our hats on.

I am of this World.

And yet, I am of another World as well. The world of symbols. And Mythology. A world where meaning seeks me out and implores me to fully participate. Where words are most often superfluous, and (most certainly) inadequate tools for describing the complexity of relationships. Words are a handshake.
Symbols are a loving embrace.

© 2011 Mary de Wit, in2Wit, LLC

And when I get out of my own way, I am most likely to tumble into that embrace. Such is my work with Labyrinths. The Labyrinth found me at Myers Park Baptist Church, in Charlotte, NC and put me to work. And it found me at Presbyterian Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care and it put me to work. Then it told me to build a Prayer Wall and a Chapel. And then the Labyrinth sent Mrs. Almetto Alexander to find me and tell me I was to build her a Labyrinth. And she added this caveat from her Muse, “Make it different. And beautiful.” What a gift in those words. “Make if different. And beautiful” Like any good educator, she was giving an assignment, trusting that it would be carried out in a form that would be an extension of her vision. She was granting me permission to take what is most likely the oldest image made by humankind and somehow make it unique. What a gift! I was being asked to make this most ancient of symbols appropriate to Mrs. Alexander’s life journey. And to mine. And then to place it into a public arena so that countless others could walk the winding path that folds you back onto yourself.

© 2011 Mary de Wit, in2Wit, LLC

I was asked to work past my expectations and previous experiences and cross the threshold towards a new center. And so in this way I have literally crawled into this magnificent symbol, and learned that the Labyrinth is not a metaphor for life lived.

It is life lived.

Lived in a way that is beyond the ability of words to describe.

Let us take note from the character Delmar O’Donnell from the movie “
Oh Brother Where Art Thou” (itself a re-telling of the mythical Odyssey) when he warns his friends that they are about to be ambushed. He whispers hoarsely, “Do not seek the Treasure”. Good advice, Delmar.

Let us dare to have the Treasure find us.

© 2011 Tom Schulz, ennisART LLC

“Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions.”
Joyce Carol Oates

This concludes Week Nineteen of
"The God and The Universe Conversations".

All art and writing by Tom Schulz unless otherwise noted, or unless it is so cool
he will try to get away with claiming it as his own."The God and The Universe Conversations" are based on Tom's protracted reading of Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to
sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

Charles Du Bos

1 comment:

Jane Schulz said...

"Symbols are a loving embrace." This was so evident at the dedication of the labyrinth - never saw more embracing!