Thursday, October 19, 2017

Are We Still or are We Moving?

Are we still or are we moving? Even when our senses tell us that we might be keeping perfectly still, we know that we are moving, both with the Earth’s rotation through its cycles of day and night and with the movement of the Earth itself as it swims through the dark ocean of space. But to our ancestors these movements were unknown, unrecognised – and unthought-of. In those distant days, before science started to tell us otherwise, stillness was simply stillness.

But let us put science aside. If we are still, are we still moving? Supposing that we are lying ill in bed with a fever? Just as a burning fever is necessary before the healing can occur, we sometimes must undergo a critical turning point where we are turned around, inside out, undergoing a radical shift, to face a truth within. In life it is often suffering that leads us to open doors within ourselves that we probably would not have opened had we not first experienced this suffering. The suffering creates movement: a movement towards a process in which true healing can begin.

Our ancestors might not have been aware of the Earth’s movement through space, but movement for them came in other, perhaps more richer forms. For them, movement was a process: that sense of a journey which moves ever inwards and outwards once more. In mystic - and mythic - terms, a journey towards a centre is also a journey towards an edge, and it is this paradox which finds its most powerful expression in the form of the labyrinth.

And yet, such a paradox exists only in our everyday material reality, and is seen as being paradoxical only by our everyday senses. Once we are in the labyrinth and we walk the winding path which leads us inexorably towards the centre, we enter a timeless mythic landscape. Such paradoxes will then become meaningless, and the centre which is also an edge becomes a reality: a revealed truth. The labyrinth is a three-dimensional lesson offering a great and simple truth: that a movement – any movement – is a movement towards stillness, and that movement and stillness are themselves an eternal dynamic between action and rest.

Are we still or are we moving? We follow the winding path within ourselves and discover at our innermost centre, at the very core of our being, not the confines which we had imagined, but new infinities offering a true healing of the self.

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