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Solvitur Ambulando

Where I work, there is a sacred labyrinth.

Labyrinths generally come in two basic patterns: a 7-circuit Classical pattern (based on King Minos' labyrinth on Crete - remember the Minotaur, Daedalus, etc.?) and an 11 or 12-circuit medieval pattern used in many ancient cathedrals. Herodotus writes of an Egyptian labyrinth near the City of Crocodiles, with underground chambers housing the tombs of sacred crocodiles.

A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is a puzzle, designed with turns and dead-ends so as to confound the walker. In a labyrinth, all paths eventually lead to the center. It is the walk itself which carries the import. There is no solving, only walking. Traversing the labyrinth is a meditation, not a game.

Our labyrinth is made of canvas and is laid on the floor. It is a replica of the 11-circuit labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral. The center is rose-shaped.

A parable: Three people with private issues come to a labyrinth to work them out.

The first steps in and zips through the path at a rapid pace, comes to the center, takes a look around and walks back out, thinking that he has just wasted his time and is now determined to get home and solve these issues in a hands-on practical fashion.

The second is very serious. She takes her time and takes full measure of her thoughts. At the rose-colored center, illumination eases its way through her mind. She feels peaceful and resolved, as if she had transcended the issue that was troubling her. She carries this back with her as she slowly winds her way out of the labyrinth.

The third steps in and walks directly to the center, ignoring all lines and paths. At the center, he too is bathed in rose-colored light. His thoughts are only of the stained glass that has caused the light to be colored in such a way. He walks back, straight through, over lines and paths that, to him, are only patterns drawn on the ground. The universe is what it is. That is enough.

Solvitur Ambulando - It is solved by walking.




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post #389
bio: blaine
perma-link
6/21/2006
11:57

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