Symbolism

Labyrinth


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I was wondering to assign a title to this blog, initially I thought to name it ‘Maze’. I knew another word for maze, i.e. ‘Labyrinth’, but I was not certain till such time that I checked their dictionary meaning, as I always try to make relevance of the concept with the title and pics, I select for my blogs. Here is the dictionary meaning of two words, to avoid any misunderstanding by my readers.

“In English, the term labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze. As a result of the long history of unicursal representation of the mythological Labyrinth, however, many contemporary scholars and enthusiasts observe a distinction between the two. In this specialized usage maze refers to a complex branching multicursal puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a unicursal labyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.”

What difference does it make, if we are entangled in a maze or a labyrinth? If we take this question on face value, it has no such bearing on our life, but I want my readers to look at it from my perspective to get a deep insight into the maze and/or labyrinth.

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In a way, I suppose we have been sent in this world to get lost in the maze [if you consider your life as a path way filled with trials and tribulations] and try to find the way out of the labyrinth [if you consider your life as a journey through self].

[Exploring others is tedious, but exploring self is not that difficult, as one is 24/7 with him/herself].

Explore

The beauty of the concept can only be understood, if we visualize our life as in a cardiogram. We are alive only till such time, that our heart beat [systole and diastole] is intact i.e. UPS and DOWNS, as soon as the cardiogram shows a straight line, we are dead.

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I think, you would be feeling lost, as to, what exactly I am trying to explain. The concept is bit philosophical and that is why tedious, yet amazing to learn, to appreciate the true essence of the blog.

On one hand, the concept is motivating us, not to be afraid of hardships, our life poses to us, and on the other, it tells us that it is our choice of getting lost into the maze or getting out of it, successfully [considering it to be a labyrinth, as the way out of a labyrinth is unambiguous and not difficult to navigate].

In a labyrinth there is only a single path to the ‘center and back’ [*Did you focus on the word ‘center and back’? Did it ring bells in your mind?], where as in a maze, chances are that we might get lost and fail to keep track of our way out. As such we will be going through process of hit and trial to get out of it [life].

Reproduced here from second paragraph above: “maze refers to a complex branching multicursal puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a unicursal labyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.”

Compare the dictionary meaning just shared and relate it with my previous blog Center of Gravity, excerpt of which is reproduced  here for ready reference.

“There are four corners of the world, namely East, West, North and South. I have never heard Middle West, Middle South, Middle North, but I know a place on earth called Middle East.

I did come across Mid West states in US or Mid North in Australia, but not an entire region as Mid West or Mid North as Middle East. I am wondering to know whomsoever named these corners and places, what he had in his/her mind while naming these locations.

If I want to light a room such that light is spread all across the room, then I will have to put the chandelier right in the center. Sun rises in the EAST a Universal Truth, and if the entire universe is to be lit then that source of light has to be in the middle of the EAST. The location of Holy Ka’aba, is exactly in the center of the earth and is a source of light for the entire humanity, if it (the mankind) wants to get that inspiration.”

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This is purely my analogy and you have the right to disagree with my point of view.

We only have one life to live, which has a beginning and an end. Every single individual has his/her life given as a project, to find his/her ‘self’. If s/he wants to get lost into the maze [by losing track of his/her existence] and never find an exit on his/her own [die without knowing], that is his/her choice and the project of his/her might remain unaccomplished and s/he will be out [die] from the maze without him/her liking or abhorring it. And if one’s life project [a successful one] is taken as a ‘Labyrinth’, his/her life has an unambiguous route to this world and back to, from where s/he came.

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* Golden Mean

Sajjad Hussain

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