First Presbyterian Church
Friday, September 22, 2017
A caring community of God's People

Labyrinth

 
  
 THE LABYRINTH TRADITION
 
Labyrinths have been known to the human race for over four thousand years.  Labyrinths can be found in almost every religious tradition around the world.  The DABALA or TREE OF LIFE, found in the Jewish mystical tradition, is an elongated labyrinth figure based on the number 11.  The oldest European form on record is the Cretan labyrinth, also called the classical seven-circuit labyrinth.  It is believed that these designs evolved out of the spiral figure found in nature.
 
Possibly the oldest surviving labyrinth is found in a rock carving at Luzzanas in Sardinia, and dates from 2500-2000 B.C.E.  Remains of a seven-circuit labyrinth can be found on Mount Knossos, on the isle of Crete.  Even though early civilizations were isolated from one another, only one archetypal design of the labyrinth emerged over thousands of years.
 
In Christian practice, the labyrinth is not designed to produce a "spiritual peak experience" but to provide inner space for listening to God.  It is to be a tool for prayer, not an idol. 
 
 
                                                  "Go lightly, simply,
                                   Too much seriousness clouds the soul. 
                                          Just go, and follow the flowing
                                                             moment. 
                                        Try not to cling to any experience. 
                                   The depths of wonder open of themslves."