Our beginnings are woven into our ends in a cyclical manner. Concurrently time appears to advance in a linear fashion. These two ways of examining time are sometimes placed at odds with one another.
Certainly, we are taught in school that we measure our years by the completion of each Earth orbit or circle around the Sun. In another class we’re given timelines of historical events. Each of these ways of presenting time and events are convenient, one dimensional tools in examination of our civilization and ourselves.
In my private moments of self-examination, I prefer the combination of the two. I visualize the rotation of the Earth, the orbit of the Earth, the orbit of the Solar System within the Galaxy, and the Galaxy’s travel through the Universe. My mind’s eye traces a faint “tail” left behind the path of all these movements. What I “see” is a series of spirals.
While the Earth and everything around us appears to complete circles, we can never exactly repeat events in the same place in space. While the rotations of a motor or a windmill seem to be steady and exact around an axle, these motions are also illusions. They are subject to the movement of the planet and everything else. In my quiet times, I see everything behaving within spirals.
There’s an ambiguous beauty in this vision that gives the illusion of meaning.
However it is that one visualizes the personal world and the Earth around us, I think it’s important to set aside time for honest reflection and self-evaluation. The operative word is “honest”. This self examination should not be too self-critical, nor should it be a time of passing blame onto others.
During these important times of quiet contemplation we can eventually come to deep understandings about the common cycles and their progression through our lifetimes–the spirals of our lives. Which spirals need a change of direction? Which spirals drill into situations that bring about good things in life?
Self examination lets us know about the spiraling progress of our life journeys.
Seeing life as a spiral, enables us to understand that we complete circular cycles. At the same time those cycles are impossible to faithfully, exactly repeat. Look at the cycle we know as the day. Each day we awaken from sleep, go about our daily tasks and routines, then return to sleep. While our mental templates for each day seem consistent, in reality, each day is different. Also, each day is “connected” to the one before and the one afterwards. Each day is measured by the place we occupy on the Earth’s surface. That place spins with the planet at tremendous speed, while the planet travels in Space within the Solar System, and so forth, and so on.
In effect, we can never truly return home, even in a galactic sense.
As we see the cyclical spirals of life, we can awaken to new possibilities. We understand that we don’t need to live life in the grind of repetitive cycles. Seeing the spirals, we are able to envision our lives in a different way. By mentally guiding our spirals we can steer our lives in ways that are true to ourselves and our needs. We can see the need to be true to ourselves and the necessity of living in harmony with other people and the planet.
Circles and lines are one dimensional. Spirals stretch into the realm of the multi-dimensional.
As I visualize my personal spiral, I can see the meaning of my life as almost solid. I can see if the direction that the spiral is headed is leading towards “higher” needs. Does my spiral offer hope and inspiration to myself and to others? The movement along the spiral helps me feel the need to take action and not merely lie dormant in passivity.
As you visualize your spiral, you can understand how your past experiences have propelled you along the path of the spiral. You can see the matter of putting what you have learned to work in the process of moving along the spiral. You begin to discover the untapped energy that will enable you to confront the unfinished business of life. The fog of misunderstandings begins to clear.
Just as the spiral combines a circle with a line, we can see that life is a blend of intuition and intellect. Our self examinations can take on a depth when viewed in a multi-dimensional sense.
The next time you sit back in self examination, try to visualize the spirals, just as an experiment. Seeing the spiral of your own life will help you to not be overly critical of yourself and other people. You can more easily “see” that other people are moving along their own personal spirals. You can see how each spiral is enmeshed with everyone else’s spirals in an amazing geometric procession.