all paths lead back to a mid-point

Recently on NPR there was an interesting story about how human beings, when blindfolded are never able to walk in a straight line.  Oftentimes they’ll walk around in circles without even realizing it. The reasons for this phenomenon remain a mystery.

Being a depth psychologist, I found this impossibility fascinating – the fact that we are not linear beings – that ultimately we give way to our circular nature and circular rhythms.

The psychologist Carl Jung spent much of his life studying mandalas, the Sanskrit word for circles. He believed that he “had to abandon the idea of the superordinate position of the ego…seeing that everything, all paths he had been following, all steps he had taken, were leading back to a single point –namely, to the midpoint. It became increasingly plain to him that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.”

In our Western culture, we spend much of our time attempting to walk in straight lines — yearning for success, being overly goal oriented, self-driven, self-directed, desiring to be perfect, driven to acquiring all the answers, etc.

After many attempts at “walking straight,” we ultimately fail, because this linear motion defies our true nature, giving credence only to our egos and not to our souls, which in essence are always transforming, circular and desiring wholeness.

Today, instead of checking off your list of things to do and worrying about what tomorrow brings, take some deep breaths, close your eyes and contemplate your circular nature, spinning like a magical top with nowhere to go, nothing to see but the beauty of your inner self.

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