Repeated moments

Labyrinth Notre-Dame de Chartres

A warrior of light knows that certain moments repeat themselves.
He often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life.
“I’ve been through all this before,” he says to his heart.
“Yes, you have been through all this before,” replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.”
Then the warrior realises that these repeated experiences have but one aim: to teach him what he does not want to learn.

~ from Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho

It was only a few years ago that I realised my experience of repeating the same situations over and over again was a universal one. How could it not be? One is always encountering oneself, one’s myth.

Then about a year ago, I unexpectedly came across a labyrinth in a cathedral in Brisbane just after I’d started thinking about walking the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. The Chartres one is the Ur-labyrinth of labyrinths and, sure enough, the one at Brisbane was a copy.

After walking the labyrinth in Brisbane, I realised what the labyrinth is saying. It is saying what Coelho is saying. That as I walk life’s path, I keep returning to what looks the same spot which is also a spot of bother. And the experience is as if I’ve been walking and walking and gone nowhere. The labyrinth is also saying look more closely. When I do, I see the spot is similar and also contains the possibility of breakthrough, a new turn, discovery. Again and again, the situation offers itself for transformation. And it keeps doing so until it is transformed.

(Click on images to enlarge)

 

Images: Chartres Cathedral labyrinth

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8 thoughts on “Repeated moments

  1. I love this piece you wrote. 🙏🏼☺️💕 Kind of reminded me of a quote I shared on Instagram the other day after feeling frustrated by my own health and seemingly lack of progression- “A person’s thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and imagination can cause obstructions that cut one off from the universal healing energies of nature. While we may seek the aid of someone to help us regain our health, if we do not change our beliefs, if we have not addressed the cause, then the effect will manifest once again.” ~Steven Ross. Made me wonder what lesson I’m failing to learn, if I’d received the message surely I’d be 100% healthy by now.
    Namaste! 🙏🏼

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  2. I think there is something archetypal about the labyrinth, a pattern and path within us but that is also given outward expression. About two years ago we created an outdoor labyrinth and prayer garden at the parish. It is a replica of the Chartres labyrinth. When I walk it I am reminded of Eliott’s lines from “Little Gidding:”

    “…. With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time….”

    Peace be with you,
    Mike+

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    • And with you, Mike x

      Thank you for Eliot’s magnificent lines. I remember at the Brisbane one there was a note saying the going-in phase of the labyrinth is called the “purgation”. Can’t remember what the going-out phase is called. Do you know?

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      • The labyrinth walk is sometimes described in three stages: the way in is purgation, time in the center is illumination, and the way out is union. These three stages – purgation, illumination, and union – are one of the classic descriptions of the spiritual journey.

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