Listening With Labyrinths

Popular notions on labyrinths point to it as a medium for physical, psychological, and spiritual balance. By

Image credit - NIH

Image credit - NIH

walking through the maze and deciding on choices, one should at least keep the goal in mind – to reach the center, to touch one’s core. By then, the labyrinth expands from its physical landscape and utility into a metaphor of inner centering.

But I guess the labyrinthine landscape is almost an absolute necessity bound for birth. And my simple reason is it is very much a part of us – the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth of our inner ear. Consider the maze of our internal ear: the bony labyrinth consisting of the vestibule, the 3 semicircular canals, and the cochlea; the membranous labyrinth covers the ampullae, the semicircular ducts, the perilymph, and the endolymph. Yet, the maze is ordered towards a consolidated “mission” to listen and hear, to get to the heart of the message, to discern the necessary information from the un-necessary. How telling human biology is of this holy longing to listen, unless you despise recalling your hard-earned biology grade and your once silent, mental scuffle with your bio teacher. I do occasionally; I almost failed mine.


Some labyrinth advocates avoid classifying labyrinths as maze, which is also a sound assertion grounded on the assumption that labyrinths are not meant to confuse the walker. My personal take on labyrinths as mazelike is grounded on the belief that any spiritual journey, to the desert or otherwise, is a tumultuous one full of traps, confusions, and temptations.


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