The labyrinth walk is a 4000-year-old practice and is also known as “the walking meditation”. It is believed that one enters the labyrinth with the notion of what one seeks, undertakes the spiraling journey, all the while keeping that thought in perspective, discovers the answers at the center, and emerges out an enlightened being.
I fumble, I tumble; I doubt, I mumble;
I curse, I swear; I chide, I bear;
I seek, I yearn; I suffer, I burn;
I discover, I proceed; I resist, I concede;
I let go, I shatter; I rise, I matter;
I awaken, I leap; I revel, I reap;
I return, I persist; I realize… I exist
Labyrinth: Path to Self Discovery
The path to self-discovery. It sure is a tricky business. The phase of that identity crisis, the quest for that momentous revelation or in other words, the want for a purpose in life or the purpose of life itself.
Sooner or later, everyone bites the bullet of introspection and sets out for this quest; the quest for purpose. A few questions arise though: Is this quest hypothetical, virtual, psychological, philosophical, or physical? Sooner or later? Is there a defined approach?
All questions are valid and a tad overwhelming. First of all, though, there is a need for the realization of the importance of this quest.
All major decisions of your life are (or should be) defined by what you seek. The primary reason for the widespread discontentment most people experience today is the lack of this very knowledge. You might have an impeccable working knowledge of the world, you might know your colleagues, your society, but the most tedious task is to know thy self. This is where a majority struggles and to master this is to have begun well. And you know what they say about “well begun”…
So what is the nature of this quest?
Well, it varies from person to person. Granted, the ‘notion of purpose’ is a state of the mind, but achieving this state is not always necessarily limited to a psychological and philosophical sense. Sometimes, embarking upon a journey of self-discovery requires a literal execution of the same.
Perfect examples of this can be found in the ground-breaking works of “Eat, Pray, Love”, by Elizabeth Gilbert and “On the Road”, by Jack Kerouac, depicting the travels of protagonists in search of purpose, freedom, and identity. Ray Manzarek, founder and keyboardist of the American rock band “The Doors”, wrote in his book “Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors”: “I suppose if Jack Kerouac had never written On the Road, The Doors would never have existed”.
Time for Self Discovery
Coming to the question of “when”. If I had to pick, I’d say sooner rather than later, solely basing my judgment upon the idea that it makes logical sense. But I’d be naïve to think that it’s entirely up to me. The quest is no cake-walk and even commencement demands motivation and a sense of devotion. There isn’t much need to worry though. When it’s the right time, you’ll know and you’ll be ready.
Now for the approach. Although in the literal sense, the journey to self-discovery has no defined approach or pattern, it can be symbolically linked to “The Labyrinth Walk”. To begin with, it should be clear to you, what a labyrinth is.
What is Labyrinth
The labyrinth is a term often interchangeably used with the term “maze”. That is not the case though. A labyrinth and a maze serve entirely opposite purposes. A maze consists of obstacles and dead-ends and often does not consist of an accessible center. Its fundamental purpose is to confuse and puzzle you.
A labyrinth, on the other hand, has no obstacles and dead ends but has a single clear path that leads to the center and back. Its sole objective is for you to obtain clarity by putting your life in perspective as you undertake the labyrinth walk.
The labyrinth has been a symbol for the search for guidance and purpose in a plethora of traditions and cultures.
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Although the labyrinth walk is an abstract belief, many claim it to have transformed their life for good. The point is, it doesn’t matter what your approach might entail. What matters is, you take the plunge, and see where it takes you. And I bet, it’s somewhere good.