Silence is the root of everything. If you spiral into its void a hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear. ~Rumi
“If you spiral into its void…” I am drawn to silence. And to spirals. I am drawing spirals. I see spirals everywhere. What is that all about?
Since listening is my passion, I image the ear as essentially a spiral in its outer shape. And delightfully, the inner ear, or chochlea, is a labyrinth-like spiral. There, the sound that drums on the ear tickles tiny vibrating hairs into messages of a frequency the resonates with the synapses of the brain.
Listening is not linear, but rather a winding of Wisdom. From inklings in the soul, Wisdom wanders from the vibrations of the vocal chords, through air to ear to brain to mind/heart/meaning.
The spiral listening we do in spiritual direction is part of a Great Spiral. John Baldock writes in The Essence of Rumi,
In Rumi’s eyes, all creation is ‘a great upward spiral of metamorphoses’ (Lewis, Rumi, p. 416). In this upward, transformative spiral, the mineral realm becomes sustenance for plants, plants become food for animals, animals become food for humans, and humans have within them the potential to be transformed into a state in which they become one with the Divine Unity.
Rumi may not sound like standard Christian theology. Nor should he, since Rumi was Sufi/Muslim. And a mystic. Hence Rumi often sends me musing — “sounding out Wisdom.”
Another voice, one of my most respected Christian teachers, Richard Rohr, perhaps says the same thing in a more biblical way:
Salvation is much more about at-one-ment from God’s side than any needed atonement from our side. Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God! ~ Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, January 21, 2018
Jesus saw us spiraling toward God. Toward learning to Love as One Beloved Universe. And I loop back to him again and again to recall the trajectory: Wisdom’s DNA.
You will see spirals everywhere on my brochures and business cards for SOUNDING OUT WISDOM. This will give you a clue why.
What does a spiral signify to you? Or is there another essential shape, a circle, perhaps, that has currently captured your imagination?