Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with creating a manifesto reflecting wonders, curiosities, and delights currently captivating me – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
L is for…
lemniscate – infinity symbol
I have been deeply immersed in the study of sacred geometry and symbolic language, and the lemniscate is of profound interest to me. Not particularly for its mathematical significance but for its rich spiritual symbolism.
For me it represents energies flowing back and forth, with the center intersection the point of integration of both.
With the loops reflecting the balance of opposites, endless things can be considered with this model. Masculine and feminine energy; matter and anti-matter; light and dark; involution and evolution; the past and future merged into the now moment.
For many cultures it is a sacred healing symbol representing equality, balance, and rhythm – the inherent rhythm of nature.
The convergent point is the connection, pulling things into wholeness and completion. If we expand our awareness and understanding we can view this as multidimensional – that the center point is the interlocking point, the merge point, the anchor point, the zero point.
I began my work with the lemniscate first as a way to explore the idea of reciprocity.
On the surface, the rather mundane definition of reciprocity certainly has to do with giving and receiving. Using the lemniscate to demonstrate this, you can think of one of the loops in this symbol as the energy of giving – expanding outward, and the other loop as bringing back in – receiving. But what I’ve come to understand as really important is the centered balance point between the loops. Once I saw this it all fell into place for me. Reciprocity really allows the knowing that what is inside you is what is outside you – the whole “as above so below” thing. Striving for the balance point is important because if you move too far off center (in giving or receiving) the loops get unbalanced, just as our lives do when we’re giving too much or taking too much.
But the absolute beauty, and the challenge perhaps, is that life isn’t a strictly equivalent transactional kind of affair. If you give me three beautiful apples, I don’t have to give you, and only you, 3 apples back. We as humans, particularly in this society, seem incredibly stuck in the idea of transactional exchanges, particularly in our relationships. I give you this, you owe me that. Energy exchange can be complex and exquisitely multi-layered, but ultimately the goal is to be in balance.
Breathing is another splendid “living” example of the lemniscate. Thousands of times a day there is the profound reminder. Inhalation – exhalation – the moment between. Breathing in and receiving; briefly holding that breath and having; and then releasing and giving. For me that’s exactly what reciprocity is about: receiving-having-giving.
The lemniscate has taught me many things, including
- What you put out comes back to you, in energetic terms, not necessarily physical
- As you touch something, you are touched – that middle point of the lemniscate; the integration/merge point
- Each of us has an inherent responsibility to share, to collaborate, to give and receive
- There is nothing except ALL-that-is — which expresses in the outbreath and the inbreath
Being mindful of the state of flow in my life is important to me, and I quite like what Rainer Maria Rilke said:
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
If you physically make the motion of a lemniscate, either by drawing it or simply tracing it in air, it doesn’t take long to really get that sense of the infinite. Endless flow. There’s something so simple and yet so utterly complex about it that I find it delightfully reassuring. It also makes me smile to know that lemniscate literally means “adorned with ribbons.” Just imagining that helps bring everything back into a sense of innocence and purity for me.
I value the lemniscate as a reminder that everything is naturally in a state of endless flow, seeking integration and wholeness and from that a new level of expansion.
What about you? Is there a symbol or archetype that you return to again and again for reminders? Are there practices you engage in to create and nourish balance? Do tell – you know I love to hear.