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I’ve been doing some thinking about the spiritual symbolism of the second in my series Paths to the Divine Centre – the Arabesque. As I’ve been working on it I have had some realisations which I thought I would share with you. In this piece the bottom fabric represents the beauty and luminosity of the Divine Centre. (This is understood differently in different spiritual traditions. In some it is the Divine Spark in others the polished mirror of the heart which reflects the Divine.) The top fabric represents the ego.

To begin with, before cutting away any fabric, all that’s visible is the ego which is beautiful, alluring and easy to become seduced by. Slowly, as bit by bit the top fabric is cut away, the beauty of the “Divine fabric” is made visible.

The pattern appears

The pattern appears

It struck me that this a great metaphor for any authentic spiritual path. That the more the ego is sacrificed to the Divine principle, the more beauty appears and not just because the “Divine” is more visible but because a unity of pattern consisting of both the Divine and the ego appears – the ego in the service of the Divine.

Now, a while back I posted a photo and said that I wasn’t sure it was working as it was hard to make out the pattern. Since then I have done more cutting and as less and less “ego” is visible the beauty of the pattern is appearing. I’m now of the belief that eventually you will be able to see the pattern clearly when more of the “Divine” is visible. I realise that the pattern would have been easier to see if the “ego fabric” had been plain, but egos aren’t plain. They are complex, busy and masquerade as the Divine and I wanted to represent that in this Arabesque.

So, while the finished piece may “work” as a piece with the pattern easily discernible, that really is not the point. It is the journey to getting there that is the spiritual metaphor in this work – the subjugation of the ego to the Divine purpose that produces the final beautiful result. Only time will tell if this piece works out but for me the journey has been worthwhile whatever the result.

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