Today I will be about creating a labyrinth in this magnificent 17th century church in Paris – The Temple du Marais. It will be an octagon-shaped labyrinth with 4 different pause points, where the spiritual adventurer can stop and follow a suggested interactive experience based on hope, release and rest. While the labyrinth will fill the entire floor, choral music by Arvo Pärt will fill the rest of the rotonda. If you are interested, check out my other labyrinths at www.guerrillalabyrinths.com
Labyrinths provide for people a different kind of prayer experience – one that is more active, interactive, physical, spacial, visceral, silent and open-sourced.
Labyrinths can appear to some as just a nice design. If they appreciate in that way, that’s a start.
Labyrinths can also be seen as a detour from the common everyday path, an opportunity to slow down and reflect on life in general or even to let loose and play a bit.
On a deeper level, labyrinths are a walking metaphor of the call of life to the innermost place where you find yourself and God, where you receive what you need or let go of what is weighing you down, to journey back to the world to make it a better place.
On even a deeper, perhaps subconscience level, labyrinths touch on the primordial archetype within us all; that of the ordinary hero’s call to adventure, to overcome trolls and dragons guarding the way to the remote place: the bottomless lake, the belly of the whale, the center of the earth, the highest mountain.
Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.
A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.
A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.
So if you happen to be in Paris, drop by the Temple du Marais on Friday 10am – 10pm or Saturday 10am – 6pm at 17 rue St. Antoine, Paris 75004.