Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Exploring Circles - post 3 - {Paths to Healing}...

Last week we took a look at the idea of circles - a basic definition, in Scripture, and by implication how characteristics of the circle can represent some of God's characteristics.  I briefly looked at how simple observation of the sun, moon and stars and other objects in nature can give rise to the circle being used as a metaphor for human experience.  Because circles are observable in nature, there has grown a "universal" list of circle symbolism, including:

*  Inclusion  *  Wholeness  *  Focus  *  Unity  *  Nurturing  *  Cycles  *  Initiation  *  Everything  *

     *  Perfection  *  Womb  *  Centering  *  Revolution  *  Infinity  *  Mobility  *  Completion  *

                                         *   Protection  *  Continuation  *  Eternity  * the Soul  *
 
It is an easy concrete rendering to use in trying to explain ideas that are more abstract.  This is perhaps the very reason why so many cultures and belief systems have adopted the circle to represent a wide variety of concepts.

When you go searching online, you will come across many sites making many claims about what the circle represents.  As we continue to look at some of the metaphors that a circle can portray, and use them in healing art or journaling with greater understanding, it is my desire that you remember that the circle originated with the Creator Himself, and regardless of the belief system or movement that has adopted the circle and given it some meaning, the true origin of the circle is with the God of the Bible...

Remember the first circle going on the cover of my book?  Here is a little "circle" information that I had come across (and if you have been following me this year, you know I have been researching Japanese/Chinese ink painting and the creation story of Genesis embedded in the Chinese language) so I was naturally drawn to this entry in my Google search:

Ensō is a Japanese word meaning "circle". Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanesecharacter. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it can also symbolize the Japanese aesthetic itself. As an "expression of the moment" it is often considered a form of minimalist expressionist art.
calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a

In Zen painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. The brushed ink of the circle is usually done on silk or rice paper in one movement and there is no possibility of modification: it shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time. Zen Buddhists "believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of spiritual practice."


I am drawn to the idea of "mentally and spiritually completeness" juxtaposed to the imperfection of the enso...the texture, the scraggly lines, the rough perfection.  The shape of the circle still there in all its pristine beauty, representing the eternal nature of God, and I am reminded of this verse:
...and in Him {Christ} you have been made complete...Colossians 2:10 NASB
My imperfection, my failures - made perfect and complete through my union with Jesus, as His perfect life is written over my messy one...and all this can be conveyed in the simple formation of the circle.

And then I was surprised with other versed of completion that came up in my search, like:
And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.  Ephesians 1:23 NLT
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,  make you complete in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.   Hebrews 13:20-21 King James 2000 Bible
For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.  Job 23:14 ESV 
Now, imagine an exercise done daily, along with your quiet time, your art journaling or putting pencil to paper - and a simple meditation of drawing a circle while remembering one of these scriptures, remembering that we are made complete and whole through our union with Jesus...only a moment, but one that concretely connects us with our Creator...a beautiful thought!

Tomorrow I will share some of the techniques I promised earlier, some lessons I have already learned (technique wise) and the book so far...but here is a teaser picture...


   Just a snapshot to capture the first two pages


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