Guest Post by Michael Morris

by Dave on June 2, 2010

Symbols have been connected to the sacred for most of recorded history. And why not? Though I am no linguist, the languages of ancient tongues often had many symbols within them (unlike our ‘alphabet’). Written Egyptian could be described as a series of symbols or pictograms, and the original Chinese language often had words which are in fair likeness to the objects described.

So it is natural for us humans to describe our world with symbols, especially as we try to communicate our understanding of our world (and possibilities of the ‘world beyond’) with others. The sacred is certainly no less worthy of being described in symbolic form. People have ‘found’ the sacred in mathematics – the sacred geometry of Archimedes and Plato for example… Certainly many of us hear the sacred in music.

Although my own training is in physics & engineering, and my passion is music, my knowledge of the sacred and symbols leads me to mention the Enneagram. This is both a symbol and a technique which has been used by certain sufis and mystics as a tool to better allow the sacred, and has migrated to the world of psychology. Though there are many applications, this 9-sided figure has been interpreted to help understand 9 basic types of human ‘sin/error’, and to transcend them.

Though this may be a stretch for some, nature has often been considered sacred in human history. Please connect that with the mathematics of fractals, which has often been found to describe patterns of nature. For some the sacred and symbols meet again through nature and fractals, whether it be a shell or a spinning galaxy.

{Michael Morris has a Ph.D. in Physics, and is a professional wedding harpist (in the husband-wife duet Angelic Strings) in the Austin, TX area.}

For some links about the Enneagram, look over on the “Annotated Links” page.

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