John J. Prendergast. “The Deep Heart – Our Portal to Presence.” Sounds True, 2019
“The center is the focal point that stands for whatever is of enduring importance – the core, the meaning, or the hub around which life evolves. For archaic humanity, the creative mound represented the feminine principle, the womb of life and the center of the world. Later, as the masculine principle emerged, the mound was surrounded either by upright stones or an enduring central pillar, symbolically connecting earth and sky as the world’s axis, ensuring the continuity of life.
A human personality, initially an ego, that cannot journey toward the center of its own being, the Self, is left unconnected, at the mercy of unconscious compulsions and motivations as well as social conventions. Paradoxically, however, these same drives may create the suffering that reflects our inner healer’s efforts to get us into sufficient conflict to begin the voyage home.
An ancient legend speaks of the old Hebrew shepherd who, in speaking of his small village on the edge of the desert, remarked, ‘I am happy living here.’ Then he added, ‘But if I saw Jerusalem, I would not be happy anymore.’ His simple words are filled with a natural wisdom.
Jerusalem, Delphi, Mecca (the eternal cities), Mount Fuji (the central mountain), the Holy Land, and other numinous places have been considered symbolic centers of the sacred world. Ironically, many people among us live – metaphorically – in small villages far from their center, on the outer fringe of their personality, and seem quite happy there. Others of us seem chosen by life to be thrust into an inner journey. We become seekers. Initially, we seek peace and happiness. But once we see Jerusalem, once we see through ourselves to the center, we cannot be happy again where we were. We see beyond the external, material destination we are likely to have been seeking and become aware that the pilgrimage is eternal – and inner. We may even feel alone in this crowded world, with only our inner Hidden One for a companion. However, if we can learn to continue, turning our (often reluctant and too rational and willful) focus inward to cooperate with this inner healer, then we begin our pilgrimage to completeness, to wholeness, toward feeling at home in ourselves and in the world.”
Bud Harris. “The Journey into Wholeness: A Jungian Guide to Discovering the Meaning of Your Life’s Path.” Daphne, 2020.
Mindfulness practice is "cultivating a certain kind of intimacy with the core of our being."
Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD
The Way It Is by William Stafford
“There's a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time's unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.”