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Brett & Mark,

Might I offer something from a symbolistic point of view. I have posted this before but I think it might make more sense in the context of what you are discussing. Sometimes interpretation can never be distilled down to something black or white, right or wrong but in fact a grey area exists. Sometimes the truth is found somewhere in the middle. (pun intended)


With the Circle, the Cross and the Square, the centre is one of the four fundamental symbols (G. de Champeaux and S. Dom Sterckx, Introduction au monde des symboles, p. 22).

Above all the centre is the beginning of all things and absolute reality. The centre of centres can be none other than God. Nicholas of Cusa states that ‘the poles of the spheres meet together with the centre which is God. He is both circumference and centre, who is both everywhere and nowhere.’ One is immediately reminded of Pascal quoting Hermes Trismegistus: ‘God is a sphere whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere.’ This means that his presence is boundless and universal and that it is therefore at the invisible centre of being, unaffected by time or space.

If the centre may be conceived as Nicholas of Cusa’s meeting of opposites, it may also be seen as the reservoir of dynamic intensity. It is the spot at which opposing forces accumulate and co-exist, the place where energy is at its most concentrated. It is the balance of opposing forces.

In symbolism, the centre should never be thought of merely as some fixed point. It is a storehouse from which flow the movements of the one towards the many, the inner towards the outer, the immanent towards the manifest, the eternal towards the temporal and all the processes of emanation and divergence, and, being the place from which they originated, to which are directed all processes of return and convergence to a oneness.

Mircea Eliade (Mircea Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion, p. 375) observes that, in general terms,

the symbolism in question expresses itself in three connected and complementary things: 1. The ‘sacred mountain’ where heaven and earth meet, stands at the centre of the world; 2. Every temple or palace, and by extension, every sacred town and royal residence, is assimilated to a ‘sacred mountain’ and thus becomes a centre; 3. The temple or sacred city, in turn, as the place through which the Axis Mundi passes, is held to be a point of junction between heaven, earth and hell.

Again, the Tree of Life grows in the centre of the world. It should be remembered that the images of the centre and of the Axis are correlative in symbolic dynamism and only differ according to the angle from which they are observed. Look down upon its summit and a Column is no more than a centre point, when viewed from horizontal distance, it stands perpendicular and is an axis, Thus the Holy of Holies, which always tries to stand upon an elevation, is at one and the same time the centre and the axis of the world, and hence a spot set apart for the manifestation of the godhead.

The centre of the world often takes the form of something elevated - a Mountain, Hill, Tree, Omphalos or Stone - but it should be noted that while the centre of the Earth is unique in Heaven it is not so on Earth. Every race - one might almost say every individual - has its own centre of the world, its own viewing point, its own magnetic Pole. This may be conceived as the point at which the collective or individual will intersects with the super-human power which is capable of satisfying it, be it a desire for knowledge, love or action. Where this desire and that power intersect is the centre of the world. No race is without its holy mountain which it regards as the centre of its world.

This notion of centre is also closely connected with that of a channel of communication. In fact the centre is called the Navel of the world. It is extraordinary to observe in African carvings the way in which the navel is often given the dimensions of a long tube, making it larger even than the penis. The navel is the centre from which life originates. The Greeks regarded the omphalos (navel-stone) of Delphi as the centre of the world. The Samaritans’ holy mountain, Garizim, was the Earth’s navel, while Mount Tabor derives its name from tabur meaning ‘navel’. The centre has as strong a spiritual as a physical meaning. Mystical food flows as strongly from the centre as does the biological food of the mother’s blood.

The centre also symbolizes law and social organization. We speak of the central power which organizes the state. At a higher level it organizes the universe, physical evolution and the ascent of the spirit. In this symbol ‘maybe perceived the underlying and dynamic opposition of unorganized and chaotic Tohu-Bohu into which obsolete or vanquished forms sink and from which new forms arise, and the organized cosmos ascending towards the light, organized life and ultimately spiritual genesis’ (G. de Champeaux and S. Dom Sterckx, Introduction au monde des symboles, p. 166).

In what may be termed its horizontal radiations, the centre may be seen as an image of the world, a microcosm containing within itself all the potentiality of the universe; and in its vertical radiations, as a place of passage, a shrine of initiation, the pathway between celestial, terrestrial and infernal levels, the boundary to be crossed and, consequently, the breaking point. The crucial centre is the place of highest concentration, the place where decisions are taken, the dividing line.

In Gaul the idea of the centre is enshrined in the place-name Mediolanum, from which is derived, among some fifty other known examples, the name of the northern Italian city, Milan, originally in Cisalpine Gaul. The name apparently means ‘centre of perfection’ as well as ‘central plain’. In his De bello gallico, Caesar mentions a ‘holy place’ in the forests between the Rivers Loire and Seine where the druids assembled to choose their chief. In Ireland the county of Meath (Midhe: ‘centre’) was created by taking portions of each of the four original provinces. It was the site of national and religious festivals and its capital, Tara, was the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The centre was the link which ensured the unity of the four different parts (Celticum, annual supplement to Ogam, 1: pp. 159ff.).

In Central American civilizations, the centre of the cross formed by the four Cardinal Points corresponds to the ‘fifth Sun’ and hence to the present world. In the Codex Borgia it is depicted surrounded by the four gods who correspond to the four first suns, painted in the four fundamental colours - red, black, white and blue - and joined together by blood red lines. The central figure is that of Quetzalcoatl, god of the rising Sun. Other illustrations in this codex depict a multicoloured Tree of Life growing in the centre, and perched on the tree the quetzal bird. The Aztecs regarded Five as the number of the centre, allotted frequently by tradition to the human personality.

Cruciform signatures, or seals with a centre shaped like a circle or lozenge, signify universal sovereignty. Charlemagne’s is not unique in this respect. ‘The four consonants in his name, Karolus, were written as the four cardinal points, while the vowels were grouped in a lozenge in the centre. This arrangement of a ruling centre and of cardinal points which simultaneously co-ordinate and obey, is a feature of the signatures of all Carolingian emperors’ (G. de Champeaux and S. Dom Sterckx, Introduction au monde des symboles, p. 443). A name, sign or Dot at the centre of a figure displays the pivotal role upon which all rests and depends, of the person so symbolized.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
My posts - 17 apparently by now. 720 greengirl5 01-Mar-15 02:39
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 106 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 03:18
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 122 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 07:40
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 113 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 16:54
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 115 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 17:46
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 122 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:02
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 98 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 18:17
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 93 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:21
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 99 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 18:34
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 151 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:44
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 85 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 18:58
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 146 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 19:17
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 97 Itatw70s 08-Jan-18 16:43
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 99 Susan Doris 08-Jan-18 19:23
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 89 Itatw70s 09-Jan-18 06:17
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 87 Remedios 01-Mar-15 18:20
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 113 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:29
Re: A question of definition 109 MJT 01-Mar-15 23:43
Re: A question of definition 97 Poster Boy 02-Mar-15 00:11
Re: A question of definition 91 MJT 02-Mar-15 02:29
Re: A question of definition 91 Poster Boy 02-Mar-15 03:23
Re: A question of definition 106 MJT 02-Mar-15 03:24
Re: A question of definition 86 Poster Boy 02-Mar-15 03:35
Re: A question of definition 102 MJT 02-Mar-15 15:23
Re: A question of definition 87 Poster Boy 02-Mar-15 17:10
Re: A question of definition 85 Susan Doris 02-Mar-15 18:00
Re: A question of definition 117 drrayeye 03-Mar-15 18:13
Re: A question of definition 93 MJT 04-Mar-15 00:03
Re: A question of definition 101 Poster Boy 04-Mar-15 00:58
Re: A question of definition 103 Susan Doris 04-Mar-15 07:06
Re: A question of definition 100 MJT 04-Mar-15 11:17
Then there were six 96 drrayeye 04-Mar-15 12:51
Re: Then there were six 91 Susan Doris 04-Mar-15 13:47
Re: A question of definition 105 Susan Doris 04-Mar-15 19:05
Re: A question of definition 89 Lee McGiffen 06-Mar-15 14:03
Re: A question of definition 86 MJT 06-Mar-15 14:37
Re: A question of definition 86 Susan Doris 04-Mar-15 07:03
Re: A question of definition 90 Susan Doris 02-Mar-15 06:46
Re: A question of definition 114 Susan Doris 02-Mar-15 06:26
Re: A question of definition 93 Susan Doris 02-Mar-15 13:09
Re: A question of definition 108 Susan Doris 02-Mar-15 06:24
Re: A question of definition 86 carolb 02-Mar-15 13:31
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 204 eli stills 01-Mar-15 04:22
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 82 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 04:45
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 109 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 07:51
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 125 brett z 01-Mar-15 14:54
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 98 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 17:05
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 249 brett z 01-Mar-15 17:58
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 89 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:04
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 100 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 17:59
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 95 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:18
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 88 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 18:55
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 107 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 19:05
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 85 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 19:17
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 90 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 19:20
Is God symbolized as the Centre? 269 Broker 01-Mar-15 20:42
Mobius Sphere of Consciousness 85 randompHactor 01-Mar-15 20:53
Re: Mobius Sphere of Consciousness 98 Broker 01-Mar-15 21:29
Re: Is God symbolized as the Centre? 297 brett z 01-Mar-15 22:12
Re: Is God symbolized as the Centre? 132 carolb 01-Mar-15 22:21
Re: Is God symbolized as the Centre? 133 brett z 01-Mar-15 22:26
Re: Is God symbolized as the Centre? 97 carolb 01-Mar-15 22:34
Re: Is God symbolized as the Centre? 266 brett z 02-Mar-15 00:35
Re: Is God symbolized as the Centre? 87 carolb 02-Mar-15 00:39
ditto 104 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 23:25
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 106 Lee McGiffen 06-Mar-15 14:57
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 107 MJT 06-Mar-15 20:25
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 100 greengirl5 06-Mar-15 20:34
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 92 MJT 06-Mar-15 21:00
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 92 greengirl5 06-Mar-15 23:48
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 99 MJT 07-Mar-15 00:04
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 218 greengirl5 07-Mar-15 03:07
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 99 Poster Boy 08-Jan-18 02:19
Waiting? 174 eli stills 01-Mar-15 05:33
Re: Waiting? 98 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 07:19
Re: Waiting? 248 eli stills 01-Mar-15 13:59
Peace! 113 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 16:51
Re: Peace! 109 grangram 01-Mar-15 17:20
Re: Peace! 102 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 17:34
Re: Peace! 87 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 17:51
Re: Peace! 97 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 18:07
Re: Peace! 229 eli stills 01-Mar-15 20:43
Re: Peace! 90 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 23:17
Thanks Mark 118 eli stills 02-Mar-15 03:57
Re: Thanks Mark 104 Poster Boy 02-Mar-15 04:00
Re: Peace! 89 Susan Doris 02-Mar-15 01:48
follow up, Eli... 93 Poster Boy 04-Mar-15 17:13
Re: follow up, Eli... 125 Susan Doris 04-Mar-15 18:10
Re: follow up, Eli... 108 Poster Boy 04-Mar-15 18:49
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 93 Susan Doris 01-Mar-15 07:43
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 84 greengirl5 01-Mar-15 11:05
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 109 Poster Boy 01-Mar-15 17:17
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 158 brett z 01-Mar-15 14:57
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 108 eyeofhorus33 01-Mar-15 11:23
Gee, did I write that? 103 greengirl5 08-Jan-18 20:14
Re: My posts - 17 apparently by now. 217 Itatw70s 09-Jan-18 17:07


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