Life – maze or labyrinth?

And so we arrive at the maze – or is it a labyrinth?

It can be hard to tell, though they are hardly identical twins. The differences are significant.

The maze is a more savage affair and perhaps that’s how you like it.

There will be plenty of dead ends along the way, meaningless moments that can wear you down.

And you may get to the middle, some do, much to their delight. It’s a good feeling to win; like someone who walks through a mine field with all their limbs intact.

‘I made it!’

There is some skill in finding the middle of a maze, though there is also luck. And nothing is guaranteed, nothing assured.

In a maze, there are winners and losers. You must hope you are a winner.

The labyrinth is a different affair, because it does make a promise.

It promises you that you will get to the middle if you give up control and trust the path.

‘No chance!’ we might say, though the promise still stands.

You are advised not to look too far ahead on the journey as this can have an unsettling effect and may bring anxious thoughts or decisions.

Instead, the labyrinth invites us to stay with the present journey. And if you do, you will make it to the middle, with no dead ends or wasted time.

Everything belongs in the labyrinthine adventure; there’s a reason for everything. And it offers a justice the maze can only dream of.

Life is difficult, shot through with challenge and can appear a savage path –

but the labyrinth possesses a truth and a peace the maze can only dream of.

So what shall I walk today – maze or labyrinth?

I am indebted to @johnawatters, (a labyrinth practioner and certainly a man to follow), for presenting me with these two different paths.



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