The Icon, the Labyrinth, the Cross and the Song of Enlightenment

This month we bring by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware a new lecture titled “The Holy Icon – Doorway into Heaven”:

The art of the icon is not only a liturgical art and not only a theological art: it is also sacramental… the icon performs a mediating function: it makes present.

By Sarah Jane Boss, a rich article exploring the many Christian resonances of the symbolism of the labyrinth, especially in its Marian associations: “The Cosmic Womb: Labyrinths and Rebirth in Christian Symbolism”.

On a new instalment of our Hear! audio recordings project, we have the chapter “Of the Cross” from Frithjof Schuon’s Gnosis–Divine Wisdom:

“The cross is the divine fissure through which Mercy flows from the Infinite. The centre of the cross, where the two dimensions intersect, is the mystery of foresakenness: it is the spiritual moment’ when the soul loses itself, when it ‘is no more’ and when it ‘is not yet’.”

And finally, an 8th century classic from the Zen Buddhist tradition which is still very much in use today, The Song of Enlightenment, by Yongjia Xuanjue.

“From a very early age I took to accumulating knowledge, always brashly inserting myself into discussions on the Scriptures and commentaries, unrelenting in making distinctions over terms and their meanings… and then, for many years, just as vainly played the role of wanderer upon the winds, guest of the dusty road…”