From Infinity to Infinity

From the ornamental to the spiritual, and from the smallest organic structure on Earth to the Milky Way and beyond, the spiral is the most enduring and widespread pattern ever designed by humans and the powers that be alike.

Swirling ad infinitum between the tiniest point and the confines of the universe, the spiral encompasses both the greatest and the smallest and may symbolise the creative force behind the universe and all forms of life (Taoism), the infinite cycle of time (Celtic tradition) or the vortex of destruction or transformation (many painters since the early 19th century).

It is noteworthy that the visionary power that the spiral has always inspired precedes the microscopes and telescopes that have enabled us to find it all around us in more recent centuries, as if our vision of the cosmos was guided by some spiritual instinct. Indeed, true to its symbolic status, this never-ending pattern has been found in numerous (all?) civilisations regardless of time or geography, from as far back as the Palaeolithic (see photo of carved antlers in a previous post) to today, even if only as a mere ornamental form. There is something universal about the spiral that we never seem to tire of.

If the spiral is the leitmotiv of human imagination, it is also the leitmotiv of Creation, thus perpetuating its own myth until the end of time.

Photos: nasa.gov, chezledilettante.blogspot.co.uk, taiwantoday.tw, ditzydruid.com, gelaskins.com, commons.wikimedia.org

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