Unity achieved in a great blossom
An unknown weaver sought to fuse her heartfelt self, her own experience of self, with what I am calling the I — No mind, or the One, or God. She made a God-like carpet possessed of a unity of being — its I — and that carpet is suffused throughout with living centers. She succeeded, I believe, in creating a living connection to the I, linking the structure of life in herself with the structure of life in the thing she made, and in so doing I believe she was also probably making connection with the structure of life in the world.
This is the nature of order. It is life constructed of living centers. It is life, I believe, constructed by the same means we have available to us today, although we must learn anew how to make such inspired living things.
What is crucial about the best centers we observe in the carpets […], is that individually the component centers are I-like. Each one in its way reflects and reminds us of the I. That is where its detailed shape comes from. The intention that each part should be I-like is what governs its shape, and it what makes the weaver weave this shape, and not some other.
The recursion of living centers we see in this almost incredible blossom figure is more than a fascinating intellectual idea. It shows, I think, how plain hard work by the maker, when correctly oriented, made the recursion happen, and simultaneously connected the structure to the I, rooted deeply in the I. Here, in this design, as a matter of practical work, we may see how the recursion, applied to the formation of these centers in the design, makes them nearly shine with their geometric forcefulness.
I have no doubt — indeed, I am quite certain — that the weaver who made the 13th-century blossom that I am showing experienced exactly the same feeling regarding the forcefulness of the blossom as a being, and its effect on her as she made it. This giant blossom, so much more powerful than the other blossoms I have shown, was reached by a person who consciously, knowingly, yearning for it, reached to touch the I, and did in this case reach it, and in doing so opened a door which we, centuries later, can go through again.
I do not mean this as a metaphor, but as a literal description of what I believe this weaver must have been doing, to create this thing. In my own experience of this process, it cannot be done merely by working at details, or by working at individual centers, trying to make them good. To achieve this last bit of power, it is necessary to focus directly on the I, to yearn for it, to seek it out, to strive towards it, to try and try to reach it. Under these conditions, one actually tries to embrace the I, reach for it, try to recreate the feeling of the I, in the stubborn material — but one feels it, is aware of it, feels it drawing you, as a poetic muse, or as a limitless horizon.
I am afraid these words sound too poetic, too romantic, too flimsy to capture the hard intention of my thought. My difficulty as a writer, here, is that I mean them literally.
I know of only one way to do this thing, and that it is to conjure up the I, in one’s mind, in the unseeing eye, strive for it, reach out for it. Although this may sound almost like nonsense, my experience is that it is literally true, and that when one does reach for this state, then something happens, and the actual material that one creates can, on occasion, be moved, modified, and that the structural part of the hard work then comes into play, and sometimes helps to create a thing which really and truly does connect us with the I — at least to some extent.
What we see happening in the solidification of the main blossom on page 113, and in the blossom on this page, is a process in which the individual component centers, their relative sizes, their individual existence as living centers, one by one, always including, of course, the centers which form the spaces between centers, and above all the unity of the whole, are all being progressively refined until a unique and powerful figure of great impact arrives upon the scene. From humble beginnings, it achieves a connection to the I so strong that one must call it being-like.