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Reply To: The Hour Yields, with Mythologist Joanna Gardner, Ph.D.


The phrase “the still point” always brings to my mind T.S. Eliot’s use of it in “Burnt Norton,” the first of the Four Quartets:


“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.”


The figure is based on the geometry of a rotating circle: a point on the outside is moving faster than a point closer to the center. In theory (i.e. as an imaginative construct), motion ceases at the absolute center, the Still Point, the center of the labyrinthine spiral that is the path to the center of consciousness. The stillness is that  aspired to by the practicioner of yoga, the deliberate cessation of the spontaneous motion of the mind-stuff, in which state the individual consciousness is united with the nameless ground of being.