All posts by Marko Manninen

Creative power of the Flower of Life

Preface

This document is written as a complementary material to the two years old research document entitled Artifacts of the Flower of Life 1. The former research concentrated more to artifacts and historical occurrences of the Flower of Life symbol. The current document will concentrate more on the creation and the meaning of the Flower of Life symbol (later called by the acronym FOL). This document is meant to shed light not only to the geometrical but also to the archetypical principles as background concepts behind the FOL. This is done by using comparative mythology and etymological studies.

The first part of this document will bring the reader through the traditional geometrical introspection 2 to the formation of the FOL. This method is a contemplative, an intuitive, and at the same time a systematic way to understand basic definitions of a point, a line, and a plane. These all are fundamental concepts that are needed to deeply understand the Flower of Life motif. Examination of these concepts can reveal what meaning and function people have tried to express with the FOL motif. Even better, contemplation of the basics of geometry can help us to understand how all things in life evolve from one point, how many things are reducible or groupable to a single instance, and how everything is connected to each other no matter how different and distant in time and space they first seem to be.

The downside of the reduction is that everything starts to look the same which is lethal to the intelligible thinking. The philosophical background of the definitions of sameness and difference, oneness and multitude, or chaos and order is not a new topic. A deep realization of the philosophical concept of identity 3 greatly helps in understanding the brilliant net of concepts that are imprinted within the FOL symbol.

The second part of this document contains new discoveries of artifacts as well as new observations and symbol associations that will be presented together with a classification proposal for several variations of the FOL. This can be found in Appendix 1. Especially, the ivory whorl from Cyprus, which is dated around 1600 – 1100 BC, deserves a mention as a one of the oldest object having the FOL symbol attached on it. Naming and symbolic cognates of the FOL are discussed further in Part 2.

A strong botanical connection from the ground up to the final formation of the symbol, as shown in Part 1 and Part 2, suggests that the modern name “Flower of Life” is not too far from the intended meaning of the symbol by the ancients. At least, we can see how the Flower of Life can be plausibly defended as its modern name. Yet, it can be seen that Drunvalo Melchizedek, who made the Flower of Life symbol so famous in the late 1990s, was actually insightful with ancient myths when associating the FOL with the sequential system of a flower, a fruit, and a tree 4. Unfortunately, his sources were mystified by mediumistic character origins and cannot hold the requirement of verification and testing, which is the requirement, I try to maintain throughout my study.

For the dating of the FOL, my conjecture based on cultural, historical, archeological, and etymological evidence is that the first occurrence of the FOL (class 1 and p) must be timed earlier from my previous cautious estimation of 2000 BC, at least to 2500 BC. To support this dating, the Pre-Indus occurrence of the FOL pattern and certain Hittite symbols are presented and discussed in this document.

Also, some notes about phraseology that is used in this document should be explained. First of all, the ideas presented here have roots in my own thinking unless otherwise stated either in the text or in the footnotes. But that does not mean ideas are solely mine. Many people in many fields have been doing similar research, thinking, and contemplation. In addition, I have made a lot of reflection with hundreds of books, documents, articles, and websites so that the result, this complementary document, is somewhat a mixture of the whole process. A collection of resources, that I have found useful in my investigation, is listed at the end of this monograph.

I have deliberately avoided words such as “certainly”, “evidently”, “must have been”, “supposedly”, “perhaps”, or “maybe” either to convince or to indicate speculative uncertainty of statements. They would just add too much unnecessary repetition to this document. Most sentences in this document could be prefixed with the “possibly” adverb anyway, but I have reserved affirmative words only to certain cases where I specifically want to emphasize the truth value of the expression. Every statement should be regarded as a limited expression of the viewpoint of the one sole investigator, thus always open for deeper analysis, corrections, and critics. For the reader, it would be much better if she / he thinks independently by freely weighing the value of the presented ideas.

The third thing I have tried to bear in mind is that when referring to “commonly accepted”, “well known”, or “supported by most” it is easy to forget relativity of such statements. This kind of imperative or selective phraseology is tempting, sometimes hard to avoid, and it actually can be an important aspect of the presentation. But without specifying a group with details of individuals in it, phraseology like this does not really give much value to the reader. If we do not have specific people and their works to refer to, how do we get into contact with them, or how are we be able to know about their background and the starting point of their interpretation? How can we come up with our own conclusion then? So, I have provided a lot of references to academic sources, websites, and books to show my sources. The outcome, a style of this monograph, is loosely scholarly and I hope it is beneficial for the most of the readers.

By these forewords, I think it is time to plunge into the topic.

Artifacts of the Flower of Life

Introduction

In this essay I will present continuity of historical artifacts of the geometrical symbol that is known as the “Flower of Life” in modern day. Origins of the symbol dates at least to the beginning of the 2nd millenium BC in Mesopotamia. Intermediate knowledge of the ancient Near East and western history of mathematics is required from the reader as well as elementary knowledge of art, geometry and religions. Reader is also expected to know basics of the Flower of Life geometry. I hope document will provide key sources for investigators willing to do further research with the topic.

Reflections after the research trip

I made a six week research trip to Greece, Turkey, France and Sweden in summer 2014. Since that I’ve been systematically collecting pictures of artifacts that have the Flower of Life symbol (later called by the abbreviation FOL) printed, carved or some way presented on them. Few websites already had a good collection of the occurrences. However, I think my personal findings on archaeological sites and museums following exhausting research on the Internet has brought up new, interesting facts that are not really collected in this form anywhere else before.

Flower of Life Wiki page (in August 2014) assumes that one of the earliest occurrences of the FOL is in an Assyrian carpet stone dated at around 650 BC. The Wiki page also questions the dating of the FOL that is imprinted on the Osirian temple stone in Abydos. This occurrence was first reported by the New Age author Drunvalo Melchizedek in his lectures in 1980’s and 1990’s and later officially in his two volume book “The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life”. Drunvalo is also responsible of the term “Flower of Life” (not to be confused with Fleur de lis or Tree of Life) that is used to describe this particular geometrical figure. Due to his background in New Age philosophy, many topics surrounding the FOL are highly controversial. While dating of the FOL in Abydos is debated, it is evident that the symbol was known quite widely already in 1600 – 1400 BC. We have objects from that time which show clearly the same or similar decoration. These objects originate in Egypt Thebes [item 2], Northern Iran Marlik [item 3], Greece Mycenae [item 1] and Cyprus [item 5].