The Emily Dahl Foundation and The Endless Knot Symbol – The Emily Dahl Foundation

The Emily Dahl Foundation and The Endless Knot Symbol

A close friend recently bought me this lovely endless knot in the picture, as a gift. 

This, of course, leads to a discussion of the meaning of the symbol. 

The endless knot symbol is not just suggestive; there can be a more direct acknowledgement of the truth it expresses, which in itself is multi-layered.

The symbol of a twined knot is ancient and may have its origin (at least partially) in a Naga-related symbology. The Nagas are powerful beings said, by those who perceive them, to have a serpent-like form, to possess wisdom connected to the subterranean or unconscious realms, and to have influence over conditions that affect our lives and practice such as weather and health. 

The symbol has a linear nature, a segmented nature, and a complete nature.

The line may represent individual pathways, how the life story of any being or phenomenon moves up and down, and in and out of view. Sometimes a life or event seems to end, but really it is just that some other manifestation comes into prominence from our perspective; the original stream of causality is still there, in the background. Also, the natural movement of things is up and down; there is never gain without loss, and vice versa. All storylines are recognized as interwoven, interconnected, and — if you trace them closely — essentially only one line.

The segments, the corners and other areas defined by the lines, may represent what we identify as 'things'. We point to something as a person or being, or event, or object, or quality; but really what we point to is but a corner of a completely integral whole. There is no 'this' without all the rest.

The whole symbol may represent all manifestation, the whole universe of universes. From this view of the whole, the weaving lines take the character of vibrancy and vibration, insignificant in themselves but enlivening the whole image with an energetic current.

Knots are certainly deeply rooted in our consciousness as archetypes. They are perhaps given short shrift as tools but must have been among the first tools created when hominids started to use cordage, and their relationship to utility, connection, binding (and thus unity), and security is understood by us on a deep primal level. For example, one of the most sacred rites preserved in modern culture, the wedding, is known as 'tying the knot' — which is not merely a binding, but an interweaving and interrelating of lives.

Various Buddhist interpretations of the symbol are: 

The endless knot iconography symbolised Samsara i.e., the endless cycle of suffering of birth, death, and rebirth within Tibetan Buddhism.

The inter-twining of wisdom and compassion.

Interplay and interaction of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation, leading to their union, and ultimately to harmony in the universe.
The mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs.

The union of wisdom and method.

The inseparability of emptiness and dependent origination, the underlying reality of existence.

Symbolic of knot symbolism in linking ancestors and omnipresence.

Since the knot has no beginning or end it also symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha. 

The secret is just this - All is One and One is All. 

Even "The Three Musketeers" (the 1844 Novel), pointed to the truth, but changed the wording a bit. 

One for All - All for One. 

All this inquiry and introspection should lead you to this truth: 

Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.  

The Endless Knot - A Thought from A Friend 

A wonderful thought from a sunset friend
An Endless Knot to lead the way
To understand the truth of the way things are
All ones' thoughts from beginning to end
Begin with duality and end with it too
To inquire into who has the thought
Will reveal the secret to the Endless Knot

Sherman Dahl 
January 21, 2022