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The "Tolerance" Story

John Lennonís very idealistic recipe for peace asked us to imagine "no religion" an interesting solution for ending conflict, but not very realistic. A more achievable goal might be to embrace the religions of others. A more tolerant world would certainly be a more peaceful world.

This is an Endless Knot. It is an ancient symbol found in many cultures worldwide. For example, in Buddhism, this simple form with no beginning and no end stands for the infinite knowledge of Buddha. While you might first think of the Celtic culture, the Tibetans were actually the first to recognize this sacred shape. It represents the interconnectedness of all beings, unending love, and it is believed to bring good fortune. In the Chinese culture, it represents "long life without setbacks". The peace sign of the 1960ís united a generation and now the "endless knot" is beginning to emerge as a popular icon.

I have used the shape as a canvas to display dozens of religious and cultural symbols (both old and new) from all over the world. Why canít we all just "get along"? Or, as a friend, who just recently passed away, liked to say, "Imagine a world without fences".

The center vertical support was an end-of-project design change. The completed knot, as I suspected, was too flexible and therefore unable to support its weight adequately. Without the center post, it "sagged" unacceptably, which also made the form very fragile. Without the post, a few of the over-lapping sections also made unwanted contact with each other; but, with the center spindle, the ribbon hangs in space without touching the adjacent components. Itís difficult to see in the photo, but deep within the knot, as part of the center support, there is a tiny hollowed and pierced world globe.

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Malcolm Tibbetts, 738 Modesto Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150 malcolm@tahoeturner.com ©2004