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For me the Triple Spiral motif expresses the complex dynamic of Creativity in which we humans find ourselves. Is the Triple Spiral a metaphor? It has so many layers of meaning ... related to the actual place where it is found, but also cosmically.
And re (in your section on nature as creativity): "There is something inspiring in that idea, but it doesn't seem to suggest much of a role for us in the matter other than perhaps to marvel in tragic awe at the new pattern (or am I missing something?)." I think the thing you are missing is that a Creative Cosmos is sentient and seething with connectivity - Thomas Berry called it "presence". In such a universe, I feel that "every hair on one's head is counted": that is, detail is attended to ... we may not understand it very well, but Whitehead's process philosophy went a long way towards an understanding and others (including David Ray Griffin and Charlene Spretnak) since then have developed it further. In such a universe we cannot touch without being touched, and everything one does makes a difference.