If we consider the microcosm, we discover the world of crystals, of cells and atoms which demonstrate the same schema as a Mandala. The nuclei are the centres and the structured peripheries are their circles. Each atom represents a mandala and even the nucleus of an atom is made up of quaarks which have their own organisation around a centre, reminding one of a Mandala. "In the macrocosm as in the microcosm", "above as below" says a very old spiritual law from the hermetic philosophy of the ancient Egyptians.
Thus the Mandala is a "Cosmogramme" which represents the essential schema of the entire universe. The design of a Mandala acts on the psyche : its centre unifies and its periphery stabilises. For a human being it is a "Psychocosmogramme". It attracts the eye to this centre -towards unity, towards the divine ; it pulls us towards our own centre. The human brain is able to memorise symmetrical forms very rapidly and to transmit them equally rapidly to the psyche.
The psyche is made up of emotions and mental processes. The Mandala acts on the psyche in so far as it reunites and unifies through its principle of immobility, the centre ; and it harmonises through its symmetrical parts, in the periphery.
According to Dr Carl Gustav JUNG, the Mandala is an "archetype". JUNG, psychiatrist and student of FREUD associated the Mandala with the mirror of the Self. He used the Mandala as a tool to better understand the psyche of his patients by having them colour and design Mandalas.
The psyche is symbolised in the drawing.
There is obviously a connection between the symmetrical design of the Mandala and the human psyche. The symmetrical design is a reproduction of our psyche in miniature, on paper. This can vary according to the day and the mood of the person. The Mandala contains and structures the archetypal energies of the unconscious in a way that the conscious mind can assimilate.
In drawing a Mandala, we create our own sacred space, a safe place, a centre where we can concentrate our energies. According to JUNG, when the Self manages to express itself through the drawing, the unconscious responds by imposing a reverential attitude towards life. When we look at a Mandala, it centres us, it harmonises us and gives us an internal peace and silence. It stabilises us and stimulates new ideas within us which are capable of leading us to constructive goals.
For all these reasons the Mandala has been used since the beginning of time as a visual tool for Meditation.
When one meditates in front of a Mandala, one has in front of him the representation of the world and his own being ; the idea is to bring together one's own centre and that of the universe.
Meditation on a Mandala gives silence, peace and harmony and brings inner stability. It allows us to look into our own world ; it guides us to the source of light within us.
Meditation is the path to self knowledge - it guides us to our true identity - our divine self - that self which shines in the depths of our souls.
crédit photo: Frédéric Reglain