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Jung and Mandala
Mandala is a graphical representation of the center (the Self for Jung). It can appear in dreams and visions or it can be spontaneously created as a work of art. It is present in the cultural and religious representations.
In the yoga practices mandala can be a support for meditation or an image that must be internalized through mental absorption. This image organizes the inner energies and forces of the practitioner and puts them in relationship with his ego.
Generally speaking a mandala is a geometrical form - a square or a circle - abstract and static, or a vivid image formed of objects and/or beings.
In our dreams the mandala indicates the phenomenon of centering the individual psychic in which the ego reconsiders its (dominant) position through the assimilation of the collective unconscious contents (symbols or archetypal images).
In modern dreams mandala can be a sophisticated electronic device - an electronic watch or a sophisticated circular machinery. Often the UFOs seen on the sky are also mandala symbols.
In the Jungian therapy, which includes the living experience of the collective unconscious contents, the spontaneous drawing of mandalas is used. There are a lot of illustrations that testify this technique practiced by Jung himself.
Carl Jung about mandalas:
My mandalas were cryptograms concerning the state of self which were
presented to me anew each day. In them I saw the self - that is, my whole being - actively at work. To be sure, at first I could only dimly understand them; but they seemed to me highly significant, and I guarded them like
precious pearls. I had the distinct feeling that they were something central, and in time I acquired through them a living conception of the self. The self, I thought, was like the monad which I am, and which is my world. The
mandala represents this monad, and corresponds to the microcosmic nature of the psyche. [...] When I began drawing the mandalas, however, I saw that everything, all
the paths I had been following, all the steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point - namely to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me
that tae mandala is the center. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation.
[...] When I began drawing the mandalas, however, I saw that everything, all the paths I had been following, all the steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point - namely to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that tae mandala is the center. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation.(From Memories, Dreams, Reflections , Vintage Books, 1989, p.196.)
© Carl Jung Resources, 2016.