Mandala’s Magical Effect
Currently, the western culture is being increasingly influenced by old-eastern philosophy. Mandalas are an example of this complex and progressive process; many web sites, books
and even school texts make it evident.
A mandala is a graphical expression of two dimensions and circular geometry. These kind of artistic expressions come from eastern cultures, and if a short research is done it can be discovered that there are monks in Tibet who still use such millenary practice as a tool to temper the spirit. They describe it as an active way of meditation that consists on building extremely complex and intricate mandalas with sand and stones. Not only are they a very long time doing a hard work but they calmly stare at the fast destruction of their masterpiece few days after having ended it.
This meditation allows them to perceive the ephemeral of the individual existance, thus they achieve a greater comprehension of themselves and the surrounding world. Besides, this kind of work helps the doer in many personal aspects. A well know psychiatrist called Carl Gustav Jung stated that this kind of practice within a therapeutical environment is especially useful to integrate dissociated aspects of the personality. Jung affirmed that by building a mandala the person expresses unconsciously its own universe as well as a quest of the internal equilibrium. It is closely related with the process of individuation that Jung considered essential to reach a healthy and equilibrated way of living.
The most important goal is to balance the opposite energies as to avoid adopting inadequate compensatory behaviours that lead to addictions and obsessions. The famous fight between good and evil is a clear example of conflictive opposites; the heart of the matter is to discover how to bring them together. The concept of what is right or wrong are present in everybody´s mind, and many live conscious or unconsciously an eternal internal conflict for being unable to get on well with this existential ambivalence open and explicitly.
A crucial matter in this process is to meditate carefully about which is the meaning of the center of the mandala for each person; there are different points of view, some consider that it is a place where the elements fall and others think that it is a place from which elements come from. Another way of visualizing it is to associate this center to an eye of a storm where there is a special calm place towards everything whirls around vertiginously.
In every mandala created by human beings, this center represents a place where the elements are born as well as all those elements that don`t find a better place go to be recycled, thus opposite qualities: good-bad; introverted-extroverted, aggressive-passive and many more come together there, the place where the magical effect happens, where extremes meet and produce an awakening, there is a kind of fusion of concepts previously detached and a new one is born.
Interestingly enough, this process never ends because there is always something else to integrate; even more, opposites keep on existing as such. These mechanisms are so complex and incomprehensible that each time a state of this type is experienced there is a reload of energy that should be invested again in the same process, although in many occasions it happens in a natural and spontaneous way. Our own actions lead us, sooner or later, to face new dissociated elements that need to be integrated. Amazingly, each time this kind of event occurs is as magical and mysterious as the previous one.
Let´s imagine that a bridge is being built; its extremes are the optimism and the pessimism, concepts that are usually quite difficult to integrate. While the bridge is getting its shape, the wooden boards are put in their place until the two ends are connected. The bridge cannot be used but the connection is already done. If the construction goes on one day the bridge will be almost complete and it will be possible to cross from one extreme to the other. So, having this in mind, one day we will be pessimist (in one moment or other this is inevitable), but now, that we have already made the bridge, there is a path that takes us to a more optimistic state of being. This is more or less what the process of integration of the opposites is about.
In our human existence there are myriads of opposites, all bridges under construction with many wooden boards as we had been able and had wanted to build to walk our own path in a more or less balanced, more or less healthy and more or less happy way.