New Acropolis Pictures

Art and Archaeology

The human psyche operates through symbols. They accompany us whether dreaming or awake, communicating with others or relating to the world around us, both natural and manmade. They provide meaningful expression to our thoughts, feelings, words and actions. They arise in our attempts to talk about the unspeakable, to explain the inexplicable, and to simplify the complex.

The Mandala is an example of a many layered symbol. The word "mandala" means circle or "that which surrounds" and indicates a complete and contained state of being. The basic properties of its shape are a variety of symbolic characters and scenes arranged around the centre of a circle or a quadrangle. The Mandala has existed since time immemorial in almost all cultures and, through it, Man has accessed the natural, divine laws of harmony and coherence.

In Tibetan Buddhism the Mandala was used as a mantra – a ritual tool, which helped in meditation and concentration. However, the Mandala is not only a property of the Tibetan culture. Different variants of this symbol are found in India, China, South and Central America and Europe. Many buildings and cities were constructed in the form of mandalas. The Mandala has also found its place in modern psychotherapy. For C. G. Jung, the Mandala was a tool for achieving a sense of inner order. By studying mandalas, which were drawn or dreamed of by his patients, he concluded that they were a manifestation of the individual’s mental state as well as a means of communication between the conscious and the unconscious mind in man.