MANDALAS — A Path to Wholeness
The archetypal symbol of Self as a whole, mandalas were the ultimate for Jung—the center and the goal of the individuation process. Jung (1977), explained that: “The center of the mandala is not the ego, it is the whole personality” (p. 328) and what Jung (1933) called “some kind of centering process, for many pictures which patients feel to be decisive point int this direction,” achieving a “new center of equilibrium” around which the “ego turned in an orbit” (p. 72).
The centering is the heart of individuation: “In the last analysis every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self, for which reason this realization can also be called ‘individuation’” (Carl Jung, CW 12, para 330). A recurring symbol and motif throughout The Red Book, mandalas can be seen as yantras or visual images that align us to our center as a path the wholeness and an awakening of the kundalini or life energy that “heightens the feeling for life and maintains the flow of life” (p. 72).
“Originally we were all born out of a world of wholeness and in the first years of life are still completely contained in it. There we have all knowledge without knowing it. Later we lose it, and call it progress when we remember it again.” Carl Jung Letters Vol. I, pp. 274-275
“In the products of the unconscious we discover mandala symbols, that is, circular and quaternary figures which express the wholeness, and whenever we wish to express wholeness, we employ just such figures." C. G. Jung