Monday, January 20, 2014

Quatrain #19: Mandala Ensemble

Mandalas are rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism. The word in the ancient [India] Sanskrit language translates to circle. They are graphic representations [symbols] of the universe that can be rendered with a wide range of media, and that serve as instruments for meditation.

I first learned of mandalas while studying the works of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, circa 1990. Many years later while pursuing my graduate degree, I revisited the semiotics of these visual forms and produced interpretations of them. Upon completion of that body of work, I thought that it was the last time that I'd spend such a measurable period of time investigating and visually distilling their potential meaning, but this is simply not the case.

The moment these four parts coalesced into a whole I began searching again, just to make sure that I understood what a mandala is. Here's a straight-up definition that raised my eyebrows when holding it up to the visual, and from which a connection can be realized. The alignment of linear visual elements gave me several minutes of pause and appreciation of how the subconscious finds ways of presenting itself.

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