“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest”

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Mandala of Freemasonry - Part ONE

The Mandala of Freemasonry - Part ONE

It is not my purpose to imply or suggest that the design of the lodge is an actual mandala, yet if one does approach with an open mind, the similarities between the mandala and the layout of the lodge are remarkable, and for those esoterically inclined, well worth contemplating.

For those unfamiliar with the mandala, "mandala" comes from a Sanskrit word that generally means "circle” and mandalas are indeed primarily recognizable by their concentric circles and other geometric figures.
Mandalas are far more than geometrical figures, however. They are rich with symbolism and sacred meaning. In fact, the etymology of the word "mandala" suggests not just a circle but also a "container of essence."
Its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditators to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises."

Long embraced by some Eastern religions, the mandala has now begun to emerge in Western religious and secular cultures. Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing how we see ourselves, our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose
Simply stated, a mandala is a sacred geometric figure that represents the universe. When completed, a mandala becomes a sacred area that serves as a receptacle for deity and a collection point of universal forces. Mentally entering a mandala and proceeding to its center symbolically guide a person guided through the cosmos to the essence of reality.

The mandala is constructed from the center outward. The center of the mandala often depicts the deity the mandala is representative of, the point within the circle.
At the center of all lodges is the symbol of our deity, the holy book, resting on the altar. We must also remember that the bible is merely a symbol; it could also represent the divine nature within, the goal of our inner journey.
In the words of Carl Jung, “I had to abandon the idea of the super ordinate position of the ego. ... I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point -- namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.... I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate.”
“There is in every regular and well governed Lodge, a certain point within a circle.”
Alchemically, the point in the circle represents the sun and philosophic gold.


The moon is most happy When it is full.
And the sun always looks Like a perfectly minted gold coin
That was just Polished And placed in flight By God's playful Kiss.
And so many varieties of fruit Hang plump and round
From branches that seem like a Sculptor's hands.
I see the beautiful curve of a pregnant belly Shaped by a soul within,
And the Earth itself, And the planets and the Spheres
­I have gotten the hint: There is something about circles The Beloved likes.
Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master, Within the Circle of a Perfect One There is an Infinite Community Of Light.