THE URANIAN INSTUTE

JUNG'S REFERENCES TO THE MANDALA

"I began my introduction with human wholeness as the goal to which the psychotherapeutic process ultimately leads.  This question is inextricably bound up with one's philosophical or religious assumptions.  Even when, as frequently happens, the patient believes himself to be quite unprejudiced in this respect, the assumptions underlying this thought, mode of life, morale, and language are historically conditioned down to the last detail, a fact of which he is often kept unconscious by lack of education combined with lack of self-criticism.  The analysis of his situation will therefore lead sooner or later to a clarification of his general spiritual background going far beyond his personal determinants, and this brings up the problems I have attempted to sketch (in preceding pages).  This phase of the process is marked by the production of symbols of unity, the so-called mandalas, which occur either in dreams or in the form of concrete visual impressions, often as the most obvious compensation of the contradictions and conflicts of the conscious situation." (Jung, 1944, para 24)

"As I have already told you, the tide that rose in the unconscious after the First World War was reflected in individual dreams, in the form of collective, mythological symbols which expressed primitivity, violence, cruelty: in short, all the powers of darkness.  When such symbols occur in a large number of individuals and are not understood, they begin to draw these individuals together as if by magnetic force, and thus a mob is formed.  Its leader will soon be found in the individual who has the least resistance, the least sense of responsibility, and because of his inferiority, the greatest will to power.  He will let loose everything that is ready to burst forth, and the mob will follow with the irresistible force of an avalanche.

"I had observed the German revolution in the test-tube of the individual, so to speak, and I was fully aware of the immense dangers involved when such people crowd together.  But I did not know at the time whether there were enough of them in Germany to make a general explosion inevitable.

"However, I was able to follow up quite a number of cases and to observe how the uprush of the dark forces deployed itself in the individual test-tube.  I could watch these forces as they broke through the individual's moral and intellectual self-control, and as they flooded his conscious world.  There was often terrific suffering and destruction; but when the individual was able to cling to a shred of reason, or to preserve the bonds of a human relationship, a new compensation was brought about in the unconscious by the very chaos of the conscious mind, and this compensation could be integrated into consciousness.  New symbols then appeared, of a collective nature, but this time reflecting the forces of order.  There was measure, proportion, and symmetrical arrangement in these symbols, expressed in their peculiar mathematical and geometrical structure.  They represent a kind of axial system and are know as mandalas.  I am afraid I cannot go into an explanation of these highly technical matters here, but however incomprehensible they may sound, I must mention them in passing because they represent a gleam of hope, and we need hope very badly in this time of dissolution and chaotic disorder." (Jung, 1964, paras 449-450)

"The underworld, a sort of Hades, is divided into four hollow places which serve as abodes for the spirits of the dead until the Last Judgment.  Three of these hollow places are dark, but one is birth and contains a 'fountain of water.'  This is the abode of the righteous.  With statements of this type we enter into a definitely psychological realm, namely that of Mandala symbolism to which also belong the ratios 1:3 and 3:4.  The quadripartite Hades of Enoch corresponds to a chthonic quaternity, which presumably stands in everlasting contrast to a pneumatic or heavenly one.  The former corresponds in alchemy to the quaternio of the elements, the latter to a fourfold, or total, aspect of the deity, as for instance Barbelo, Kolorbas, Mercurius quadratus, and the four-faced gods all indicate." (Jung, 1958, paras 671-672)

Jung, C G. (1944) Collected Works, Volume 12: Psychology and Alchemy. Princeton NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C G. (1958) Collected Works, Volume 11: Psychology and Religion, West and East. Princeton NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C G. (1964) Collected Works, Volume 10: Civilization in Transition. Princeton NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

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THE URANIAN INSTITUTE FOR ASTROLOGICAL STUDY & RESEARCH