"Among the Chinese, the infinite being is frequently symbolized as a point of light with concentric circles spreading outwards from it."
A Dictionary of Symbols
(J. E. Cirlot)
"Psychoanalysts have noted that the joining of the square with the circle (in such forms as the star, the rose, the lotus, concentric circles, the circle with a visible central point, etc.) is symbolic of the final stage in the process of individuation, or, in other words, of that phase of spiritual development when imperfections (irregular shapes) have been eliminated…for the sake of concentrating upon the achievement of Oneness."
A Dictionary of Symbols
(J. E. Cirlot)
"The hearth in the home, the altar in the temple, is the hub of the wheel of the earth, the womb of the Universal Mother whose fire is the fire of life."
Hero With A Thousand Faces
"They [mandalas] are among the oldest religious symbols of humanity and may even have existed in paleolithic times (cf. the Rhodesian rock paintings). Moreover they are distributed all over the world."
“The circle has had enduring psychological significance from the earliest expressions of human consciousness to the most sophisticated forms of 20th-century art.” Aniela Jaffe, ‘Symbolism in the Visual Arts’
Man and His Symbols
"The mandala is a symbol which combines both the journey and its destination, the ideas of differentiation and the oneness of all things, the 'unus mundus'. Examples still persist from Paleolithic times as, for instance, in Rhodesian rock engravings. Such images, when they occur in modern dreams, are thus spontaneous re-creations of the most basic religious symbol known to humanity."
Ariadne's Clue, A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind
"Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: 'Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation.' And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality."
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
(Carl Jung (edited by Aniela Jaffe))
"The mandala is, above all, a map of the cosmos. It is the whole universe in its essential plan, in its process of emanation and of reabsorption…..the universe not only in its inert spatial expanse, but as temporal revolution and both as a vital process which develops from an essential principle and rotates round a central axis." G. Tucci
(Jose and Miriam Arguelles)
"It seems the circle has resided within us since the dawn of time, and is a form familiar to us at a deeply resonant level. Over and over again, when this mythic resonance is activated, people experience a sense of 'having been here before' as they enter the circle."
Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture
"The centre of a circle is regarded as the indivisible source of all the radii extending from it;…pre-existing in God are all the inner essences of created things." St. Maximos the Confessor, 'Second Century on Theology'
The Philokalia, volume 2
(various authors, compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain)
"Mandalas are also formed with the hands, danced, and represented in music (for instance Bach's 'Art of Fugue')….When a mandala is being formed, everything round and square known to man works on it too. But the impetus for its formation comes from the unconscious archetype."
C. G. Jung: Letters, 1951-1961
(Gerhard Adler and Aniela Jaffe, editors)
"The soul is a spiritual substance of spherical nature, like the globe of the moon, or like a glass vessel that is furnished before and behind with eyes and sees the whole universe." Caesarius of Heisterbach, medieval Alchemist, 'Dialogus miraculorum', Dist. IV, ch. xxxix
"The natural image to depict the Infinite's inclusiveness is a circle, an all-including circle that encompasses our finite universe and out of which it is impossible to fall. 'In Him we live and move and have our being', Paul tells us, and Augustine added, 'God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.'"
The Soul of Christianity: Restoring the Great Tradition
"Through God, all bodies come together, exert influence upon one another and sustain one another in the unity of the all-embracing sphere."
Writings in Time of War
(Pierre Teilhard deChardin)
"Although 'wholeness' seems at first sight to be nothing but an abstract idea, it is nevertheless empirical in so far as it is anticipated by the psyche in the form of spontaneous or autonomous symbols. These are the quaternity or mandala symbols, which occur not only in the dreams of modern people who have never heard of them, but are widely disseminated in the historical records of many peoples and many epochs. Their significance as symbols of unity and totality is amply confirmed by history as well as by empirical psychology. What at first looks like an abstract idea stands in reality for something that exists and can be experienced, that demonstrates its a priori presence spontaneously."
"Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity forever shining and with no break or limit anywhere. Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity. Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that this light is not. This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you know well….Here is the memory of what you are; a part of this, with all of it within, and joined to all as surely as all is joined to you."
A Course in Miracles
(Helen Schucman and William Thetford)
"No matter what cultural lens is used, the symbol of a circle which contains the whole world and the various evolutionary levels of consciousness is powerful and universal."
Mandala, Luminous Symbols for Healing
(Judith Cornell, Ph.D.)
"Deity and the cosmos may be likened to a circle or sphere whose circumference is nowhere – hence boundless – but those center is everywhere. And each monad is such a divine, immortal, preexistent center." Editors
Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery
"In the present struggle of the planet the mandala presents itself as the seed-symbol of a more harmonized world order….The vision of renewed wholeness and brotherhood slowly spreads and filters through the consciousness of the [human] race."
(Jose and Miriam Arguelles)
“Roundness partakes of the nature of wholeness because the circle or sphere (like wholeness) is without beginning or end. To think in round terms may be interpreted to mean keeping the mentality upon the level of greatest inclusiveness, ever striving to attain fuller inclusiveness.”
Lectures on Ancient Philosophy
(Manly P. Hall)
"The World Snake, called 'Ouroboros' in Greek, was said to be itself both male and female, self-impregnating, self-feeding, immortal and complete. Thus it is the mythic image for both God and nature."
The Mythic Tarot
(Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene)