"If we study the introspective method of medieval natural philosophy, we find that it repeatedly used the circle, and in most cases the circle divided into four parts, to symbolize the central principle."
"Between four and six thousand years ago the ancient peoples in Europe built stone circles and decorated them with interlocking scroll loops. Similar motifs appear all over the world. The psychologist Carl Jung said such images are archetypes or universal structures in the collective unconscious of humankind. Could such a collective wisdom perhaps be expressing its intuitions of the wholeness within nature, the order and simplicity, chance and predictability that lie in the interlocking and unfolding of things?"
(John Briggs and F. David Peat)
"Mandalas are birth-places, vessels of birth in the most literal sense, lotus-flowers in which a Buddha comes to life."
"The Circle is the Thought; the diameter (or the line) is the Word; and their union is Life."
The Secret Doctrine
(Helena P. Blavatsky)
“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)
"In order for this world to fulfill itself, we must interact together, forming a full circle of reality, a great ballet of spirit and experience, choreographed perfectly to afford each of us a starring role in the game of Life."
"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)
"In neo-platonic philosophy, the soul is explicitly related to the shape of the sphere."
A Dictionary of Symbols
(J. E. Cirlot)
"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)
"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)
"The idea of rotation is the keystone of most transcendent symbols: of the mediaeval 'Rota'; of the Wheel of Buddhist transformations; of the zodiacal cycle; of the myth of the Gemini; and of the 'opus' [work] of the alchemists. The idea of the world as a labyrinth or of life as a pilgrimage leads to the idea of the 'centre' as a symbol of the absolute goal of Man – Paradise regained….Pictorially, this central point is sometimes identified with the geometric centre of the symbolic circle."
A Dictionary of Symbols
(J. E. Cirlot)
"All over the world one can find temples constructed as three-dimensional mandalas. One can also find labyrinths, which are circular walkways created from sacred geometry. Walking in them allows you to become part of an integrating mandala reflecting universal wholeness."
Mandala, Luminous Symbols for Healing
(Judith Cornell, Ph.D.)
"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))
"Both as a principle of unity and a model of the cosmos, the sphere represents the ultimate undivided, undifferentiated whole." Keith Chritchlow, 'Twelve Criteria for Sacred Architecture'
Homage to Pythagoras, Rediscovering Sacred Science
(Christopher Bamford, editor)
"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."
"We need to worship in circles again, preferably on the soil of Mother Earth wherever possible. Circles invite all creatures to be part of the grateful event and they allow the humans present to look each other in the eye while rounding and connecting themselves in step with the universe."
The Coming of the Cosmic Christ