The Squaring of the Circle
The expression “squaring the circle” is sometimes used as a metaphor for trying to do the impossible. The term quadrature of the circle is sometimes used as a synonym for squaring the circle, but it may also refer to approximate or numerical methods for finding the area of a circle.
Squaring the circle was a problem that greatly exercised medieval minds. It is a symbol of the opus alchymicum, since it breaks down the original chaotic unity into the four elements and then combines them again in a higher unity. Unity is represented by a circle and the four elements by a square.
Meanwhile, it is one of the many archetypal motifs which form the basic patterns of our dreams and fantasies. But it is distinguished by the fact that it is one of the most important of them from the functional point of view. Indeed, it could even be called the archetype of wholeness.” — from Mandalas, C.G. Jung
Jung believes that his mandalas were cryptograms of the state of the self as it was on the day that the mandala was created. Each mandala that he spontaneously created was different from its predecessors and the paintings were precious to him, he “guarded them like pearls”.
He believes that mandalas appear in connection with dreams, chaotic psychic states of disorientation or panic as they did in Jung’s own life and that the function of the mandalas is to bring order out of chaos.
Artwork first featured on the 2018 KosmoKalindar.
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