– a musing –
The mandala is system, a symbol, and a universe in itself of various profundity. Etymologically it means “a magic circle,” yet mandalas existed before words and without description. From the grand realms of astronomy to the microscopic botanics and organics alike; as above, the planets orbit and snowflakes fall to ground; so below, its patterns are easily reflected in Fibonacci’s series, a golden rule of phi-sequenced flower petals spiraling off into endless functional forms.
Mandalas are further entwined amidst global cultures and “associated liturgy”, represented in Tibet’s Mahayana Buddhist traditions and sand portraits; across the Himalayas – India’s Rig Vedas contain verses describing the centre of the world as an orderly Axis Mundi containing at its center their holy mountain, Meru, which seems to be constructed from the vocalized chants themselves (read: cymatics); richly embedded into the arabesque artwork of the Middle East, especially noticeable in the Sufi’s mandala designs and hypnotic dances; to the creation myths of the Hopi peoples and other Native Americans such as the Navajo whom use it as a medicine-wheel of healing; even Indochina’s Angkor Wat and the Ziggurats of Mesopotamia possess the mandalas’ preeminent configurations as seen from the sky, as if Kailais were reaching high into some indiscernible mist of potent pre-lingual meaning.
The mandala is a yantra, a mantra, a key to some kinky tantra. And as prevalent as it may be, mandalas are surprising overlooked due to their natural integration within ancient architecture, exemplified by gothic church windows and mosques, megalithic layouts such as Stonehenge, intricate kaleidoscopes and phenakistoscopes, Walt Disney’s street designs for the “cities of tomorrow”, plus, the geodesic domes of Buckminster Fuller. Even the non-material realm abounds with mandalas as a meditation conduit, a trance induction, a colouring tool to practice mindfulness, or a medium for creating sacred spaces – much like geomancy and feng shui. Epitomized in the micro and macro, the real and surreal, our inner minds and the outer somatic cosmos – or possibly all entangled at once! The mandala stands not simply “as above so below,” but in-between. It is a doorway–a stairway to bridge gaps–like Asgard’s Celtic portal connecting our Milky Way to those far fetched celestial worlds, all too close to home.
However, this is the summary’s extent, because like an ant’s tunneling habits disallow simplicity to dig any deeper, so too the mandala requires a sort of visual maze of perplexity as a precursor for those whom wish to attain eventual clarity, or a meeting with the queen of subterranean enlightenment. And as Lewis Carroll’s rabbit-hole would similarly prove, a concise conclusion regarding the meaning of a mandala must first be detoured through the delusional structure of keen complexity. Yes, the mandala beats to an odd set of hum-drum rhythms (the waning tides’ in – then ebbing tide out in a perpetual, esoteric, warp and weave) and to avoid such blunting dullness of historicity, its time to load up the adventure-stallion and saunter onward with reins in hand, as animal instincts guide us to the distant Holy Mountain where we may openly re-define our lives and invent the future – as indeed, all great mythographers so practice doing:
Here, in the desert of meaning, the present path is one unrefined. Like satori gone sour and dribbled down the officers’ medallion-lined blazer, staining the restrictively abstained principles of common decency once polished to reflection-perfection upon his coat-of-arms. For you see, a true stain is a sign of imperfection, and that is a indicator of something real. Unlike the free-formed water stains left in the wildly structured cracks throughout the Mojave desert, these pre-fabricated stains, false fades, and hole-ridden-fads designed by Gap, Levi, or Gucci are designated impurities with hidden motives. Such brand-names may one day incorporate mandala symbols into clothing, apparel, and mediocre-merchandise motifs (if they have not yet already done so). Admittedly, the mandala could soon be a victim of its own beauty. Beware the impostors.
But, oasis-ahoy! here’s comes another mirage of meaning, so do not sit idly in saddle, instead, learn by watching, then imitating, then taking control by making your own myths as cardinal guide-stones for an aid to unwind the threads of any previous fabricated plot-lines we’ve been unabashedly instilled with. Exploring the spectrum of possibility that suites each individual is a healthy practice that strengthen one’s foundations, and ultimately reveals infinite pathways to use as a spring-board (only one of which is necessary, so like the Dali Lama would cook, choose a trail to blaze – with full and reckless abandon). From this trail head – and according to your own manner of travel and desired route – the sincere seeker can wind, bend, and go “wikiwiki” through such cutbacks, curves, and careening gauntlets of the labyrinthian mandala, reaching the top of this Holy Mountain, eventually. For no path is the same, yet all arrive at the same point – brought forth from the desert of meaning to a destination-detour with destiny.
Still, in this dune-led life, this muddy universe, this mirage, palm-lined, personal mandala–my mundi incognito–i dismount the pack-animal and lead the self into a horizon patterned with attractive possibility. An aggregate of potential manifesting into shapes that will never be found above a corporate slogan or below the low standards of commercialism. In this sumptuously self-sufficient narrative of non-linear story lines, a name should be briskly given to help suggest what corporeal form this mandala permeates as. . . heretofore and forever, it may be coined,
. . . since a “man-dala” is obviously a cheap analogy to the re-written Constantinian history of King James’s official court jester – a sinister knockoff of his-story, purposefully repurposed for a collective (and cunningly ill-devised) history lesson.
The DudeDala, is not a pre-fab dud stuck in the stagnant mud, its a stud of surreal power; a flood of unfathomable fashion; a gem adorning some mystical jamboree fondled by the cosmic kitten (when its not beach-tanning). The Dudedala takes shapes beyond the hazy principles of philosophy and jumps out at you in a squirrel-zoot-suit from the footloose forms of your neighbourhood’s bombastic Amish dubstep-barn-party! Oh yes, its bucolic and alcoholic. Its pleasantly pastoral and presently profanely floral. Once a visage of a fleeting vision-quest, now deserted, the matriculations of this Dudedala pop into solidity, suddenly and substantially appearing like a bowl of instant-mix oatmeal placed before an eagerly awaiting child. A child in need of a nourishing meal for the soul’s belly–and this particular mandala has meaning so fresh-hot and hearty, drizzled with maple syrup, dalloped by blueberries, heaps of cinnamon, and topped with a chunk of butter, that none could say “neh”. The child, insurmountably well fed and satiated, is now overcome with a need to dwell, and goes off to bed as the onset of the Dudedala’s effects initiates the assimilation of all latent psychic awareness into one big dose of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), whereupon the child immediately falls into a deep REM dream-state to discover many new anomalous realms awaiting his instructions.
At first, very foreign, the child’s hectic-eclectic subconscious drama soon equalizes and emulates itself into every-day reality; a slow-boil process where the Dudedala – in full swing now – starts re-strangifying the standard model of our Einsteinium quantum universe, as gracefully as Tarzan himself, flying by vine from the child’s dreams into the walking dead of the waking world. Alert and alive for once! It was as if Shakespeare’s manuscripts grew legs (and a mind) of their own, then copulated with Thomas Payne’s morality on a bed of nails and banana-grilled-cheese sandwiches: together, the hybrid entity eloped to copilot the world affairs, pridefully better than the man behind the curtains in the land of Oz ever could have done. Then, stepping onto the global stage completely nude (save for the lotus petal meagerly covering its loins) the mutant Dudedala begins crimping in old English about Lao Tsu being right – “softness is hard to overcome,” and something about the survival of humankind depending on a “perfectly roasted marshmallow”.
Even the Dudedala’s expected lifecycle is more bio-rhythmically attuned than your average bears’ hiatus in hibernation. Indeed, with its haughty obtuse workings and inner gears of reason beyond reason, a nebulous icon arises whom pathologically pursues answers to the full extent via any “path-o-logic” in this humanly kingdom of existentialism; avidly collecting knowledge from its surroundings and fearing no-ledge of the abyss; straddling a stance askance to circumstance; sincerely heeding advice from past ancestors, nor withholding any current vices. The Dudedala, prepping itself for the coming Winter, ingests all this wisdom and digests-foments-ferments-ruminates-and-regurgitates earth’s encyclopedias for its youthful acolyte to consume in Springtime, but never presumes to know it all. Then, many eons later, when the fresh new flock of highly educated Mini-Dudedalas (they’re not quite like a gaggle of birds, but the collective noun terminology considers it to be such) is maximally matured in all categories of cognition – and spirit animals are carefully tamed by means of long hour’d mane combings and jowl tickling – the Mini-Dudes enter the final stages of preparation and are readily trained in the arts of Korean Ninjitsu. Progressing rapidly and graduating, the Mini-Ninja-Dudes scatter across the globe to infiltrate the most protected agencies in the world, using pointy Om-shuriken, piercing perspective-potions, sharp mantra-stars, and barbed grappling-chants. All such coveted institutions and closed-door ceremonies soon become meticulously co-opted with lovingly counter-cultural inceptions (as devised by the Dudedala itself and written in blood-orang juice upon a sacred scroll describing the Meta-Mission of Mythos, and passed on through oral tradition during thousands of years of cave habituating, transcendental tree climbing, and head-stand competitions).
Within seconds the social media networks are streaming with strange new Meta-J-pop iconography –
Mere minutes pass, and the lame-stream news agencies are squawking speculations as to the source of this new intrusion on public affairs –
Hours later, the top brass wonders if its time to throw in the towel, let the facade fall, and blame it on a Orwellian false-flag alien invasion of American airwaves –
After days pass, Neil DeGrass Tyson and the Black Pope secretly meet in an underground library with Tom Cruise (a culture-vulture) to decide whom cut the catastrophic-cheese on a global scale and what meager mouse will be first to notice –
Weeks roll-on, as the CIA and Mi6 deny any involvement in cohort’ing to raise the price of US college tuition as a ploy to disrupt the Scandinavian countries gross-domestic-product and jointly affect the price of corn in Latin America by devastatingly devaluing demand for locally grown maize –
Mere months reveal great technological success from the BRIC nations, which have taken to colonizing earth’s stratosphere (then space) in floating castles powered by fecal-fusion generators –
Within years, the earth’s axis of spin has shifted to a steady on-point dradle and seasons become a thing of myth and lore – coincidentally expanding the grazing habits of ruminant creatures in Serbia so much so that the worlds’ supply of donkey cheese is accidentally super-microbially enhanced, allowing the sole owner (and former tennis champion) Novak Djokavic to enter zillionaire-status and becomes founder of the mega-corporation, Probiotic Abiotics, which incubates its donkey milk at stable temperatures “with love” in Djokavic’s highly coveted Cheesy New Age manufacturing coves scattered along the Dalmatian coastline, and spreads peace, love, and fermented products to all of mankind. With a world well fed, the pandemic of harmony smoothly proliferates like a fungus.
Finally, after decades unfold; destiny is diminishing and despondent; the mini-ninjas are getting old but still adamantly adhering to their Meta-Mission, as the final house of cards falls, leaving Britain’s royal bloodlines to be hung out to dry and ultimately donated to Red Cross which immediately resells it in bulk as pharmaceutically “impure in quality” (whereupon Vietnam purchases it entirely as ceremonial wedding ingredients for tiét canh, or blood pudding).
Eventually. . . the Dudedala passes away into the ether of space. It transcends as part of the-clandestine-death-inauguration rituals (back into the depths of the child’s sub-psyche). Even the Mini-Korean Ninja-Dudes fulfill their prophecy and swiftly die off, with no further reason for metaphorically existing, and wash into history. Yet, the legend of the Dude lives on, overtaking the glorious tales of Shambhala. It’s founding principle echo in the chambers of prestigious halls, ultimately becoming the Emperor’s new clothing, now the Dudedala is tightly woven into the workings of politics, religion, social philosophies, doctors’ doctrines, and children’s coloring books.
The talking heads promise this of the future: we have none, live for today.
The sermon say, “if your prayers cannot be answered, hang up and dial at random, till the button’s digital tones make you giddy with a god-like delirium.”
Social credence creeps along the alleyways and supplants a conundrum: quid bono – quam ob rem nunc relevante?
Doctors profess they are would-be’s and have-been’s, professionally getting “high on their own supply,” and hand over the keys to the cabinet where all substances are legal and the public must learn to responsibly explore the realms of opiates, dilators, and neural modifiers.
Colouring books, by chance, are unchanged because they have always been colourful and pure. Or maybe they did change, subtly, but we cannot tell because upon realizing how much greener the grass is under-foot, well . . . there’s just no comparison.
With the Meta-Mission carefully extrapolated into all cultural under-currents, the Dudedala now abounds underground, and in all subliminal rounds. It gallops, it rides, and incognito – it abides! Its zeitgeist presence (when called upon and projected properly) exhibits colours so insurmountably sweet and sticky with complexity that all physical matter within proton-shot of its eminent emanations instantly turn into a global, globular marshmallow. Thus it was, that in the year 2558BE, the earth as it was known, became alchemically transmorphed into one massive S’more, with bits of bacon-chocolate stuffed in the core, like molten lava; melting instantly to a perfect oozy texture under the radiating inner-nimbus-glow of this mandalic humming hue. A hue intoned so intensely, as to shine like the hollow earth’s plasma sun – holographically bright! The fateful (and fat-full) iridescent S’more, whole-heartedly temps all living upon it, and unanimously it is agreed that “softness, is in fact, very hard to overcome”.
The familiar slogan timely steps forth to remind us triumphantly how this soft, sugary moment is hard to resist, as it triggers all five-senses in every S’more-planet inhabitant, including the four taste senses (the 5th, umami, plus a new 6th taste known as Kokumi, or “Dude,” for short – as in, “Dude, that was damned delicious!”) and it instantly nourishes the tummy, our hara, that future timeline of all-knowingness-less. The Dudedalas ghostly presence fleeting again, it leaves each perceivers’ biological systems in cathartic trance of bitter-sweet-savory-sour-salty-joy, intuiting an epiphany that elaborates how the mandala, in its menagerie of definitions, is liken not just to a S’more, but food in general – you can plant it conceptually, grow it through meditation, tend to it attentively, and in the end, you can eat your mandala for spiritual sustenance. How limbically corpulent; how mindfully material (theo-zoic); how gutturally and utterly symbolic of a perfectly closed loop and the sum of some totally-indescribable-tantalization-of-sensation; aka, T.I.T.S.!!!
Because like action of gardening your soul’s personal mandala, or the death of the Dudedala, in the e.n.d. (energy never dies), nothing changes. Everything just shifts formats and keeps on flowing and flowering into new maya based facades. And we must keep seeking for the source – and laugh each time we fall short.
. . . this, and much more, is the mandalic experience i see when looking inwards, into the depths of the Dudedala’s mazy rabbit dwelling: leading from desert, to mirage, to concept, to creation, to breakfast consumption; and dream-state, to explosive of outcomes, to a brief mourning of death. A maze which amazes one with the everyday sublimity of things to the point where there is no “no” any more. To simple know there is always more to know is the paradox of all ages. The mandala is a reminder that even simple shapes have secret sheens, and if allowed, can work magic on the mind. Entranced by the circle’s endless enticements of free-formed symmetric and concentric face-scapes – such powerfully spiritual landscapes that grinningly gaze back at you.
Then again, maybe it’s just a plain mandala on paper, and imagination filled in the rest. Because remember, the word fantastic comes from the Greek phantazein: “to make visible”. If you have fantastic fantasies, then what dreams may come are in your hands. . . . and feet. So walk, talk, and mindfully play to the dreamscapes’ drums of that ecclectic void seen through a child’s mind. For in the faint fathoms it has always been waiting. . .
a palindrome for passion,
an onomonopia for ontology,
one paraprosdokian for purposeful perspective,
and that euphoric euphemism for love.
This is the unseen cultural equivalent of a cult – perhaps outgrowing itself before it ever was virgin-birthed by the Dudedala – causing phenomenal credences to echoes in the throws of all future hypostasis fields. Like the decibels shattering from a humble citizen’s Christmas-themed fantasy orb, fluttering reverberations greater than “Rosebud, Rosebud, Rosebud…” rather, the walls whisper in return something beyond Hagel’s aphorism (the true is the whole), anathema to Haramein’s corollary (the interesting is the total), and more juxtaposed to Terrence McKenna’s concept of high-weirdness prevailing with a twist of lemon, gin, and tonic – that murmuration conjures a warning –
“traverse swiftly along the hinterland of sultry samsaric confusion, tangled within the despotic psuedodigm covertly known as the Buddhic shadow-fields. . . . but treat yourself to an ice-cream while your there – cause you deserve it.”
follow your folly,
stay savory-sweet my friends,
and long live the Quaker Raves!
Most bodaciously yours,