Garian's Mandala (part 3)


So let's do that for a moment, let's take advantage of our vantage point and jump back outwards to look at how the everyday world square is inscribed by the original consciousness circle. Now we didn't want to say too much about this first circle before and we certainly don't want to say much more now (but let's at least say something). Firstly that there is a lot of the circle's area that does not lie in the everyday world. Even shifting your conscious and going on into the Territory, you still can't go into the outside wedges of this original circle. Now it's true that this original circle is not separate from any of the inward forms, it interpenetrates the everyday world, it intermingles its substance with the Territory as well. In our everyday world consciousness we aren't able to notice this (even if we believe it must be so). In our Territory conscious we still can't see the original circle (though we've shifted enough to play with some of it's energy). What can these outside wedges be, what lies outside the everyday world yet gives rise to the everyday world through it's consciousness? Angels! Bodhisattvas! The afterlife! The bardos!

This is curious! All that stuff we can't touch from where we are, we still can't touch it but we know exactly where it is in relation to where we are now (in the everyday world, in the Territory). Actually though we're really quite familiar with how to access it in a non-conscious way. Birth! Death! Reincarnation is simply moving back and forth between the wedges and the everyday world square. Karma involves the vector of that passage. If you move from the everyday world square to the original consciousness circle in just this direction with just this speed (life actions) you will bounce off the outside edge of the circle and return to the everyday world square in a certain specific way (rebirth conditions). The angels and bodhisattvas, enlightened ones of all sorts don't have to pass through the everyday world boundaries, they just move entirely with the original circle energy that intermingles with everyday world square.

Which brings us to an interesting point about Garian's Mandala: This is a mandala for (and from the perspective of) humans. An enlightened being doesn't need it but we do. Taking our present state of consciousness as the starting point it shows us how to approach the seemingly inaccessible portions of the original conscious without going through (the largely unconscious) process of birth and death. Humans can not consciously go outwards in this mandala unless they are already conscious. They must become conscious first by going inwardly into the heart of the mandala. Then the seeming difficulty of birth and death will disappear. Strangely enough this is exactly what everybody's been telling us all along.



So to return to our inward journey: once you've entered the Territory square and shifted your consciousness to explore and experience it, you choose one specific way (in the case Garian's way) and you place this centrally in the Territory. This is a shift of consciousness so it is a circle. Inside this free-floating circle is an inscribed square. In Garian's Mandala this square is designated as the Territory Orphanage. In mandala language the geometrics would lead us to say: By specifically choosing a consciousness path in the Territory we discover the Territory Orphanage.

There is much to say about the Territory Orphanage: what differentiates it from other places (squares) in the Territory, how is it found (there is an interesting story about boxes in this regard), how it changes your personal perspective (remembering you're an orphan and rediscovering your orphan name). All topics for another time and place. For now let's just focus on the geometrics. It's interesting to notice that in the installation of Garian's Mandala, the Territory Orphange square is the first one that is presented with some three dimensional form as well as the two dimensional. The three dimensional shape of the Territory Orphanage is an energy pyramid formed by white string and beads. This is often true with other, more traditional two dimensional mandalas. The Kalachakra Mandala for instance is actually a two dimensional floor plan of a three dimensional house. Why is the Territory Orphanage a pyramid? Not the best place to talk about that either, but it's interesting to mention that it is congruent to the Great Pyramid of Ghiza, that is to say that the angle of its slope is 51 degrees and 51 minutes. This means that it corresponds in scale to the Great Pyramid and should have some of the same properties perhaps. You could either think of it as a very small scale version or perhaps just the capstone; in any case there it is.

Here's yet another sidebar: it's reasonable to expect that the earlier squares and circles we've been traveling through have a three dimensionality that also throws a two dimensional shape onto the Mandala. Maybe we'll investigate this later. But what counts now as we go inwards into the Mandala from the Territory Orphanage, there will be more three dimensional shapes importantly involved with the required shifts. Possibly it's not as necessary to become involved with the three dimensional shapes until the specific choice has been made in the Territory square. Anyway, from here on in we'll have to look up and outwards as well as across and beyond.

A circle is inscribed inside the Territory Orphanage square. This circle inscribes a square. Now this square is designated as Garian in the Mandala (you might have noted that the Garian's square is now shown with four points extending from it - these are part of the square and we'll get back to why they're there in a bit). In mandala language this portion can be read as: consciousness inside the Territory Orphanage gives rise to Garian. Or read another way you could say: conscious action in the Territory Orphanage enables one to see and interact with Garian. Oh-oh, this could be a problem, I mean it's well known that Territory Orphans aren't all that smart really, desperate yes, but we can't really expect them to be all that conscious, at least not all or even most of the time. They need help, lots of it and right away! Luckily help is available, grace is an operative force throughout the Mandala. This shouldn't be all that surprising, you've probably encountered this help even in the everyday world. It's pretty hard to find your way into the Territory square without some help, someone who is already traveling in the Territory tells you about it and even guides you through the border, the Territory itself looms up in front of you to give the sight of its access site. Your curiosity is stimulated by some strange new idea, your emotions are excited by some unusual event. In other words, the consciousness that gives rise to the next square in also moves outwardly and influences the next square out.

So you can see that the Mandala can be read outwardly as well as inwardly. It's initial use is to find your way in, but as you move inwardly, you still have influence outwardly. This whole process is additive, not subtractive; when you are in the Territory you are still in the everyday world. Reading the Mandala outwardly instead of inwardly, you could say that the square projects the circle that inscribes it outwardly. In other words, the circle that lies between the everyday world square and the Territory square can be read going inwardly to say: consciousness within the everyday-world gives rise to the Territory or it can be read outwardly to say: the consciousness of the Territory is operative (graceful) in the everyday world. The first is from your point of view as a traveler within the Mandala. The second is from th point of view of the Mandala itself.

So looking back at the circle that lies in between the Territory Orphanage square and Garian's square we can as easily read this outwardly to say that the consciousness of Garian is operative and gives help within the Territory Orphanage. Interestingly enough, the further you move inwardly into the Mandala, the stronger this outward energy appears to be. If there was seemingly some grace operating from the Territory that helped you move from the everyday world inwardly to the Territory, you will find that there seems to be even more grace operating to help you move inwardly from the Orphanage square towards Garian's square. Granted this is a somewhat subjective observation, but the whole Mandala itself is experienced in a very subjective way. And it even makes sense that this should be so. As you move inwardly from square to square, you let more and more emptiness in and drop away more and more form. The more emptiness you allow, the more the emptiness can have an effect outwardly speaking. Of course all this talk is rather silly from a non-subjective viewpoint, I mean emptiness can't be quantified and grace is grace without any amounts involved. Still, even so, is gives a guy pause (and a tale or too).

It should be noted that Garian's square has a three dimensional shape as well. It's another energy pyramid, seen as yellow string in the installation. This pyramid is in sympathy to the Orphanage pyramid in that it has the 51 degree, 51 minute angle as the angle at its corners (the Orphanage pyramid had this angle as the angle of its slope). What this means is anybody's guess (and you might have yours) but it's an important thing to notice. Also you might notice that there are points sticking out from the four sides of Garian's square they reach a point right on the circumference of the consciousness circle that gave rise to the Orphanage. We'll get back to these points in a moment.

Going inwardly we see that there is a circle inscribed inside Garian's square and another square inscribed inside this circle. This square designates the landscape or place of the practice of Garian. In mandala language we can read this portion to say: consciousness inside of Garian (Garian's consciousness) gives rise to Garian's practice or Garian's work. Quickly continuing inwardly we see another circle inscribed inside the square of Garian's practice. There is no square inside this circle, just a space and then a final circle at the very centre of the mandala. (Actually there are seven rather individual circles in the gap between these two circles, but we'll get to that in a moment) We can read this part of the mandala to say: consciousness while carrying on the practice of Garian gives rise to....what? Some other type of conscious (I mean it is a circle, right?)?

Hmmm, better leave this one alone for a moment, it's a very big jump and we have to look at some other stuff first before we take the leap. The last time we encountered a gap in the Mandala was in the Territory landscape between the consciousness cirlce inscribed inside the Territory square and the floating circle that inscribed the Territory Orphanage. When Garian's Mandala is put in place as a three dimensional installation there's a lot of stuff in this gap: a cave, a hut, a stupa, a pool, a grove, a slab, a glass tree, Interestingly enough, each of these seven places in the landscape of the Territory are associated with one of the seven chakras (the cave - the root, the hut - the hara, the stupa - the will, the pool - the heart, the grove - the throat, the slab - the 3rd eye, the glass tree - the crown). Lots and lots of places and spaces and opportunity to do many things. If the first Mandala gap is this way it wouldn't be all the surprising to find lots going on in the second Mandala gap. Interestingly enough there is no form here in the same way there was in the first gap. If there's a lot of stuff here it must be pretty empty. So how do we see it?

Let's do a quick review of what the Mandala says up to this point. The original consciousness circle surrounds the everyday world square. Consciousness in the everyday world gives access to the Territory square. Consciousness in the Territory reveals a gap where we are finally free to choose a path or a way in the Territory. Choosing a specific shift of consciousness in the Territory leads to the discovery of the Territory Orphanage. Consciousness in the Orphanage allows Garian to manifest. Garian's own consciousness manifests a practice. Consciousness within this practice gives rise to ....something. Before we jump right into that rather empty something, there's something else to notice on the edge of this circle inscribed inside Garian's practice square.

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