So I was talking to a friend in work. The kind of friend who I can talk to for hours on end about things would go over many people’s heads, in great detail, for hours on end. I was telling him about the Mandela Theory. In few words (as this is something I would like to touch upon another time) it’s about believing very strongly that something happened in a specific way, even though it may never have happened at all. For example, we all remember the saying, “mirror mirror on the wall” innately. We know this is the famous line from Snow White. Many of us would swear upon our own lives that that’s how it goes right? Well if I told you that the saying was actually “magic mirror on the wall” you would look at me with a confused face and tell me that I was wrong. Well this is a brief example of the Mandela Effect. Due to recollection, you’ve heard the former saying more times than the latter so it has become your reality – the correct way of hearing and saying it. Look it up online and see which is the correct saying.
So you may be wondering why the title says “Mandala” and not “Mandela” and this is a good observation. This is not a spelling mistake however, as “Mandala” is the focal point of this post. As I was explaining the Mandela Effect to my friend, they told me they thought I was talking about something completely different, and mentioned Mandala Tattoos. My friend then went on to tell me about the patterns used in these tattoos and explained their origin and meaning. They told me that there was a culture that would invest large amounts of time into making such intricate patterns on the ground. They would have an uncharacteristically complex amount of detail in them and they would be visually pleasing to say the least. My friend went onto tell me how some of the different designs have been replicated as body art. I was surprised when he told me that they would then destroy these patterns after spending so much time making them. Initially, I smiled. Initially in confusion but then the smile changed to a content one, one of appreciation. Though I won’t always understand some of the practices of other cultures, I will never fail to find them fascinating. Amongst this confusion however, there is no disrespect and there is an abundance of appreciation, no matter how profound they may appear.
As my friend was talking to me about these patterns, my mind began to wonder. Not in a disrespectful way, I was just very inspired. I began to think of how these tattoos could be a relate to the lives we live. For example, the beauty of the tattoos. As the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and I couldn’t agree more. So when one person, or a whole culture for that matter, thinks something might be the most visually pleasing thing, another could see it in a negative light. Thinking further outside the box than being visually appealing, ideals sprang into mind. Whilst one person might get such pleasure from an idea or practise there are several others who simply cannot see the beauty of it, so in the eye of their mind, it goes unnoticed.
I had many different examples of this springing to mind, but then the apple hit me on the head – Mandala Patterns could actually be a direct representation of our lives, depending on how we interpret it. Please stay with me as I try and get my thoughts into writing. So as I mentioned before, the people of this culture would invest so much time and effort into making these patterns only to one day have them disappear. So what if we look at the things we spend our time on and invest our emotions in. Living in a Western society, undoubtedly we do focus on a lot of material things, so you could say, we spend so much time cherishing, say, an item of expensive clothing, only to have it one day disappear. This could be applied to anything material but I want to delve deeper than just material things.
Jobs? Pleasure? What about friendship and relationships. Think about the emotions that are accumulated over the course of a friendship or relationship. Anger. Love. Happiness or sadness, just to name a few from a very long list. Whilst working on said relationship we do invest a lot of these emotions. Think of the relationship as a work of art. It starts as a blank, untouched canvas. Everything that happens is a brush stroke of a different colour. Every stroke of envy leaves a venomous green streak on the canvas. The passionate times where love is experienced, leave an intense red reminder on the canvas and all of the confusion that accumulates over the course leaves a dull grey colour which contrasts the white streaks of purity from the beginning of the relationship. Once the canvas is filled and the piece of art is completed, is it a beautiful picture or is it grotesque? Some might say, despite all of the colours of negative emotions on the canvas that it is a truly remarkable piece of art. Others might think that it is simply dreadful. But like I said before, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
My mind went further into this idea. When the relationship ends and the once empty canvas is destroyed, where is the true beauty? The artist is left with nothing, and now holds a new white canvas, with hopes of filling that one up with a new palette of colours. The original canvas might’ve looked wonderful when it was intact but now that it is gone there is no beauty.
But let’s take the Mandala way of looking at things. Even though the canvas once represented something so intricate and something so wonderful, there is nothing to see anymore. The only thing that remains is simply the memory that it once existed. There is no way to see the beauty that once ensued, only abstract visions of it. These memories and the knowledge that the art once existed is the true treasure. Appreciating the canvass’ former splendour is the way of bypassing the fact that it no longer exists. It’s better to see the art as something that exists as a journey, and not a destination. A process and not a product. It is better to enjoy the build-up. To enjoy decorating the canvas with the many colours. To enjoy looking at the end product. And when it’s gone, cherish the memories of the piece of art that once existed, just like what is done with Mandala Patterns.