“He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.” Job 26:10
As we’ve discussed in a previous post, a circle is the Christian symbol for God. This is because a circle has no beginning and no end. This association seems to be God approved, because the Bible even mentions Him drawing circles*:
“When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep….” Proverbs 8:27
What does this have to do with mandalas? Well, Jesus embedded mandalas into creation, too. You could even say it’s written into the DNA of plants and animals. For example, the images below (2, 3):
These are sometimes referred to as “under water crop circles.” Note the clear mandala format, with the grooves and spirals converging on the center. The center itself is an inner circle with “branches” of sand spreading out. For a long time, people weren’t sure what made these circles, or why they were being made in the first place. It turns out that these mandalas are made by male puffer fish digging in the sand, and are used to attract a female mate. If the male puffer fish succeeds, then the very center of this “mandala” becomes the nest for the eggs. New life as the focus of this mandala. I’m not sure if this is the “circle on the face of the waters” that Job and Proverbs refer to, but it definitely looks cool!
Guess we know what Bloat will be doing if he ever gets out of that bag!
Now, you might be thinking: “wait a minute, isn’t it technically the puffer fish that made that mandala?”
Let’s see what the Bible says about this:
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him,” Colossians 1:16,
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2
One consistent theme throughout the three above passages of Scripture is that all things were created through Christ, a member of the Triune God.
Christ, as the agent of Creation, gifted the puffer fish with the ability to create mandalas, in order to create life. Put another way, the puffer fish’s mandala was created through Christ.
But the puffer fish mandala isn’t the only mandala out there. Below is a collage of just some of the mandalas found in nature.
For example, in the orange, we have a clear mandala format. Life giving seeds are located at the center, just like with the underwater crop circle and puffer fish eggs. There are thin white outlines separating the different sections of the orange. The same white lines are present in similar fruits, such as a lemon, grapefruit, or lime. That pattern reminds me of some stained glass windows, like the ones below.
Kind of amazing to think that Jesus has had mandalas around this whole time!
Want to know how I found all these mandalas? Using a mandala!
The iris is almost perfectly round, as is the pupil in humans. The pupil is the focus of this “eye mandala” because it allows light to strike the retina, and allows us to see. Our sense of vision is the most powerful of the five, and it’s powered by a mandala!
There’s a very large Christian mandala that has an eye of God design, and it can be found at Stanford University’s Memorial Church. Although in this case, light is coming out of the pupil, rather than entering in it.
But the creative work extends even further. Again, through the work of Christ, Christian have the presence of the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that breathed out Scripture through mankind lives within us.
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” Proverbs 2:6
The nine Christian Mandala creators listed in this blog were given insight, knowledge, understanding, and sparks of creativity. The Holy Spirit inspired them with knowledge and understanding. They used their gifts to create remarkable Christian mandalas that glorify God.
As this particular blog series draws to a close I urge you listen to the Holy Spirit, dive in to Scripture, and put it all together to create your own Christian mandalas. Let me know, I would love to see what you create!
* All verses are in ESV unless otherwise noted
- Ancient of Days by William Blake. Made in 1794.
- Screenshot taken from the following YouTube video: https://youtu.be/1q2mV0-sCV0?t=30s
- Website source: http://pixar.wikia.com/wiki/Tank_Gang Original image from Disney and Pixar film Finding Nemo