The basis of the mandala is primordial basic ignorance, the ignoring of our true nature. This is how the whole mess that we have got ourselves into started, by a little seed of ignorance, by refusing to dance with the natural play of energy. Nobody actually knows how this started or why, it is just the basis of our present situation—a kind of cloudy ignoring, which spreads through the whole samsaric mandala and provides the basic ground for it. At the same time, this ignorance is extremely intelligent.
Imagine what intelligence it takes to decide to ignore reality and to gradually build up the whole fantastically complicated structure of personality, individuality and egohood! And it goes on deliberately ignoring things as they are, deliberately cutting itself off and thinking it is one thing in opposition to everything else, building up this whole magnificent, wonderful edifice of human beings. This energy of intelligence, however, might just as well be put to good use, and turned into wisdom and enlightenment. That is the whole dynamic behind the mandala. This same energy could just as well be enlightenment and is, in fact, but we don’t realise it.
“Our planet, my beloved is in crisis; this, of course, we all know. We, many of us, think that her crisis is caused by men, or White people, or capitalism, or industrialism, or loss of spiritual vision, or social turmoil, or war, or psychic disease. For the most part, we do not recognize that the reason for her state is that she is entering upon a great initiation—she is becoming someone else. Our planet, my darling, is gone coyote, heyoka, and it is our great honor to attend her passage rites. She is giving birth to her new consciousness of herself and her relationship to other vast intelligences, other holy beings in her universe. Her travail is not easy, and it occasions her intensity, her conflict, her turmoil—the turmoil, conflict, and intensity that human and other creaturely life mirror. And as she moves, growing and learning ever closer to the sacred moment of her realization, her turmoil, intensity, agony, and conflict increase.”
~ Paula Gunn Allen in The Woman I love is a Planet; The Planet I love is a Tree, 1993, p.36
“But after all humans are not in the world to succeed, to be more secure, to tame the Earth, to build big commercial structures or to crash into them to find God; humans are not here to become comfortable, to purify themselves or anybody else, to be immortal or to get their way. Humans are here to become complex, simple-living beautiful things into which the Holy itself cannot resist crashing, because in the Divine collision of God’s desire and our beauty, the world jumps back into flower with all its detours, griefs, joys, pain, reliefs, breakthroughs, and ironies as its accepted petals.”