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.