Classic and Creative Counseling and Psychotherapy in San Francisco and San Mateo, California

Carol Jaron, Marriage & Family Therapist
Carol Jaron

 Carol Jaron
Marriage & Family Therapist &
Practitioner of Clinical Hypnosis
~ Professional ~ Integrative ~ Intuitive ~

Therapy for Adults / Adolescents / Families
Rapid Trauma Resolution
Anxiety, Self Image, Loss
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
Food & Substance Abuse Issues
Personal & Professional Relationships


Complexity, Harmony & Stability: Jung on the Mandala

Jung on the Mandala
by Maureen B. Roberts, 2000

Carl Jung explored the psychological meaning of mandalas. He saw mandalas as symbolic of the inner process by which individuals grow toward fulfilling their potential for wholeness. In the mandalas created by his patients, Jung saw a natural process of generating and resolving inner conflicts that brings about greater complexity, harmony, and stability in the personality. Mandalas are important indicators of the process of personal growth that moves you toward fulfilling your particular identity and purpose in life. The mandalas we create indicate our "premonition of a center of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche, to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which is itself a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to become what one is, just as every organism is driven to assume the form that is characteristic of its nature, no matter what the circumstances" (1973: 73).

According to Jung, the powerful, generative center of our inner reality is the Self. This point of focus within us cannot be directly known. It remains outside of awareness, in the unconscious, and yet its pattern guides our psychological development throughout life. The Self is the true center of personality, but we are much more familiar with the ego, that which we know as "I." The ego seems to us to be of central importance because we can know it directly with our conscious mind.

Whether or not you are aware of the Self, it exerts a powerful influence on your life. The quality of your conscious existence --your level of energy, your sense of harmony or confusion, and whether or not your life feels meaningful-- all are largely determined by the connection between ego and Self. When ego and Self are in harmony, much energy is freed for thinking, caring, and creating. When ego and Self are not closely connected, life can seem flat and boring. There is little energy available for accomplishing things in the outer world.

The Self exists from the beginning of life and guides the development of your ego. Your ego develops within the matrix of the Self and even after it separates from the Self-- when, as a child, you begin to speak of yourself as "I"-- your ego remains connected to the Self (Edinger, 1987).

Throughout life the Self acts as a guarantor for your ego. When stress, inner conflicts, or expanding consciousness challenge your ego, the natural order of the Self comes forward and restores harmony. Sometimes the Self instigates change when your ego is stuck in a pattern that is not in keeping with your true character…

During such times we feel compelled to create mandalas. Jung found that, "mandalas usually appear in situations of psychic confusion and perplexity" (Jung, 1973:vi). People who have little training in art suddenly find themselves drawing and painting mandalas because it just feels right to do so. Instinctively they turn to mandalas to contain their experience, to open themselves to the guidance of the Self, and to listen to the voice of God within.

By Bonnie Bell & David Todd

            Carol Jaron, MS, MFT, CHT
            Offices in San Francisco & San Mateo
            (650) 464-4387
            (415) 541-5004

The information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive or a substitute for one on one care by a mental health professional, such as myself. If I can be of assistance to you or your family, I encourage you to contact me. PLEASE NOTE: If you have a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

©2008-2015 Carol Jaron, MFT.  All Rights Reserved.    

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