The Waves
of Beauty, The Many Forms of Symbolic Imagery


SONGS of the

The Waves of Beauty

The Many Forms of Symbolic Imagery

This is the area of symbolic imagery where the individual encounters the personal unconscious and later the collective unconscious, and deeper states. It is an area of mythic and religious symbolism expressed visually.

Some of the images are quick sketches, while others contain much detail and care. They attempt to capture some of the elements of unusual states of consciousness. As such, they are instructive and their purpose is to teach something about the nature of the mind as it encounters deeper realms of consciousness during meditation. Some images therefore include additional descriptive text.

Since the purpose of this section is educational as well as aesthetic, brief explanations of the types of meditation that result in this kind of imagery are also presented here.

The drawings are organized by themes such as meditation, creation and destruction, deities, and personal symbolic imagery.

Ekagrata Meditation

Some of the illustrations below result from ekagrata or "one-pointed" meditation. When the mind becomes highly concentrated, focusing all of its attention on a single imaginary visual point for a certain period, a series of images will sometimes appear. The images are sometimes called "veils". Many times they appear as 3-dimensional images, but the meditator can transcend them by turning them 2-dimensional, and then cutting through them or peeling them away. These images sometimes also take on a two or 3-dimensional character in the form of mandalas when their symmetry become circular. In this case, ekagrata meditation becomes a form of mandala meditation.

In this kind of meditation, the mind appears to be composed of a seemingly infinite number of these veils or layers containing mental imagery. The object of "one-pointed" meditation is break through these veils one after another in order to penetrate deeper, initially into the personal unconscious and later into the collective unconscious and universal consciousness, where the symbols encountered become religious or archetypal in character. These veils of the mind hide or obscure a spiritual reality which is many times perceived as spiritual light behind or beyond them. Passing through them is like moving through a dense forest where the meditator uses his or her concentration as a kind of cutting tool to penetrate them one by one, in order to finally enter a clearing of bright spiritual sunlight.

In the process of penetrating these veils, many different kinds of things can occur. Some of the drawings below illustrate the types of events that can occur during this kind of meditation, and the kinds of imagery associated with such events.

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