Charles Gilchrist Mandalas
Gallery #2.  Four Corners Suite
Interview With The Artist #4  The Square
By Leslie Page © 2005
Writers note: when Charles and I began our Sacred Geometry interviews, He allowed me, in a very unconditional way, to ask the questions that spontaneously came to my mind. These exchanges were consequently very scattered, covering a wide range of subject matter. This interview is actually a composite of clips from several of our tapes (Numbers 2, 3, and 6) and is supplemented with an additional conversation we had about the sacred geometric archetype, known as The Square.
L.P. "Charles, I know the Sanskrit word 'Mandala,' means 'Circle,' but the square is obviously a very important aspect in the creation of Mandalas. In fact, the vast majority of the classical Eastern Mandalas I have studied are based on the square. And then, a few days ago I was reading a Hindu author who suggested the circle was literally the same thing as a square, which really confused me. Do you understand his point of view?"
C.G. "Yes I do, but that is a fairly abstract and esoteric concept. Lets start at the beginning and build from there. At some point I believe your question will be answered — automatically."
L.P. "All right. That makes sense. I know you are convinced Sacred Geometry begins with the single point (Bindu) which naturally evolves into The Circle. How does The Square fit into this evolution?"
C.G. "The Square naturally evolves within the Vesica Piscis (Fig. 1). Actually, all form and phenomena evolves from the Vesica Piscis but let's just concentrate on The Square. The Square naturally evolves from the center point of the Vesica Piscis. The center point of the Vesica Piscis (X) is created by the intersection of our original radius (the line between points A. & B.) and a new line connecting points C. and D. (Fig. 2)."


(Fig. 1)  Vesica Piscis: Origin

(Fig. 2)  New Center  X

L.P. "All right, I've got it. Keep going."
C.G. "That new center point (X) is extremely important because it establishes numerous transcendental possibilities. One of those possibilities is the creation of a new and smaller circle, its radius between points A and X. I call this form 'The First Transcendental Circle' (Fig 3.). This circle is half the diameter of our original circle and The Square naturally evolves within that smaller circle (Fig. 4). When you see where The Square comes from it automatically reveals its intimate connection to the circle "


Fig. 3: First Transcendental Circle

Fig. 4: Origin Of The Square

L.P. "I see it, Charles. Very simple — logical."
C.G. "Yes, Leslie. Sacred Geometry is beautifully simple. The perfect logic of Sacred Geometry is one of the reasons I am so enthralled with it.
L.P. "So let's talk about The Square as it relates to our world. You have told me, on numerous occasions, that the geometric archetypes form God's first and most esoteric language. What does The Square have to say to you Charles? What does it say to us?"
C.G. "That's true Leslie, Sacred Geometry is THE root language, and I am an interpreter of that language. For instance, notice the relative orientation of the square as it is originally created within the Vesica Piscis. This is what we call the Dynamic or Projective Position (Fig. 5). When a square rests on one of its sides we call that the Static or Receptive Position (Fig. 6). The same holds true for all the geometric shapes such as The Triangle, The Square, The Pentagon, The Hexagon, The Octagon, etc. They all have both a static and dynamic orientation which colors their relative messages. Even the Two Circles Of Common Radius, has a receptive and projective orientation. The contemplation of a square in its static and dynamic positions reveals markedly different psychological effects. Each has a different voice and a different energy.


Fig. 5: The Dynamic Square

Fig. 6: The Static Square

L.P. "That is a very interesting observation, Charles. They definitely feel very different. The Dynamic Square is just that, and looks like something is happening or about to happen. On the other hand, The square in its static position feels completely at rest and stable, the basic shape of building blocks. Blocks can be easily stacked, like bricks, but you can't balance a brick on one of its corners."
C.G. "Yes, that is the obvious example as it relates to the construction of walls and buildings (the three dimensional world) but it goes much deeper than that. I am convinced that the two dimensional archetypes have a direct relationship to our archetypal psychology, holding intrinsic messages about the nature of the cosmos. That dynamic square we find within the Vesica Piscis, is firmly rooted within our subconscious minds and constantly effects the nature of our physical and emotional orientation to the universe. Even if we rotate the Two Circles Of Common Radius from its dynamic orientation (Fig. 4) to its static orientation (Fig. 7), That first square remains in its dynamic position.


Fig. 4: Two Circles
Of Common Radius
(Dynamic)
Origin Of The Dynamic Square

Fig. 7: Two Circles
Of Common Radius
(Static)
Origin Of The Dynamic Square

L.P. "All right. How does this dynamic square, you suggest is so firmly held within our subconscious minds, actually effect our relationship to the cosmos?"
C.G. "One of the most obvious examples is seen in the natural human creation of maps and their consistent orientation to the four directions. Virtually all maps, no matter where or when they were made, make reference to the four directions, North, South, East, and West. This world wide and timeless phenomena proves our human concept of the four directions is coming from within, as we keep reinventing it again and again and again. The four corners is a root psychological archetype naturally developing through the deeper sacred geometric archetypes of The Vesica Pieces and The Dynamic Square."
L.P. "So Charles, you are saying the ancient concept of the four directions evolved directly from the cross and the square which is to be found in the Vesica Piscis, and somehow bubbles up from the deepest aspects of our consciousness.?"
C.G. "Yes, exactly. The repeating revelation of the four directions comes from the deepest archetypes of our consciousness which are effecting our view of the material world. Sacred Geometry is at the heart of literally everything and is continually shaping our understanding whether we realize it or not."
L.P. "That is an interesting point of view, Charles, and is, for an old Jungian like myself, pretty hard to resist. Tell me more about your openeyed meditational work and its relationship to the square?"
C.G. "Yes, Mandalas. As you stated earlier, most classical Mandalas make reference to the four directions, with doorways in the form of geometric shapes set at each side of the square and one or more circles placed within (Figs. 8 & 9).


Fig. 8: "Shri Yantra"
from the book "Tools For Tantra"
by Harish Johari
published by Destiny Books

Fig. 9:
Journey To The Sacred Mountain
A Mandala by Charles Gilchrist
See Gallery #3

And Leslie, here's the answer to your first question: a squared circle is created by duplicating its diameter four times, enclosing that circle (Fig. 10). In that sense, a square which perfectly encloses a circle is equivalent to that circle. That circle and square are like the left and right hands of the same energy. In that sense, The Square equals The Circle. That is what your Hindu author was writing about. Compare the squared circle enclosing a dynamic square and you have the graphic roots of classical Mandala (Fig. 11)"


Fig. 10: The Squared Circle

Fig. 11: The Squared Circle
Enclosing Dynamic Square

L.P. "Now I understand what that Hindu writer meant when he said the circle is equivalent to the square; its obvious now. I have already come to realize the squared circle and the four directions are a major aspects of classical Mandalas, but now I see how the classical Mandala relates to and grew from that root geometric archetype: the Vesica Piscis. Keep going."
C.G. "Consider the ancient astrological symbol for the Earth. It is that same circle and dynamic cross we find within the Vesica Piscis (Fig. 12). And, Leslie, we are living on the fourth planet from our sun, and that ancient astrological symbol of our Earth is a circle divided into four parts. And here's another connection: In esoteric numerology, the Earth is assigned the vibration of four. The ancients recognized our Earth has a certain correspondence to Fourness. These realities are far from coincidence."
(Fig. 12)  The Astrological Symbol For Our Planet Earth
L.P. "Wait a minute, Charles. Are you saying the Square has something to do with the number four? I mean in the metaphysical sense?"
C.G. "Absolutely! It's totally obvious. The circle is a perfect symbol of unity and oneness. Divide a circle into four equal parts and you have a square. The Square is the sacred geometric equivalent of Fourness. You could say the squareness IS Fourness, North, South, East and West; and from the astrological point of view, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. There's more, Leslie."
L.P. "I'm with you, Charles. Keep going."
C.G. "Consider this, Leslie. A major symbol of the Christian tradition is the elevated cross, which also obviously comes from the Vesica Piscis. Christ, who was crucified on that elevated cross, was a great spiritual master of life. He was at one with the creator, a great prophet of unconditional love who advised us to center our consciousness in the heart, and further suggested that all our actions should spring directly from the heart. And the heart, Leslie, is the fourth energy center of the human body which has forever occupied that same relative position of Fourness. The Hindus and Buddhists call this energy center the fourth Chakra.
It is very obvious: Fourness, The Cross, and The Square, are interrelated at the deepest possible levels. We humans, even though we may not be conscious of these esoteric truths, intuitively realize these energies and develop our symbolism in perfect correspondence. It happens over and over again. The principles of Sacred Geometry shape our thinking and feeling."
L.P. Wow, Charles. That is a very compelling knot of information. My mind is spinning. How about the Native Americans? They where also very connected to the cross and the four directions. They somehow must have been plugged in to this collective metaphysical energy."
C.G. Yes, obviously. And that proves the point that a functioning culture does not have to have some highly developed scientific technology to discover the deepest truths of the universe. It comes from within. For multiple thousands of years, Native Americans have been deeply centered in the perfections of Sacred Geometry. Their philosophies and rituals are saturated with a kind of intuitive geometrical thinking. Black Elk, the wonderful and tormented Lakota Shaman, is perhaps the most eloquent spokesman for that kind of mystical realization of the geometric archetypes.
Not only did Black Elk find potent spiritual truth associated with the circle and the four directions, but he also perceived the six, three dimensional directions; North, South, East, West, Up and Down. In the end, he also found the seventh direction which is a very abstract concept: our internal metaphysical center; the universal omnipresent center of us all; the true Sacred Mountain. This brilliant spiritual leader was a so called primitive pagan. But in fact he was a significant member of a highly developed and naturally functional culture; a culture which had lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years; a culture which most white men perceived to be sub human, Godless, and barbaric — the fools. This brilliant shaman (Black Elk) had developed a highly intimate relationship with the creator; a psychological relationship which functioned within a perfectly attuned geometric architecture. He called the circle, the 'Sacred Hoop' of his nation."
L.P. That's beautiful — really. Let's get back to The Square Charles, seen as a deep psychological archetype. I find this point of view to be extremely interesting, even compelling.
C.G. Yes, so do I Leslie. I can clearly see that the world wide and timeless tradition of creating Mandalas is springing from the roots of consciousness: The Single Point and its natural evolution called Sacred Geometry. Because Sacred Geometry is the root architecture of the universe, it is also is the root architecture of our minds. This realization leads us to the Collective Human Mind, a mind which transcends all individual human differences and unifies us all.
L.P. "That kind of holistic thinking would suggest that we humans did not invent the Mandala but rather only discovered a possibility already existing within the depths of our unity."
C.G. "Yes, exactly. When we contemplate a classical Mandala, we may not consciously perceive the effects that square is having on us but non the less, that static square is moving us toward the eternal stillness forever held within that geometric form. The Static Square, The Dynamic Square, and The Circle (all parts of the classical Mandala) are transcendental doorways leading into the pure aspects of God Mind to be discovered at the heart of our human minds. God Mind is omnipresent and omnipotent, and the creation and/or contemplation of Mandalas can bring us to the most intimate grocking of The One."
L.P. "I am reminded of a group of small classical Mandalas you created: The Four Corners Suite. I love those pieces, very beautiful (Figures 13, 14, and 15)."



(Fig. 13)
Deasert Wheel

(Fig. 14)
Gender

(Fig. 15)
Sky Power

Three Mandalas from the suite of thirteen  see Gallery #2
C.G. "Thank you Leslie. Yes, the thirteen Mandalas of 'The Four Corners Suite' are definitely classical. I felt a great healing in the production of that project which reinforced my appreciation of the immense powers held within in the classical form. "
L.P. "Charles, we mostly talk about two dimensional archetypes, very conceptual and abstract. I'm interested about the relationship this two dimensional world of yours has to our three dimensional world. Lets talk about The Square as it relates to it's three dimensional version: The Cube.
C.G. "That is a very interesting and important area. You could write a book about that one , Leslie. You are right of course. The two dimensional realm is completely conceptual, the mental blueprint of the three dimensional universe. As an iconographer and an interpreter of the archetypal language called Sacred Geometry, I have discovered at least three different dialects. Each of the first three dimensions is speaking a variation of the language and the interplay between those dialects is fascinating.
L.P. "For instance?"
C.G. "Consider the two dimensional Square: it has four sides and four corners, and naturally evolves from The Circle. And, as we have seen, that Square has a natural correspondence to Fourness. But when The Square evolves into the next dimension and becomes a Cube, it also expands vibrationally. The Square which becomes The Cube, now has six sides which are all exact duplicates of the original square (Fig. 16). That Cube also has eight corners, and twelve edges, and both perfectly encloses the sphere, and in turn is enclosed by The Sphere. Compared to The Square, The Cube is sending us infinitely more subtle and complex messages. That is why I suggest beginning students should concentrate on the two dimensional archetypes first, or should at least be aware that the messages of a basic two dimensional form are not exactly the same as the messages of its three dimensional counter point."
(Fig. 16)  Cube In Cube
Acrylic Mandala by Charles Gilchrist  see Gallery #6
L.P. "I can immediately see this multi dimensional area we've just touched on (dialects of the language of Sacred Geometry) is going to need a lot more time. We should probably plan another interview for that, but how about one last word on The Square."
C.G. All right, good. As we have seen, Leslie, The Square is a tremendously important Icon of Sacred Geometry, an archetype of prime significance, and much more than just a symbol for this and that or even the basic shape of building blocks. The Square forms a major visual sound in the two dimensional language of Sacred Geometry, and that visual sound holds harmonious correspondence to the sounds of The Circle. The Square is a unique visual mantra which, because of its root purity, acts as a natural doorway to the universal truth of God Mind. In that mind, The Square vibrates as a visual sound like a mantra, forever teaching us about the nature of the universe in a most pristine and uncluttered voice. Listen carefully, The Square is full of balance and healing (Fig. 17).
(Fig. 17) The Square
