I had painted the first mandala in 1916 after writing the Septem Sermones; naturally I had not, then, understood it.
In 1918-19 I was in CMteau d’Oex as Commandant de la Region Anglaise des Internes de Guerre.
While I was there I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing, a mandala, which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time.
With the help of these drawings I could observe my psychic transformations from day to day.
One day, for example, I received a letter from that esthetic lady in which she again stubbornly maintained that the fantasies arising from my unconscious had artistic value and should be considered art.
The letter got on my nerves.
It was far from stupid, and therefore dangerously persuasive.
The modern artist, after all, seeks to create art out of the unconscious.
The utilitarianism and self-importance concealed behind this thesis touched a doubt in myself, namely, my uncertainty as to whether the fantasies I was producing were really spontaneous and natural, and not ultimately my own arbitrary inventions.
I was by no means free from the bigotry and hubris of consciousness which wants to believe that any halfway
decent inspiration is due to one’s own merit, whereas inferior reactions come merely by chance, or even derive from alien sources.
Out of this irritation and disharmony within myself there proceeded, the following day, a changed mandala: part of the periphery had burst open and the symmetry was destroyed.
Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: “Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation.’
And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions. Carl Jung, MDR, Pages 195-196