We hear much about so-called centering prayer, centering meditation, the centering of the Self, etc. These kinds of discussions would also include mandalas, of which C.G. Jung was so fond of, a form of spiritual and ritual art that Jung borrowed from Hinduism and Buddhism, and appropriated for his psychological ideas. Here is his own description of their meaning for him:
My mandalas were cryptograms concerning the state of the self which was presented to me anew each day…I guarded them like precious pearls….It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the center. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation (Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p. 196).Also, he did not believe the path to individuation was a linear one.
I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self (ibid.)The idea of a psychological center bothers me. I am a firm believer in the Hermetic Principle of Correspondence, as above, so below. We humans are many Microcosms, each one corresponding to the Macrocosm, the cosmos, and the more subtle worlds of Being. Just using the example of the cosmos and our own microcosm, what we learn about stars, planets, galaxies, moons, etc. corresponds to the particular Soul that we are. There are many Persons within us, just as there are many stars and planets in the heavens. I don't see a center, but many centers, centers within centers, ad infinitum.
There is much agreement that our Universe is acentric. So, applying the Principle of Correspondence, we are also acentric. This is why Jung's theory bothers me. If we are acentric, there is no single Self at the center of our Being, which we are moving toward.
I believe the centering idea stems from the Western overemphasis on monotheism, of which I have written about in The Death of Monotheism. There has been a notion is scholarly religious circles that monotheism is the end-product of thousands of years of religious evolution. In other words, polytheism would rank as a primitive form of thought. But is that really the case in Nature, since our Principle of Correspondence would apply to all avenues of human thinking? Jung himself demonstrated the multifariousness of the human psyche, giving individuality to all the archetypes.
Jung's insistence on integration of the various personalities into a lone Self is very bothersome to me. All these archetypes have many things to contribute to us; we should not be waiting on their annihilation, when they are to be assimilated into a singular centricity. The wonders of Nature do not seem to be not moving toward a singularity, why should we? As above, so below.