Week 20: Fish


Fish Mandala

For this mandala design, I created one full-color version using color pencils:

Fish Mandala
Fish Mandala – 4″ diameter

The Fish mandala is one of a series of 21 asymmetry mandalas created over a 3-week period in autumn 2007. It consists of nine vertical straight lines and five diagonal wavy lines. My asymmetry mandalas come about by drawing in-the-moment inspired doodles.

This mandala received its name after I finished coloring it. It looked to me like a tight-knit school of tropical fish. So tight that they lacked any space between them. Each of their odd shapes fit so perfectly together, forming this circular shaped asymmetrical puzzle.

The Message

Fish encourages us to honor and value the individual as well as to honor and value the community as whole…finding that healthy balance between the pursuits of the individual while also supporting the greater good of the community.

In “Aristotle for Everybody” by Mortimer J. Adler, he explains how Aristotle determined that for each of us our overall purpose in life is the pursuit of happiness in whatever way, shape or form that may take. However, as part of a community, this pursuit of happiness must be done without impeding or obstructing the pursuit of happiness by others. Without this, communities would exist in chaos.

“When, therefore, we, as individuals, obey laws that direct us to behave for the welfare of the community as a whole, we are indirectly helping to promote the pursuit of happiness by our fellow human beings. What we do directly for a few others out of our love for them, we do indirectly for all the rest by obeying laws that require us to act for the welfare of the community in which they, as well as we, live.”
Mortimer J. Adler (pg. 107)

When we come from this place of pursuing our own happiness while at the same time honoring other’s rights to pursue their own happiness, we create a community that lives “peacefully and harmoniously with one another, acting and working together for a common purpose.”

Are we actually pursuing our own happiness? Do we know what makes us happy? Have we lost sight of what that is?

At the same time, how does our pursuit of happiness affect those around us and the community as a whole? Does it add to the peace and harmony of the community? Does it serve the community as a whole?

And just as important, is our pursuit of happiness obstructing the pursuit of happiness by others?

It really all comes down to the golden rule:

Do unto others as we would have them do unto us



joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala Lady


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