Playing around with the notion. Again, it’s an arcane spiritual term often used by specialists of Tibetan Buddhist tantric deity visualisation practices but the underlying concept – rarely explained in plain language – is that every mandala has a core, essential character which is what makes it unique. This is just like how the kitchen mandala is different from the bedroom mandala, or Fred is different from Mary. This core particularity permeates the entire mandala which includes no end of different interdependent elements. For example, kitchens all have stoves, garbage cans, cupboard, shelves, foodstuffs, ornaments, pots and pans and so forth; and yet each kitchen is unique. Every mandala is like this, sharing much in common will all mandalas of that ilk (like kitchens or persons) and yet also being unique. Catching the essence of that uniqueness is the art of glimpsing the seed syllable, penetrating to the heart of whatever. If you can name it you can use it to cast a spell.
Here follow some playful riffs taking a subject from the conventional world and writing out a quick ‘seed syllable’ paragraph. We’ll start with the last photograph from the previous post ‘Where are we all headed?’
General impressions, the cluster: tussled hair in touch with the gods, rams horns, tacky Las Vegas shades with cheap frames, loose-fit collar, slightly cynical turn to the lips which are still full-blooded, double frown lines indicating frustrations – cloud cover obstructing full illumination, downcast gaze, tux looking cheap like a leather jacket and jeans outfit in a formal board meeting, reserved, inscrutable.
Seed syllable: Wrinkled goat god wearing shades.
The Team: Buccaneers are pirates so they raid, surprise, break rules, cut through expectations and convention, are a little bad, daring, aggressive, deadly with ruthless captain.
Brady: successful but clean-cut. In the photo we see someone seemingly joyful but it looks phony somehow. The trophy is no more impressive than his pewter-coloured sport shirt outfit – a gap between myth and reality. Brady can be admired for many things but he isn’t much of a bad boy pirate; that said, his fierce competitive drive can be regarded as a little piratical though his predilection for hard core practice, study and discipline is not all that swash-buckling.
Bucs: dangerous and bold in attack and defense; a little crazy.
Brady: disciplined team leader, fierce competitor who is driven to and knows how to win.
Prognostication: Brady doesn’t seem to be in sync with the ideal TB Bucs gestalt. Similarly, the team doesn’t seem to fit it’s own seed syllable which has, obviously, pirate nature at the fore. A pirate ship is held together by its ruthless and super-skillful captain. Brady is going to have turn this team into a fierce band of pirate raiders in order to win again this year but based on his phony-looking smile last year at the crowning achievement of his career, I suspect his heart is not really in it though perhaps he doesn’t realize this yet because for so many years it has been. And now it’s doubly tricky because both the team is not true to its core pirate nature and because although he is arguably one of the best team leaders in the history of team sports, he is not a pirate captain type leader. This does not bode well.
Pirates don’t rest on past glories and are bent on plundering whatever treasure presents itself now. They have to take it from someone else rather than hold one to what they have got which in this case is last year’s title. Perhaps if they now begin to falter for a few games and have to come from behind to plunder the trophy from another prematurely crowned pretender that will suit their spoiler nature. Tom is going to have to get more nasty and desperate; and interestingly there were hints of that in their terrible loss to division rival Saints last week wherein Tom started smashing tablets and shouting at the opposing team’s coaches.
In sum: unless both their captain and the team can invoke a convincingly dangerous pirate mandala in the playoffs they will not be in sync with their team seed syllable principle and will fail to seize the crown for a second time in a row.
More might be added later, so check back from time to time!