A traditional mandala is a way to show the connection between the human and the cosmos, a map of the soul and map of the Universe. The New Mandala is a way to envision the human according to a radical new cosmology.
One method today's scientists use to represent space-time is the "Past and Future Causal Light Cone." This diagram demonstrates the capacity for an individual to be affected by light and information from the past and for that individual to have an effect on the future. It draws on one of the key insights of the New Science: the linking of space and time and the speed of light. Modern scientists understand that, looking out into the nighttime sky, the light they see from the stars is not only coming from a particular distance, but from the past. As we look further and further into the distance, we are looking further into our shared past—at our ancestors, to use a human, organic metaphor. Because of the limits of light speed, not all light in the Universe can reach a given individual at a given moment. The cone expands as one looks farther and farther away, because light from a vaster portion of the Universe has had the time to reach us. Strangely—and perhaps this is where the limits of this two dimensional model breaks down—when we look into this expanding past we are also looking into a smaller Universe.
Just as the individual is a microcosm of the whole spatially, each is also an integration of past and future. Each of us carries a trinity of time—past, present and future—which encompasses the entire cosmos. This is a radically pluralistic vision, in which each unique viewpoint is central in space and at the temporal edge giving birth to a microcosmos of novelty. Our cosmology and mythology, the story we tell about how we have come to be, is our past; the mystical participation of each of us from our unique perspective in the matrix of potentiality is this moment; and the imagination, our capacity to create that which is not yet present, is the future. The New Mandala is far more than the "past and future causal light cone" for it is far more than a way to understand space-time -it's a new vision of the human in which past and future are present with each of us at this moment. In the womb of the moment, we can realize our cosmic identity.
With this vision of the anthropos cosmosophos, the full significance of the story of the Universe becomes apparent. It is the story of each of us. To know who we are, and how to live in concert with the wisdom of the cosmos, we must know the story of our becoming -to create, as humans always have, a new myth.