Facing the Darkside with Stanislav Grof, Erik Davis and the art of HR Giger

Contributed by Alessandra Campos-Miller, MA

Exploring Perinatal Matrices with the art of HR Giger, in HR Giger and the Zeitgeist of the Twentieth Century

In the episode Facing the Darkside of Erik Davis’s Expanding Mind podcast, Davis speaks with groundbreaking transpersonal psychologist and psychedelic researcher Dr. Stanislav Grof about nightmares, pathology, psychedelics, and the visionary art of H.R. Giger. Psychedelics have the ability to activate dimensions of the psyche that may otherwise remain inaccessible to the conscious mind. As Dr. Grof explains, the psychedelic experience acts as a catalyst, “activating deep contents in our unconscious” that provide opportunity for cosmic transformation. Experiences of ecstatic or “celestial” states of consciousness provide one means by which these contents can be accessed. However, there is also an underworld of the psyche that is made up of the darker elements of the unconscious. In his discussion with Erik Davis, Dr. Grof employs the work of artist H.R. Giger to explore this darker side of psychic terrain. According to Dr. Grof, the artwork of Giger depicts the psychological traumas that make up the landscape of our dark unconscious as he explores in his book H.R. Giger and the Zeitgeist of the Twentieth Century.

In his discussion with Davis, Dr. Grof points to the experience of birth as the locus of our primary trauma. Grof explores the intimate relationship as shown in Giger’s artwork and experienced in the perinatal journey. The exploration of the initial traumatic experience of birth is essential to holotropic healing, which literally means “moving towards wholeness.” By dealing with the nightmarish realm of the unconscious, we move towards wholeness, healing, and perhaps even the next stage of human evolution. Listen to the episode here:

 

And delve even deeper into the dark side of modern consciousness with the work of Dr. Stanislav Grof and the art of H.R. Giger with your copy of H.R. Giger and the Zeitgeist of the Twentieth Century.

Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years experience researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. His groundbreaking theories influenced the integration of Western science with his brilliant mapping of the transpersonal dimension. On October 5, 2007 Dr. Grof received the prestigious VISION 97 award granted by the Foundation of Dagmar and Vaclav Havel in Prague. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of Transpersonal Psychology and received an Honorary Award for major contributions to and development of the field of Transpersonal Psychology from the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in 1993. Dr. Grof is also the founding President of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) and was its President for many years. He has organized large international conferences throughout the world and continues to lecture and teach professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology. Currently, Dr. Grof is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness in San Francisco, CA, and at Wisdom University in Oakland, CA. Dr. Grof was born in 1931 in Prague where he received an M.D. from Charles University and a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine) from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. Between 1960 and 1967, he was Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia. In the United States, Dr. Grof served as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He was also Scholar-in-Residence at Esalen Institute. Dr. Grof’s extensive research includes experiential psychotherapy using psychedelics and non-drug techniques, especially the holotropic breathwork (a method he developed with his wife Christina), alternative approaches to psychoses, understanding and treatment of psychospiritual crises (“spiritual emergencies”), the implications of recent developments in quantum-relativistic physics, biology, brain research, and other avenues of the emerging scientific paradigm, for psychiatric theory and consciousness studies. Among his publications are over 150 papers in professional journals and many books including Beyond the Brain, LSD Psychotherapy, Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Game, and the newly-released When the Impossible Happens and The Ultimate Journey. Recently, he wrote the essay to that provides a psychoanalytic framework for understanding the work of H.R. Giger.

from Synergetic Press

Erik Davis was born during the Summer of Love within a stone’s throw of San Francisco. He grew up in North County, Southern California, and spent a decade on the East Coast, where he studied literature and philosophy at Yale and spent six years in the freelance trenches of Brooklyn and Manhattan before moving to San Francisco, where he currently resides. He is the author of four books: Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (Yeti, 2010), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape(Chronicle, 2006), with photographs by Michael Rauner, and the 33 1/3 volume Led Zeppelin IV(Continuum, 2005). His first and best-known book remains TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (Crown, 1998), a cult classic of visionary media studies that has been translated into five languages and recently republished by North Atlantic Press. He has contributed chapters on art, music, technoculture, and contemporary spirituality to over a dozen books, including Future Matters: the Persistence of Philip K. Dick (Palgrave), Sound Unbound: Writings on Contemporary Multimedia and Music Culture (MIT, 2008), AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man (University of New Mexico, 2005), Rave Ascension (Routledge, 2003), and Zig Zag Zen (Synergetic Press, 2015). In addition to his many forewords and introductions, Davis has contributed articles and essays to a variety of periodicals, including Bookforum, Arthur, Artforum, SlateSalon, Gnosis, Rolling Stone, the LA Weekly, Spin, Wired and the Village Voice. A vital speaker, Davis has given talks at universities, media art conferences, and festivals around the world. He has taught seminars at the UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Rice University, as well as workshops at the New York Open Center and Esalen. He has been interviewed by CNN, NPR, the New York Times, and the BBC, and appeared in numerous documentaries, as well as in Craig Baldwin’s underground film Specters of the Spectrum. He wrote the libretto for and performed in “How to Survive the Apocalypse,” a Burning Man-inspired rock opera. He has hosted the podcast Expanding Mind on the Progressive Radio Network since 2010, and is currently earning his PhD in Religious Studies at Rice University .

from Techgnosis

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The Psychedelics of Compassion: Don Lattin and Allan Badiner

In this conversation for Tricycle between Allan Badiner and Don Lattin, they cover the spectrum of spiritual and psychedelic practice. In under half an hour this discussion moves from extreme ayahuasca encounters meeting death and dragons with Terence McKenna to the power of the humble Buddhist techniques of breathing and smiling with Thich Naht Hanh. They track the history of the academic approach beginning with the scholarly insights of Huston Smith and examine the expansion of psychedelics in the realms of clinical research. Badiner is the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, the only book of its kind that offers a conversation about Buddhist practice and the psychedelic spiritual experience. Lattin is a reporter and author of the bestselling book, The Harvard Psychedelic Club.

 

Regeneration, Amanda Sage, 2012

Regeneration by Amanda Sage, featured in the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Allan shares his experience at a Vipassana course in Sri Lanka where he felt miserable, until the end of the retreat when his pain was replaced by peace:

 

“I felt an incredible shocking kind of kinship to all life around me: the environment, the breeze, the bugs, everything, the trees. People were coming up to me and engaging me in ways they had never done before, so I realized I must be putting out something different or there must be something about me that has changed that has caused this all to happen. I wanted to know more about what that was.” –Allan Badiner

“…It’s like nothing happened, but something extraordinary happened at the same time.” –Don Lattin

 

 

 

Timeless by Matti Klarwein, featured in the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Timeless by Matti Klarwein, featured in the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

 

“There’s a lot of work on multiple paths that you can be doing, and probably should be doing, if you really want to evolve.” –Allan Badiner

 

To continue this conversation on psychedelics and spirituality, you can read more from Allan Badiner, as well as Terence McKenna, Huston Smith, Alex Grey, Ralph Metzner, Ram Dass, Joan Halifax Roshi, Jack Kornfield, Rick Doblin, and many more thoughtful figures in the numerous essays, and interviews, poems, reflections and stories in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. Zig Zag Zen also contains an expanded display of stunning visionary artwork including new pieces from Alex Grey (who curated all of the art for the book), Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, and Amanda Sage, as well as the work renowned modernists Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and others.

 

You can get your copy of Zig Zag Zen in our bookstore.

 

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Poet Tea – Love is in the Air

This Valentine’s Day, Love is in the Air at Synergia Ranchcerrillossunset

Synergetic Press presents a Poet’s Tea with Rosé & Johnny Dolphin

Join us for a heart-centered afternoon and drink in the poetry of these two special men who bring us beauty and truth from their powerful words. 

On February 14th, from 3-6 pm at Synergia Ranch

RSVP by emailing tango (at) synergeticpress.com

Tea and light snacks will be served.

rose
john_allen

Rosé

Rosé was born deep in the Bronx in 1934. He began crafting his poetry while attending a number of colleges during the 50’s. After a stint in the army he bounced around working as a lifeguard, masseur and astrology writer. He saw his heaviest combat duty teaching High School in New York. In the early sixties he assiduously pursued Ancient Greek while dining on Mexican beaches, touring in European cafés and slumming in Moroccan dives. Between a stint of acting, including the movie “The Edge,” he published a book of drawings and launched skin diving trips throughout the Yucatan and the Florida Keys. His “School of the Night” specialized in occult classes and his “Liquid Wedge Gallery” made media history with sculptor Tony Price’s first “Atomic Art Show” in NYC in 1969.Rosé is the father of two daughters. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he performs his poetry at the drop of a hat.

John Allen (pen name Johnny Dolphin)

Under his nom de plume, Johnny Dolphin, writes poetry and prose that emphasizes humanity’s connection with the biosphere and our responsibility as planetary stewards. He has read in many places around the world including George Whitman’s Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, the Green Street Cafe in New York where Ornette Coleman accompanied him on the saxophone, The October Gallery in London, and the Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth, Texas. His plays have been performed in many countries on seven continents, from the ICA in London and Theatre du Soleil in Paris, to villages on the Amazon and streets in California, from Wroclaw to Oshogbo. As an acting teacher, he has taught over 200 actors and set up ten studios.

A scientist, poet, playwright, and savant, he lived with the avant-garde and Berbers in Tangiers, Morocco;  then, clad in a jelaba across N. Africa, living with tribal chiefs and shamans while journeying on south on the Nile through the Sudan, continuing east to India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Japan, all the while studying the art, science, and literature of civilizations on this planet. He emerged as a writer from the Tangier school at age thirty-four. Since then he has chronicled a personal and social history of the essence of the places he has been through poetry, short stories and plays.

And if you aren’t able to join us for the event, you can still find the poetry of Rosé and Johnny Dolphin in our bookstore.
Off-the-Road
ThePearlcover

 

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Vine of the Soul and Embrace of the Serpent

Embrace of the Serpent (El Abrazo de la Serpiente) is a newly released film based in part on the experiences of ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes (author of Synergetic Press’ Vine of the Soul) in Colombian Amazonia. The film, directed by 34-year-old Ciro Guerra, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 88th Academy Awards and is the first film from Colombia to ever be nominated. Guerra poured through the early diaries of the first foreign scientists to live and work with the native people of the Amazon, was drawn in by the writings of Richard Evans Schultes and Theodor Koch-Grünberg, and based the film on their accounts.

 

Richard Evans Schultes

Dr. Richard Evans Schultes

Embrace of the Serpent tells the story of an Amazonian shaman named Karamakate who is the last surviving member of his tribe. Karamakate travels with ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg in search of a sacred plant at the beginning of the twentieth century and then again goes on the same search decades later with ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes. Schultes, who is known as the father of modern ethnobotany, came to the Amazon to research the plants used by the indigenous population. The comprehensive writings, notes, and photographs left by Schultes provide an intimate look into the Amazonian world.

vineofthesoulcoverThe way Schultes documented his experiences with plant medicines was encyclopedic. Early interest in the rainforest and plant medicines influenced his academic career from the beginning. While studying at Harvard, Schultes wrote his senior undergraduate thesis on ritual use of the peyote cactus among the Kiowa. His research led him to uncover the identity of mystical mushroom species in Mexico for his doctoral thesis. He was the first person to study ayahuasca academically, and his work in the rainforest brought global attention to the destruction taking place in the Amazon.

In Schultes’ classic book Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia, he details the world of Amazonian sacred, healing plants. This mystical photographic essay is accompanied by detailed descriptions of the Amazon Indians’ use of medicinal and other sacred plant substances, and their active chemical ingredients.

One of the Amazonian images captured in Vine of the Soul

An image of Schultes in the Amazon captured in Vine of the Soul

 

“Although exploitation of medicinal plants has become a political issue in much of the world during the last decade at a time when there are many serious questions regarding the exploitation of native peoples, it is refreshing to find the essays written with such an obvious respect for the payés, their belief systems, and their extensive knowledge of plants. Schultes conducted his field research in an open and straightforward fashion, taking a direct approach to the communities he worked with, and demonstrating his respect for their customs and beliefs.”

–Indigenous Nations Journal, Vol 6, No. 1, Spring 2008

“Quite simply a masterpiece… Vine of the Soul deserves to be read by everyone interested in rainforests, indigenous peoples, shamanism, hallucinogens, ethnomedicine and conservation.”

Mark Plotkin, President, Amazon Conservation Team 

As the Academy Award nomination of Embrace of the Serpent shows, interest in the healing plants of the Amazon is at an all-time high throughout the world. The information originally obtained and organized by Schultes himself remains one of the most valuable resources we can access. Through books such as Vine of the Soul we’re able to explore and uncover the rainforest world where healing with plants is the norm, and ritual and magic play essential roles in everyday life.

An image from Embrace of the Serpent with Schultes in the background

An image from Embrace of the Serpent with Schultes’ character in the background

To dive deeper into the world of Amazonian sacred plant medicines, explore a copy of Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia by Richard Evans Schultes.

 

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Eco-Psychology and Plant Teachers: Ralph Metzner’s Green Earth Vision

eco-evolution-logo

At the core of consciousness researcher and pioneering psychologist Ralph Metzner’s work is an attempt to understand our eco-psychology: how we as human beings relate to the natural world.

This conversation between consciousness pioneer Ralph Metzner and eco-visionary Michael Gosney was recorded at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies conference in Oakland, California (the annual gathering of scientific research on the healing and psychological effects of entheogenic and psychedelic agents Plant-teachersfound in nature) this Earth Day 2013 edition of Eco Evolution features a wide-ranging conversation with one of the most informed minds on the human condition, and potential.

Topics include:

  • Metzner’s work with Theodore Roszak launching the field of eco-psychology and the Green Earth Foundation as a clearinghouse
  • Deep ecology
  • Plants as healing agents and “teachers”
  • Shamanism
  • Cannabis and entheogens used for veteran’s post traumatic stress syndrome
  • Bio-regionalism
  • Community currencies and banking systems
  • The role of media in our eco evolution, and more

Underlying this conversation is the increasingly relevant message of the deepening awareness in our collective psyche that we are out of balance with the divine, and that this divinity reveals itself in the loving intelligence of the living planet in which we are embedded.

Listen to the conversation here:

This interview was originally posted on Eco Evolution on April 22, 2013. 

You can go deeper into Ralph Metzner‘s entheogenic expertise in his new look at the “Psychedelic Tibetan Book of the Dead,” in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics and experience an intimate understanding of his life with the founders of the psychedelic movement in Birth of a Psychedelic Culture.

 zig_zag_zen_front_cover   birth

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Making the Planetary Personal

 

Making the Planetary Personal

January 5, 2015
 Dear Friends,
Reflecting on this next turn around the Sun and this auspicious moment in human and planetary history, brings to mind some of the key ideas that drive me and our work here at Synergetic Press: 
  • We live in the ANTHROPOCENE: The Age when humans are recognized as the dominant geological force of the planet;
  • BIOSPHERICS is the interdisciplinary science essential to understanding planetary and cultural dynamics;
  • The NOOSPHERE, a sphere of intelligence around the planet that is emerging to determine our evolutionary future.

The concept of the noosphere was developed in the 1920s by Vladimir Vernadsky, Édouard Le Roy and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Nearly 100 years ago, in scientific, philosophical, and artistic circles people were discussing the idea of the noosphere, a world in which all of humanity become responsible stewards of the biosphere. I heard about the noosphere in 1984 when I was working at the Biosphere 2 project and published the first English translation of Vernadsky’s theory of the biosphere. Thirty years later, the noosphere has become an essential concept for understanding today’s ecological and culturological crises.

Humanity is undergoing a process of “planetization” becoming a truly global culture and entering a new era of the human journey.                              -Teilhard de Chardin

In the Guardian recently, David Suzuki applauded the landmark Paris agreement on climate change as an indication that “the Age of the Humans won’t necessarily lead to an age of destruction.” But, to change course, we humans must act swiftly and on a grand scale.
However, I’ve been exposed to countless BIG IDEAS about sustainability, consciousness … what practical changes have I made as a result? Christian Schwägerl’s book The Anthropocene, made me really question everything I think I need to live, what I throw away, and how. I began to examine each purchase and found ways to recycle as much as possible. Tony Juniper tells us in What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? that we produce enough food on the planet to feed everyone, but upwards to 50% of the food now produced is wasted. Staggered by this statistic, I have since paid close attention to what’s in the fridge, saving money and produce. Working on Zig Zag Zen with Allan Badiner and Alex Grey inspired me to reenergize my body and brain through meditation and seek to be more conscious of my actions and daily choices in life.
Every book Synergetic Press publishes contains ideas to help us understand how to be better to the planet, better to ourselves. The time is now to think, innovate, regenerate … make the planetary situation personal.
 
We have an exciting year ahead.
Deborah Parrish Snyder, Publisher

News & Events

Biosphere 2: World’s Largest Laboratory for Global Ecology Documentary Short on YouTube

Pioneer in biospherics and Synergetic Press author, John Allen, with Mark Nelson and other project co-founders and directors, talk about why they built the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology, Biosphere 2, and how eight people lived and worked inside it for two years (1991-1993) growing their food, recycling their air, water and wastes. This experiment, built to put Vernadsky’s theory of the biosphere into practice, defined many aspects of the metabolic connection between humans and the environment that sustains them, while greatly advancing the field of space habitat design. The project has been noted as the first experiment to examine the value of natural ecosystems services in this man-made world.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW


Photo of Christian Schwägerl and Tony Juniper by Jonathan Greet

The Anthropocene at the Royal Society of Arts and Royal Institution in London

The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How it Shares Our Planet, by award winning environmental journalist, Christian Schwägerl, was launched in London last Spring at the October Gallery, and joined by Tony Juniper in a talk on the subject at the Royal Society of the Arts. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON THE RSA CHANNEL

And for a brilliant overview on the Anthropocene, see this talk at the Royal Institution in London with Leicester University professor, Jan Zalasiewicz and Christian, moderated by Robin McKie, scientific editor of the Observer. CLICK HERE TO VIEW

 


Vladimir Vernadsky’s Essays on Geochemistry and the Biosphere Now Available in EBook

Vladimir Vernadsky’s complete, unabridged Essays on Geochemistry and the Biosphere, his two seminal books in one. Translated from the Russian 1944 edition.

Read the Introduction by Alexander Yanshin, VP Emeritus, Russian Academy of Sciences for FREE.

Click Here

 


Dialogue About Buddhism, Psychedelics and Visionary Art in Santa Fe and London

In April we celebrated publication of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, edited by Allan Badiner and Alex Grey, with events in Santa Fe where editors Alex and Allan were joined by Rick Strassman and Allyson Grey for an engaging discusion of the topics.
In July, Zig Zag Zen released in London with events at Breaking Convention conference and legendary Watkins Bookstore. Zig Zag Zen is a unique collection of wisdom from scholars, teachers, and artists on the best practices for spiritual exploration and the interface with psychedelics.

Forthcoming titles include the Ayahuasca Reader and The John C. Lilly Reader. Click on the covers below for more details. Sign up for our mailing list to keep informed of new titles and events. www.synergeticpress.com

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On the Side of Nature: An Age of Human Stewardship & Bioeconomics

David Suzuki called the UN Paris agreement a milestone in the Anthropocene Era, and an indication that “the Age of Humans won’t necessarily lead to an age of destruction.” (The Guardian) While I’m as optimistic as they come, it’s clear that humanity needs to act swiftly and on a grand scale to effect and uphold the major changes that must occur to prevent a planetary catastrophe.

One of my favorite eco-heros, Tony Juniper, a campaigner, writer, and sustainability adviser reports from Paris conference this month: “Increased atmospheric CO2 is doing much more than warming the Earth, it’s also acidifying oceans, something that is already having major impacts on ocean ecology in the Southern Ocean and the North Atlantic. Likely effects: more CO2 in the atmosphere, more jellyfish … We really have to put the brakes on carbon dioxide and very fast. These effects are already becoming very large and there are huge uncertainties as to how this will affect among other things food production.”(The Ecologist)

Atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest they have been in millions of years and the impacts of climate change are also impacting corporate and government balance sheet at such levels that corporations are starting to sit up and take notice. Trade can no longer trump climate, as the NAFTA’s policy has upheld for decades. There is no part of the economy that doesn’t depend on Nature, says Juniper. If there is no Nature, he argues, there can be no economy, no growth, no business.

The solution, Tony says, is a shift to a “bioeconomy” where our economic system is a subset of Nature, and not the other way around. A world where the technosphere is designed to support and sustain the biosphere, not use it up. See his talk at TEDxWWF.

TonyJuniper_squareLearn more about how it pays to be on the side of Nature in Tony Juniper’s  book, What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? How Money Really Does Grow on Trees with a foreword by Prince Charles.

Read the Foreword by Prince Charles and Preface for Free Here.

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How the Visionary Art of Android Jones Connects Kali, Endangered Species and the Empire State Building

Striking images of endangered species were projected onto the side of the iconic Empire State Building as examples of the animals we currently risk losing due to the expansion of industrial activities. In reflecting on these images, we are called to look within ourselves for ways to transform our lives to be inclusive of all life.

An image of Kali, as painted by Android Jones, was projected onto the Empire State Building after the scenes of endangered species. Jones said “Kali is the personification of time and death. Maha Kali is the fiercest form of Maa Durga representing the destroyer of evil and Darkness.”

 

This projection event on one of the most recognizable buildings on the planet was organized by the group who produced Racing Extinction, a film about the hidden world of the markets and industries behind the extinction of the precious species of this planet.

via Rebelle Society

In an unprecedented and awe-inspiring public display of art by filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and his team, Projecting Change, projected onto the NYC skyline by Obscura Digital, was meant to spark awareness of massive wildlife extinction, and be a chilling call to conservation turning the Empire State Building, New York’s brightest and most recognizable symbol and capitalism’s earliest totem, into the worlds greatest canvas, as well as its most epic tombstone and oracle of the Dark Feminine.

From the colossal projection of Cecil the Lion, whose recent tragic death provoked a mass outpouring of love and outrage, to the images of hundreds of nameless endangered animals, finned ones and scaled ones, horned ones and winged ones, two-legged and four, creeping and crawling and running for their lives across the Empire State Building, this revolutionary and heart-rending project, will not soon be forgotten.

“If you are not heartbroken, you are not paying attention!” this project seems to scream from its illustrious rooftop. For as the parade of near-extinct animals appear on the screen, it is impossible not to face the crushing realization that it is not a question of if hundreds of species will continue to go extinct, but when… Our shiny unsustainable systems based on glamour and greed have taken us to a world on the edge of collapse — only holy darkness can save us now.

And it was Kali, the dark mother, the destroyer of illusions and the personification of time, death and holy change, by Android Jones, that stole the show in New York, as the final, spectacular image of the installation, leaving her fierce gaze to peer into our souls.

If there was ever a sign of the times, this is it. In our bones we all recognize, we are in the death pangs of the old world, and that we make it through is anything but certain.

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It is time to get our Kali on inside and out; to cut off the head and commit to the heart on all levels. So many of us are shedding our false selves, empty certainties and small lives, and no matter how much we wish for the safety of the old, the more desperately we hold on, the hotter the fires of the Real.

The quickening of the New Earth is upon us and what is needed now is the fierceness of Ma Kali. A holy oracle of change, her medicine is darkness, her initiation is by fire — she calls upon us to rise from our own ashes, to speak truth to power, take on all our shadows and take up the arms that we have, our own, to hold, serve and protect all life as we would our own child.

The Divine Feminine energy is pulsing through every pore of the planet right now, every whisper of the world soul is one intimately connected to our ecology. The ecological consciousness is feminine consciousness, systemic, interconnected, relational and embodied; nature and psyche, body and soul, the spiritual and the political can no longer remain apart.

May we burn up the convoluted narratives of separation, deprivation and control, cut off the dead promises of capitalism, step fully into our dharma, and let the Mother guide us through the fires of transfiguration. May all beings be happy. One Body. One Heart. Jai Ma!

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“In preparation for the birth of the Divine, the entire human race is now going through a global dark night, which will result in a new humanity that has been humbled and chastened by tragedy, so that it may open completely to the mystery of divine grace. This dark night cannot be bargained with, explained away, leapt over or mitigated. It is the destined crucifixion of a communal human ego now clearly revealed to be suicidal, matricidal, dangerous to itself and to the whole of creation. No one and nothing will stop Kali dancing Her terrible dance of destruction and re-creation. There will be no resurrection of an embodied divine humanity without a systematic, perfectly organized, brutally complete crucifixion of everything in us that keeps us addicted to the systems of illusion that are now rapidly destroying everything.”  ~ Andrew Harvey

You can read more from Rebelle Society on this story here.

And you can see more of the innovative and esoteric work of Android Jones in the New Edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

 

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Artist Paul Laffoley Enters the Bardo

The world has lost a leading visionary artist in Paul Laffoley, who passed away on November 16th, 2015. His paintings featured mandala-like imagery, making heavy use of text and trans-disciplinary symbolic elements. His architectural background comes through in his depictions of complex spiritual ideas, providing a sense of looking at the blueprints of the subtle structure of reality.

mindphysics

Mind Physics: The Burning of Samsara in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

From the Official Paul Laffoley Website:

The visionary artist and luminary, Paul Laffoley, had died after a long battle with congestive heart failure. He had an extraordinary grasp of multiple fields of knowledge compulsively pursing interests that often lead him into uncharted territory. His complex theoretical constructs were uniquely presented in highly detailed mandala-like canvases largely scaled to Fibonacci’s golden ratio. While an active participant in numerous speculative organizations including his own Boston Visionary Cell since the early 70s, his work began to attract an increasing following in his late career with shows at the Palais de Tokyo (2009), the Nationalgalerie/Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin (2011), and the Hayward Gallery, London, the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and the Yerba Buena Center in 2013. The first book on Laffoley’s oeuvre was published by Kent Fine Art in 1989, followed by several subsequent publications beginning with his first retrospective organized by the Austin Museum of Art (1999). Forthcoming in March of 2016, the University of Chicago Press will be releasing the long awaited book entitled The Essential Paul Laffoley. He was a kind and generous giant, and he will be sorely missed by all of us.

Paul Laffoley was one of the visionary artists featured in Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics.

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Visionary Salon: Zig Zag Zen Discussion with Allan Badiner, Alex Grey, & Allyson Grey

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Join Allan Badiner, Alex Grey, and Allyson Grey at CoSM: the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors on November 21st for an in depth, interdimensional , intersectional discussion exploring the promise of DMT, the path of the Dharma, and how to act creatively and skillfully with whatever tunes us in.

Buddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. This new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (2015, Synergetic Press) has evolved from the landmark anthology that launched the first inquiry into the ethical, doctrinal, and transcendental considerations at the intersection of Buddhism and psychedelics.

A provocative and thoughtful exploration of inner states and personal transformation, Zig Zag Zen now contains an expanded display of remarkable artwork including pieces from Android Jones, Sukhi Barber, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, and Amanda Sage, as well as the original work of Robert Venosa, Mark Rothko, Robert Beer, Francesco Clemente, and many others, including more work by the pioneering visionary artist Alex Grey.

You can purchase tickets from CoSM here: https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/cosm/eventRegistration.jsp?event=1617&

About the Presenters

Allan Badiner served as the editor in the first and second editions of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Chronicle Books, 2002; Synergetic Press, 2015), as well as two other books of collected essays, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology and Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism. Allan is a contributing editor of Tricycle magazine, and serves on the board of directors of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation and Project CBD. He has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than 25 years.

Alex Grey is a renowned American visionary artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art. His work spans a variety of forms including performance art, sculpture and painting. He is a member of the Integral Institute, on the board of advisors for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics and is Chair of Wisdom University’s Sacred Art Department. He and his wife Allyson Grey are co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a non-profit church supporting Visionary Culture in Wappinger, New York.

Allyson Grey artist, writer & social sculptor, has co-written & edited a dozen books & all seven volumes of CoSM Journal of Visionary Culture.  Since 1975, Allyson has been artistic partner and studio mate of artist, Alex Grey.  With a Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University, Allyson has been an educator & muse to artists the world over.
  Alex & Allyson are the parents of actress, Zena Grey. Together, they co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, an interfaith church, celebrating creativity as a spiritual path.

Sukhi Barber – Appearance/Emptiness

 

Even if you aren’t able to attend the event, you can still engage in the conversation with the many voices of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Join Us
We're working to find ways to build a more sustainable planet.

Receive new releases, events notifications and a chance to win a FREE book every month.