I am a very curious person. I ask lots of questions. I often wonder what was in the Alexandria libraries that were burnt down? What antiquities have been lost in all the wars humanity has raged? What went on in the mysteries schools in Egypt? What is going on in all the research laboratories in the world? What images are passing through humanity in their dream state? What are all the unseen artists all over the world producing? What is humanity at large creating? So many secrets to unearth! I yearn to see what humanity has done and is doing. Curiosity incites the imagination. The imagination is our own inner power. I use my imagination to become an unbiased witness observing the past, present, and future of the world.
I wish to see humanity became more inclusive of the imagination. The advent of alchemy brought the term radix Ipsius to life. It means the root of itself or the universal substrate of life. Radix Ipsius is a mysterious creative center in the universe. This is the root of our being and the state of absolute being any matter can exist in. In each of us is a replication of the universe.
I believe art to be spiritual alchemy, a form of meditation where I can examine my beliefs, my ethics, and my habits. In this process of examining myself, I have had to first learn to be an unbiased witness to myself in order to be an unbiased witness to humanity. Learning to be an unbiased witness to myself has been an arduous task but well worth it. I find my creative state becomes so much richer for it because I will consider everything that passes before me and see so much more than I did before because I am not placing conceptual veils on the experience.
My process of art-making involves libraries. I have an obsession with libraries and feel most alive when I am in them. I spend many hours going through the stacks in every section of the library. I collect images and thoughts that send an electric feeling to me, I just know they have something in them for me to realize. I then mix my collected pieces with my actual paintings. At this point, they go into a computer and I pry out sections of works and incorporate them into new crystalline arrangements, just as our minds do, we are always reinterpreting everything that passes through us. No matter how much I shapeshift the images they still contain the root of its beginning, its DNA intact, a process of evolution occurs. This method reflects what I feel life is about, we are always ourselves yet in a constant state of transformation. I feel our ability to change and shift our being is limitless and I see endless ways I can transform through art. Art manifests the imagination and unites the collective consciousness.
” I am the old dragon, present everywhere on earth. I am father and mother, young and old, strong and weak, living and dead, visible and invisible, hard and soft, descending into the earth and ascending into heaven, very big and very small, very light and very heavy. The order of nature often changes in me in color, number, weight, and measure. I contain natural light. I am clear and dark. I am known and I am nothing.”
– Basil Valentine from Azoth
An artist confronts their vulnerability daily. One immediately has to address how free they are, how many snares one is bound up in, where one’s energies leak out. The realization that there is no freedom in escape screams loudly to someone trying to create. There is nowhere to go but towards oneself. One may ask, what do they know? Why are they an artist? What is one doing with their lives? What does one have to offer the world? Where have we been as a collective consciousness and where are we going as a collective?
I dropped out of the art world after showing for over 10 years. I found the whole experience unsatisfying and disruptive to my own process of discovery. I went to live in the woods so I could hear nature and myself communicate, so I could figure out these big questions. I have continued to make work all these years, seeking my own vision, but the driving force has been what will speak to the collective.
I have looked at my gaps in knowledge and have tried to learn what I can so far about the evolution of mankind’s consciousness. I am certain as a species we have left behind hidden treasures that we can dig up and restructure to help move humanity forward to the possibility of a more peaceful and satisfying world. The Sumerians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks had mystery schools to train their populous in the ways of higher consciousness. Can we bring those teachings back, in a modern way? Can Art speak to this question? What would this look like? These questions inspire me.
Image making is an alchemical process of suspending an idea in a vessel so one can step back, to contemplate, reflect, and to train one’s reaction and action skills. Art-making requires a very strong will. One is always in twofold conjunction of inner realities and outer facts, visible and invisible realities. The practical necessities of surviving continually try to eat away one’s resolve.
I had a dream recently about a man who had committed suicide. In the dream, he calls me up. I ask him if he is still alive, he says no. I ask him how he is? He tells me nothing has changed he is still in pain only now it is worse because he can do nothing to change himself. The veils between life and death are very thin but in life, we can act, we can seek to improve ourselves, learn from others, ask for help. We can mine humanity’s gifts.
Wherever there are great treasures there are also demons, who guard the hidden. One must make their way past the demons and then one must be able to protect the treasure themselves. The treasure must be shared with humanity, or one will lose it. If one can attain that, then creative consciousness becomes the creator and the creation simultaneously, and then one knows freedom.
“The beginning, the middle and the end, the birth, the growth and the perfection of everything we see is accomplished by means of opposites, within opposites, toward opposites. Where there is opposition there is action and reaction, there is movement, diversity, multiplicity, succession, and vicissitude.” – Giordano Bruno
“Not one of the senses must slumber, and even if not all are equally awake, all must be stimulated and not repressed or neglected.” – Novalis
“There is a world we must recover hidden in the very act of sensible perception.” – Henry Corbin
The Hannover Principles
William McDonough and Michael Braungart 1992
1. Insist on the rights of humanity and nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse and sustainable condition.
2. Recognize interdependence. The elements of human design interact with and depend upon the natural world, with broad and diverse implications at every scale. Expand design considerations for recognizing even distant effects.
3. Respect relationships between spirit and matter. Consider all aspects of human settlement including community, dwelling, industry, and trade in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness.
4. Accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems and their right to co-exist.
5. Create safe objects of long-term value. Do not burden future generations with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of products, processes or standards.
6. Eliminate the concept of waste. Evaluate and optimize the full life-cycle of products and processes, to approach the state of natural systems, in which there is no waste.
7. Rely on natural energy flows. Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income. Incorporate this energy efficiently and safely for responsible use.
8. Understand the limitations of design. No human creation lasts forever and design does not solve all problems. Those who create and plan should practice humility in the face of nature. Treat nature as a model and mentor, not as an inconvenience to be evaded or controlled.
9. Seek constant improvement through the sharing of knowledge. Encourage direct and open communication between colleagues, patrons, manufacturers, and users to link long term sustainable considerations with ethical responsibility, and re-establish the integral relationship between natural processes and human activity.
Quotes, Questions, Thoughts
Crisis inspires invention. If we look in the cracks, we can find solutions.
“The greater the tension between the pairs of opposites, the greater the energy that comes from them.” -C.C. Jung
“In nature, the resolution of opposites is always an energic process: she acts symbolically in the truest sense of the word, doing something that expresses both sides, just as a waterfall mediates between above and below.” -C.C. Jung
Can we heal?
Nonviolence seems the only path.
Compassion for our enemies.
Compassion for our fear.
What else is there but empathy, we are all the same.