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Alex Grey

Fuchs and Mati Klairwein, are European painters still painting today, who are inspired similarly. Thangka painting, the sacred art of the Tibetan Buddhists, has been an influence. I feel like we now have access to the spiritual traditions and visual cultures of most of the world’s great civilizations. Artists have never had that before. It’s like the seals of the Apocalypse are opening and during the Twentieth Century we get to see humanities past life review. Cave art was recently discovered in France. Art done tens of thousands of years ago, inspired by the Goddess and Shamanic magic is now available. Artists are in a unique position at the end of the Twentieth Century to access all visual traditions, and synthesize them in an evolving universal spiritual tradition.

David: I’m curious about your views on the evolution of consciousness.

Alex: It seems to me the universe is like a self-awareness machine. I think the world was created for each individual to manifest the boundless experiences of identity with the entire universe, and with the pregnant void that gives birth to the phenomenal universe. That’s the Logos. That’s the point of a universe, to increase complexity and self-awareness. The evolution of consciousness is the counter-force to the entropic laws of thermodynamics that end in stasis, heat death, and the loss of order. The evolution of consciousness appears to gain complexity, mastery, and wisdom.

Lessons are learned over a lifetime– maybe many lifetimes. And the soul grows and hopefully attains a state of spiritual awakenedness. Buddha was the “Awakened One”. To be able to access all the simultaneous parallel dimensions, and come from a ground of love and infinite compassion like the awakenedness of the Buddha, is a good goal for the evolution of consciousness. The spiritual “fruit” in many spiritual paths is compassion and wisdom.

David: So as a result are you optimistic about the future evolution of humanity?

Alex: That’s a big leap. (laughter) I have some optimism about the potential for human beings to manifest Buddhic qualities of compassion, spiritual heroism, and reverance for all life. There’s always problems in this phenomenal world, but if we maintain ideal ethical views we can cause less harm. There’s hope for a future to hand our children, and their children. There is also despair over the deludedness and the catastrophic disasters that human beings have created.

I don’t like vacillating between fear and hope. The Buddhist teachings caution against entrapment in those emotions. But we’re in samsara, and subject to emotions. Ultimately, I’m optimistic because the primordial nature of mind will never change no matter what happens. Our consciousness may appear in another universe, or in another dimension, but in some form the energy will be around. Consciousness just recycles.

David: Has raising a family at all interfered with your creative work? Maybe I should ask that differently. How has raising a family affected you creatively?

Alex: (Laughter) I have a wonderful daughter. Spending time with your family takes alot of time away from painting, but it’s my opportunity during her youth to be with her. She’s going to be our only child during this lifetime. If I don’t spend time with her now, I will have missed out. So, we take advantage of it and enjoy seeing her stages of growth. Her art development is wonderful. She teaches us and is a great teacher. You need to spend time with your teachers in order to learn new things, and these things find their way into my work.

All of my life experiences influence and deepen my work. Having a family, and profound, loving relationships, gives me tremendous joy. The world needs this positive energy. I accomplish less because I spend more time with my family, but I use the experiences we’ve had to make more profound work.

David: Can you tell me a little bit about the projects that you’re currently at work on?

Alex: I’m working on my next book– Transfigurations. It will include the work about the World Soul sculpture that I worked on for two years. It will have recent paintings, and probably a chapter on self-portrait work. From the time I was fifteen years old I have done a serious series of self-portraits. The book will contain some writing about the nature of the self.

I’m working on a painting called “Nature of Mind”. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It’s an altar piece, a seven paneled work that portrays the Dzogchen teachings of the sky-like nature of mind.

David: You spoke a little bit about what inspired the “Sacred Mirrors” project before. Did you want to say a little bit more about what the concept was behind it?

Alex: The “Sacred Mirrors,” are a series of twenty one panels that examine in fine detail the human physical and metaphysical anatomy — the body, mind, and spirit. Each Sacred Mirror presents a life-sized figure directly facing the viewer, arms to the side and palms forward (the “anatomical position”). This format allows the viewer to stand before the painted figure and “mirror” the image. People have reported that by using the paintings in this way, a resonance takes place between one’s own body and the painted image, creating a sense of “seeing into” oneself. The last time they were exhibited all together, I had the opportunity to trip with them. I felt like I was experiencing a new kind of subtle body work. When I was standing in front of the “Psychic Energy System” my “vital essence” was pulled out through my eyes, and into the painting, like a magnet. My vitality went into this glowing body, and like electrons zipping around a hard drive, I was being reformatted by the painted image of a perfect template. My vital essence was unkinked, purified and intensified. Then this essence oozed out of the painting and back into my body. The painting acted like a tool that catalyzed the evolution of my consciousness.

The “Sacred Mirrors” were a job I was given to do. They were a gift from the future, projected into my mind stream to bring benefit to others through healing art — a life-preserver tossed back into the time stream to be yanked towards the evolutionary future.

David: The Omega Point.

Alex: Right. The Sacred Mirrors have periodically been exhibited at various museums and galleries around the world. Allyson and I are committed to making them accessible to people in the form of a chapel, a permanent public space for the Sacred Mirrors. A Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors would bring together all twenty-one paintings in a domed circular room with guardian sculptures between each piece.

I think of the Chapel surrounding the Sacred Mirror room as a pyramidal structure containing a Sacred World Globe. The Globe symbolizes the collective spiritual consciousness of the planet, the noosphere, to use de Chardin’s term. The pyramidal architecture of the Chapel will symbolically draw in and focus healing and spiritual energies on planetary and personal awareness. The Chapel will act as a catalyst or an accelerator for the evolution of consciousness by displaying visionary and sacred art which evokes higher mind states. The spiritual legacy of humanity, East and West, from indigenous shamans to the world’s major religions would be acknowledged and honored there.

I’m creating an architectural model of the Chapel and working with a software company to make a virtual Chapel on CD-ROM, or possibly a Web-site which will make the space more accessible. This is a step towards the development of an actual chapel.

We need support to create this chapel. The site has not yet been chosen. It will be a space for personal transformation, for ritual and ceremony, for gatherings and cultural events. At this critical time in human history, we need places where all spiritual paths are honored. The Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors will celebrate the co-existence of religious diversity and fulfill the desire to enter into a unitive vision of World Spirit.

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