I believe that authenticity matters; hiding who we are stifles growth opportunities for the individual and collective. So in this blog I write about all things that genuinely fascinate me: art, spirituality, the puzzles of personhood--and their ongoing interplay. For some, learning the artist's thoughts contaminates the experience of the art, and I respect that. It might be best to avoid this blog and visit only my gallery pages. Personally I can't get enough of the stories, ideas, and people behind art, so this blog is most appropriate for an audience similarly curious and open-minded, and who won't take offense at challenging perspectives and taboo topics. It's especially for those who are aware they're undergoing a spiritual awakening and seek to feel less alone in that process. I wouldn't be at this better place in my life if it weren't for the wayshowers I found online who helped me understand what was happening to me and to the world, and I hope to pay it forward by doing the same for others on the awakening path.
The cairn below started out with my standard approach: washy, eroding, in my favorite Payne's gray. But it wasn't particularly interesting; it needed something. Then I noticed that thin, dark line that naturally forms at the edge of a watery shape as it dries, where suspended pigment concentrates. What if I exaggerated that boundary? So I did. And my gut reaction was, there's something exciting about this.
The thing I'm loving about painting is that it gets me in touch with my intuition. It's the instinctive feeling that I now heed, after decades of believing that I had no choice but to deny my preferences. You mean, I'm allowed to decide if I like this thing or not, and follow through with action accordingly? What a luxury! Not a luxury. It's a human right that we eventually wake up to.
Equally engaging for me is the intellectual process that kicks in where I ask, why do I like this? I don't actually think it's necessary to understand why we like art. I also don't think it's necessary for artists to convey in words the meaning behind their art. But for me it's a natural exercise since my old worldview exploded and the embers ignited a burning curiosity to understand deeper truths that lie beneath what we've been told is the only reality. I'm constantly in seeking/analytical mode now because of it.
So I noticed that this new crop of cairns seem to be phasing from one state to another. The lower stones appear to be in flux, full of shifting shadows, while the upper stones are more light, delineated, and static--but are also losing the boundaries between them. It dawned on me that these cairns provide a visual metaphor for my spiritual preoccupation: the idea that humanity is making a shift in consciousness from a third dimensional reality to a fifth dimensional one.
What is this shift? Age of Aquarius isn't just a song in a musical about hippies; it's the actual new age we're entering based on precession of the equinoxes, or what constellation in the zodiac the sun rises in on the equinoxes. This slow, steady movement through the zodiac occurs as the Earth wobbles on its axis in a cycle that takes nearly 26,000 years to complete. Each age, named for a constellation, lasts around 2,100 years. This shift has been prophesied by, and filtered through, every religion and culture on the planet. I'm sure you've heard of the "rapture"--a heavily fear-based perspective detailed in the bible's book of Revelations. Why did the Mayan calendar end in 2012? Because the ancients recognized that it was the end of an era. In the Hindu tradition, we're transitioning from the Kali Yuga, an age of darkness and ignorance, into the Satya Yuga, or the golden age of peace and harmony. Many authors including David Wilcock, Gregg Braden, and Graham Hancock have covered this topic thoroughly. I don't follow any one religion or cultural tradition. What I find fascinating though is the eerie similarities across them that point to an important transition that's happening in the world right around this time.
Information on the shift, also known as ascension, isn't just found in religious texts and ancient cultural traditions. Modern-day hypnosis sessions and other types of channeled messages provide guidance, too. Dolores Cannon, a pioneer in hypnosis, took up it up in the 1960s to help people do things like stop smoking and lose weight. But a technique she developed inadvertently took her hypnosis subjects back through what she came to realize were past lives--at a time when reincarnation was completely unheard of (at least in the modern western world). Years later she refined her technique to work in the deepest levels of trance, which allowed benevolent sources of extradimensional wisdom--which she called the superconscious or higher self, among other terms--to speak through her subjects. They often provided the subjects with miraculous physical healings and helpful information for personal problem solving. They also deliberately shared lost or hidden knowledge with Cannon with the intent that she write about it, including the shift to the new Earth that is underway and, famously, the three waves of volunteers who incarnated on Earth from other star systems to assist with that shift. Cannon ended up writing 17 books over her nearly 50-year career on the information that came through thousands of hypnosis sessions. Here are excerpts from a two-part interview she did with The Edge magazine in 2011:
We are moving into a new frequency, a new dimension where it is going to be the New Earth, and it’s going to be extremely beautiful. They have described it in the books – the beautiful colors, that everything is total love.
We’re moving away from the negativity of the Old Earth, and it’s going to be a complete turnaround, beyond belief, and we’re all going there now. The New Earth is where it’s at. The Bible in the Book of Revelations talks about the New Heaven and the New Earth. That’s the same thing we’re having now. It’s just that St. John, when he had the vision on the Isle of Pathos, didn’t realize it was going to take another couple of thousand years before it was going to happen.
The most important thing is that we are living in the most important time in the history of the universe, and it’s very important to be here now. There are thousands of souls who want to be here to experience this – even if they can just be here for a few hours. They say even if they’re born and die right away, they can say, “I was there when this occurred.” This is how important this is to the entire Universe. So, you’re living in a very wonderful time that will never be repeated again.
. . .
Lots of people at the lectures ask, “Do I have to die to go to the New Earth?” No. You’ll take your physical body with you. This is a gradual process. You won’t even realize when it happens. It’s not just going to be bam and then you’re there. It’s a gradual process – and then way, way, way down the road, we will turn into beings of light.
Hypnotists and hypnotherapists have proliferated and are continuing to bring in exciting information about ascension through their clients.
Maybe you're thinking as you look around at the chaos and negativity in the world today: Are you kidding me?! We're not shifting into anything positive at all! Here's an analogy: When you have food poisoning, what happens to your body? You get incredibly nauseated and spew from both ends. You likely get a fever. It's thoroughly unpleasant. But it's also your body's way of cleansing so that it can recover. Healing is ugly and painful, physically and emotionally, on the micro and macro levels. Isn't it interesting how race issues and the Me Too movement are dominating the public sphere these days--even though we had the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and women's rights movement in the 1970s? What's going on is that all the reservoirs of prejudice, abuse, anger, victimhood, pain in the collective unconscious that were hidden and suppressed despite past social change efforts, are now coming up for us to finally process and heal. It looks bad, but it's a crucial stage of the shift because we can't take the garbage with us into the next age.
Fifth dimensional reality is much less dense than third. There is conjecture about how much physicality fifth dimensional humans will have, but a common prediction is that we'll become something closer to light body, a form made mostly of light (as Dolores Cannon noted in the interview excerpt above), as opposed to the dense meat suits we wear now. Art historian and ascension researcher William Henry has presented some interesting findings about this shift by examining recurring symbolism in historic and religious texts and works of art, including the Tibetan depiction of the rainbow body, and the light body found in Christian imagery. There are also some strange, documented cases of Buddhist monks transitioning to light body through deliberate practice.
White light contains the full spectrum of different wavelengths/colors of light, so to me, the white stones in my paintings seemed to represents a state of wholeness. And why moving shadows within and among the lower stones? This intuitive artistic choice coincided with something I was learning about and applying in my own life, which has produced massive psychological breakthroughs for me: shadow work. It's based on a concept identified by psychologist Carl Jung and popularized by new-age spiritual teachers. Here's Teal Swan:
We are born whole, but that wholeness is short lived because we are relationally dependent. Being born relationally dependent into families that socialize us into a society that is not fully evolved yet, spells trouble because it causes us to learn that some aspects of ourselves are acceptable, and others are not. What is acceptable vs. unacceptable depends on the perspective of the family you’re born into. The aspects of us that are seen as unacceptable (both positive and negative) are rejected by our family and the aspects that are seen as acceptable are not. So, being relationally dependent, in the name of survival, we do anything we can to disown and deny and suppress those aspects in ourselves that are disapproved of whilst exaggerating those that are approved of. We dissociate from what we disapprove of. This creates a split within the person that we call the conscious and the subconscious. This self-preservation instinct of dividing ourselves into conscious and subconscious is in fact our first act of self-rejection.
Years ago, the revolutionary psychologist Carl Jung (while studying with Freud), observed the fact that there were parts of his patients that they, themselves were aware of and to the contrary, there were parts that they, themselves were unaware of. Consciousness has long been referred to as a light. To become conscious of something is to be able to see it in the same way that we see something that is exposed to light. When something is unconscious, we cannot see it. It is as if we are trying to see it in the dark. And so, Carl Jung began to refer to the unconscious aspects within a person that they, themselves are unaware of or could not see as their ‘shadow’. The human shadow is any aspect of a person that is not exposed to the light of consciousness.
The reason that the human shadow contains mostly negative things is because we tend to reject or deny or suppress or disown the least desirable aspects of our personality. For example, we are more likely to suppress jealousy than to suppress a talent we have. But the most common misconception about the human shadow is that it contains only negative things. In fact, the human shadow often contains disowned or rejected aspects of a person that are truly positive. This is especially true for people who struggle with shame and low self-esteem.
. . .
Every human in existence that was ever socialized (which is everyone), went through this process of splitting themselves into parts. Parts that are owned and parts that are disowned. This self-rejection is the birth of self-hate. The emptiness that we feel is the result of those missing rejected or disowned parts of our self. And the soul wants one thing, to make us whole again. We will be provided every single opportunity to become whole again and to make the subconscious conscious. But in order to become whole again, we need to see and accept the aspects of ourselves that we disowned and denied and rejected. This is what shadow work is all about.
In 2017, during an epic road trip throughout the southwest I met a traveler who took an interest in my art. As he looked through photos of the cairn paintings on my phone he said that they reminded him of people. I thought it was cool that someone else noticed what I had suspected about my cairns for a while: that they symbolize the human being. Here's my interpretation: the individual stones symbolize fragmented pieces of our psyche. Their shadows represent the aspects we keep hidden, and the fact that they're shifting around (as happens during my watery painting process) suggests shadow work underway. It follows that the lightest stones are our fragmented parts receiving the light of awareness. As we accept them, they integrate into the whole self so that the boundaries between them dissolve.
I kept finding more connections. See the next blog post, Grokking the Cairn, Part III.