MANIFESTO OF VISIONARY ART

archetypes of harmony... so intense that I wonder if it is not the palm tree itself using my nervous system vicariously to communicate with the creator." (59)
      It must not be forgotten that visions of a higher world are often released through organic compounds found in certain plants. More recently, Terrence McKenna has written of the experiences triggered by psychotropic plants. After ingesting stropharia mushrooms in the jungles of La Chorrera, he reported how "I immersed myself in millions of images of humankind in all times and places, understanding and yet struggling with the insoluble enigmas of being and human destiny." (60) Then he adds, "All was myth-making and image-making, mercurial, multi-leveled, ever-flowing." (61) And he concludes,"Each of these experiences was... a chilling, exhilerating plunge into an ocean of noetic images. I discovered my own mind like a topological manifold, lying before me, inviting me to rove and scan the reflective knot of past and future time that is each of us." (62)
      At times, the adventure he shared with his brother in the Colombian jungles resembled a river journey into 'the heart of darkness', complete with shamanic vision-quests, UFO encounters, and a strange descent into madness. At a nadir point in the journey, his brother lost all contact with the world of our shared perception. And McKenna relates,
As he climbed the tree, he felt the flickering polarities of many archetypes, and as he reached the highest point in his ascent, something that he called 'the vortex' opened ahead of him - a swirling, enormous doorway into time. He could see the Cyclopean megaliths of stonehenge and



 
 
 


L. CARUANA

beyond them, revolving at a different speed and at a higher plane, the outlines of the pyramids, gleaming and marble faceted as they have not been since the days of pharonic Egypt. And yet farther into the turbulent maw of the vortex, he saw mysteries that were ancient long before the advent of man... (63)
      Such are the 'Visions of Light' which may break unexpectedly upon the artist during the course of his experimental journey. Sometimes, the Sacred appears in its more traditional forms of imagery. As Grof related, the eternal Mysterium may appear archetypally as the ancient Father enthroned in palacial mansions and enhaloed by swirling cherubim. Or again, union with God may be imagined as a loving embrace with the Great Mother Goddess of ancient religions - the heiros gamos. Other times, as in the visions of Johfra, the symbols of different traditions may combine with one another, revealing the eternal Unio Mystica at their shared source.
      The architecture of the heavenly realm may reveal itself in a cascade of jewels, polished surfaces, and semi-precious stones. Endless vistas may unfold, or all may become a swirling vortex of ancient architecture. Seraphs and cherubs may descend in flowing crystalline form or as multi-surfaced stone. Flowers unfold in intoxicating arrays of colour.
      Finally, the images themselves may give way, leaving only flashing auras of light: rainbow spectra, peacock tails, a rosace of stained glass - all of which may ultimately dissolve into a singular circle of golden light.



 
 
 


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