Mandalas

Jera - Year - 12x12 ink on paper original, unframed.

Jera – Year – 12×12 ink on paper original, unframed.

“ Mandala (Sanskrit Maṇḍala, ‘circle’) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe.[1] The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the general shape of a T.[2][3] Mandalas often exhibit radial balance.[4]

“In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. 

“In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.” Wikipedia

Space and place… we orient our selves to spaces and places. Within the territory of our awareness, we travel through our world and create maps, guideposts on the road of our lives. These abstractions of reality help us in maintaining a sense of order, logic and purpose. From this mapping the mind grows in complexity and dynamic understanding of the world, the universe. What exists in our world is manifested within our being. What is within our being is manifested in the world. An ecstatic dance occurs ‘tween in and out of creator, creating, creation. One can point to this or that, in or out, and say it is the source of intent… but in reality both are, and they work together as awareness rolls forward.

Triple Mandala, Ink on hand made paper

Triple Mandala, Ink on hand made paper

Diagrams of this dynamic process, mapping awareness have intrigued me for over 40 years. It started by mapping my world, grew into mapping and diagraming what I was learning. I am a visual person and the act of diagraming information made it easier to know and understand, the links often more interesting to me than the individual facts. Finally I fell in love with geometry and its ability to draw relationships between things. The mandala was introduced to me and I started to map my own mind, information, thoughts and feelings on paper. I was literally hacking my own brain.

The Ladder, sideways

The Ladder, sideways

The warrior’s path of freedom, dreaming and stalking, became a discipline of unwriting and writing the story of my own awareness. To that end, mandalas reflected the journey, the pathway, the walk of a thousand steps. They began to map the energy of shifting perceptions, a shift of the assemblage point. In creating these maps, pictures and diagrams… circles emerged, a great love for their representation of integrity and impeccability. There are no perfect circles in the universe of form. They do not naturally occur. But they universe is surely attempting to intend them all the time, thus we hold within our awareness the circle as abstract form and function. When we create a circle we are creating our own integrity, we are integrating our selves and defining our awareness.

Birth - Ink on paper

Birth – Ink on paper

As I studied at the traditional mandala and grew to draw them over and over, it became evident that something was missing. The missing piece in the whole tradition of the mandala is that of surprise, the random, the breaking of the circle… the place between integration and disintegration. Thus I began to break the circle, break the universe encapsulated in the map to search for what lies beneath, beyond and before. Searching for this energy we can all tap into, the diagrams began to become fractured, half triangles, squares and broken circles began to add up to something more universal to me than the static diagram of the classical mandala. Here we can enter not through the gateways of the cardinal directions but rather any point. And any point is in relation to any other point. We journey through the work as we do in life – the best way we can.

Being in Power

Being in Power

The eye darts from here to there in search of an order which is implicit in our own making. We are pattern generators. As we recapitulate the patterns, we reveal a greater mystery, which lies beneath, before, beyond. The patterns are growing old. While they are certainly beautiful and they help us to integrate and to know our selves and our world, there is always more to be explored. We can step beyond mastery into becoming artists dancing in the random pulse of a universe that is seeking continual renewal.

Birth of an Idea

Birth of an Idea

For this reason, I propose the mandalas that have been emerging from my drawing board. They speak to the path of freedom beyond the patterns, into the primordial ocean of being and non-being. They breath life into a universe of surprises.

 

 

 

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Tis the Season

Bear's Dreaming

Bear’s Dreaming

Between the shortest day of the year and the perihelion of the sun, January 3rd, there is a period of intense silence and connection that can be attained by the warrior of freedom.  This period, the dark days, mark a time when the light of day is short for the northern hemisphere.  If we sit in silence, we can hear the pulse of the earth in the subtle ways that she speaks to us.

We have to disentangle the pulse of the earth from the rolling force.  The rolling force is the force of constant change and is deeply connected to death.  Not that the warrior of freedom should ignore this, but at this time of the year for the north, the pulse lies under the rolling force.  It sleeps deep within our bones and speaks to our imagination.  We are linking to the creative generative force that sleeps in the winter.  That force can, if we are patient, guide us to ever newer possibilities for our next steps into the new year.

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Nagual Man, Nagual Woman… self important readings

The Nagual Man

The Nagual Man

In correlation with the previous post on the nagual and tonal, one of my favorite quotes comes from the Heart Sutra. “Form is emptiness; emptiness is form.” Emptiness does not mean nothing, it means absence of structure and solidity. We need this to create that (form)… And vice versa. There is no actual duality in the totality of the universe. It is a constantly changing, constant pattern making system. Order emerges (form) and it becomes self-regulating through a constant link with the nagual. This is probably one of my favorite ways to speak of the relationship between the nagual and the tonal.

But there is a distinct confusion that arises in the works of Casteneda with respect to the Nagual. In this instance, Don Juan uses the term for an individual who, having connected totally with more than just the tonal and can shift their assemblage points, they reach a point where they can shift other assemblage points as well. They are in essence constantly connected to the nagual. Therefore the term, Nagual in honor of a person thus evolved.

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Prophecy and the Shadowy Eye

Constellation of the Whale SMIt is very easy to look around and participate in the prophesies of doom. Why not? The earth is a disaster, which was brought on by human machinations, global warming, constant drilling, fracking… the list goes on. Almost every faith, religion, system, mythology all has stories of the end times.   Why such obsessions in the human band? Simple, we have experienced it before. It’s in our bones. It’s in our memories. We are born, live and die, so too must the whole shebang. And yet, humans survived some pretty nasty stuff.

If we take a closer look, what we feed is what we get. If we keep feeding doom, we get gloom and doom. Amazingly brain scientists have proven that when we constantly repeat these patterns, our neuro-plasticity becomes stable and we can no longer help but see the world through shit colored glasses. Depression feeds itself in a downward spiral.

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The Necessity of the Predator…. But…

UnknownThe problem with the human tribe in these times is the lack of a physical predator. We evolved because of the predators around us. This constant threat to our existence demanded cooperation in the extreme. We evolved complex social structures and communication in response to the predators so as to advance our genetic inheritance and our awareness. But something shifted dramatically when we became the alpha predator, a beast with no predator (except disease which we could not see for millennia).

Thus the human matrix began to create for itself, for it is genetically encoded in our bodies, a predator of another kind, type and structure. We became open to a deeply subtle predator that attacks within the position of our assemblage points, the default mode of perceiving the universe.

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The Modern Seer and the Challenge of the Infiite

The last century brought the human race in direct conflict with its own existence. Through trial and tribulation humans found ways to create death and destruction in more vast and convoluted ways than they ever had in their brief existence. Culminating in an obsession with the atom, humans now wake up every day knowing that they could blast themselves out of physical existence. Add to that the advancements in all areas of science, our spirituality and religions can barely keep up with our need for a moral compass which is shifting rapidly.

Modern seers have been confronted with the fact that secret societies and lineages no longer work to preserve knowledge and disciplines. The secrets are all out in some form or another. Whether blasted into the daylight by authors like Carlos Casteneda, or revealed in the diaspora of Tibetan Buddhism, or the migration of all spiritual paths around the world through the internet and travel. The world is a smaller place. We have a hodge-podge of delicacies to try on and try out. The individual can blend anything, or with discipline find the inherent links and connections in all pathways, know the behind of the behind. The modern seer is responding right now to this rapid acceleration towards reproducing human awareness in the silicon chip.

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The New Seers and the Struggle for the Abstract

Centerfold of Silence

Centerfold of Silence

The old seers solved a serious problem of the ancient seers building societies that slowly unraveled the mysteries of the universe.  At the same time, they created monolithic agriculture and social structures that began a road to global human dominion and international conflict. Old tribal allegiances slowly evolved into nationalism and ethnic prejudices. Meanwhile specialization split the seers into two generalized groups.  While these two terms can actually be applied to ancient times, reaching back into pre-written history, they clarify the split what occurred during the process of empire building into two broad camps.  These two groups are creators and sustainers.

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