What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?
“How can we liberate the innate creativity of individuals
and collectives, unleashing the passion, synergy, and ‘super-conscious’
solutions that flow so abundantly when we tap into uplifted, expanded
states of consciousness?"
What is your personal experience of collective
wisdom in groups?
Consciousness is a tangible force, thoughts and emotions
are ‘energies’ as real as matter. We can open or close doors
to alternative realities through the power of our attention and intention.
We create the ‘strange attractors’ of our future through
what we think, imagine and experience in our emotional bodies as real.
I studied, and eventually taught, a method called ‘Dream
Theater’ (working with Jessica Allen who worked with Jeremy Taylor
and Fariba Bogzaran). In this method we would use theatrical improvisation
to enact our night dreams. Dreams which might have been well interpreted
through mental analysis, took on extraordinary levels of depth in meaning
and transformative power as we met them at the level from which they
ensued--- in other words dreams come from the body psyche and operate
in the pre/post rational language of symbol and image. Through the collective
holding the space for the individual remarkable healings occurred. But
even more extraordinary was how, as we worked together over time and
became attuned to the dreamworld, we began to experience COLLECTIVE
states of altered consciousness with profound results. Our
dream lives began to interpenetrate. We began to have common lucid dreams.
But even more astounding - we so strengthened the field of opening to
the territory beyond the conscious mind we began to experience immediate
effects in the physical world which were ‘magical’, tangible
Here’s a for instance; one night we worked on
a dream in which a primary symbol was the Ostrich. After a powerful
session with commonly experienced shamanic energies, we opened the door
of my downtown Denver studio and found on the threshold a flurry of
white Ostrich feathers. Ostriches are nowhere to be found in Downtown
Denver I can assure you. This kind of materialization began to be increasingly
common. We hear of this phenomenon occuring in aboriginal societies
with shamanic practices, but from our experience I extrapolate that
‘the portal’ can be opened by any group capable
of collective attunement with each other and with the intelligent energies
of nature that are simultaneously within and without. When a group can
strengthen the field via sustained intention/attention, an opening emerges
to ‘altered’ (higher/deeper) states of awareness AND realms
The paradigm that Jung began to articulate which is
relevant to this phenomenon and so critical to our times is that of
synchronistic causation. Linear causation, like linear rationality,
expresses the ‘particle’ perspective; revealing the truth
that material reality occurs in ‘discreet packages’ of information.
In linear rationality, the information is derived from the sequence;
a causes b, the order of the words in language, etc. Synchronistic causation
expresses the ‘wave’ perspective; revealing the truth that
material reality occurs in fluid pulses. In the ‘right brain’
synchronistic way of perceiving, information is co-present in time and
thus it is not sequence that determines meaning, it is the ‘constellation’
of simultaneous elements. In my experience, the synchronistic
aspect of reality is accessed through the part of our intelligence that
experiences the intelligence of images (pictures are constellations
of information). In other words, we experience the ‘wave’
when we enter into the mythic, creative, symbolic and imaginative side
What is it about the work in this field that excites
you and connects you to your own deepest self?
My JOY: It is my experience that consciousness
is a living reality. What some have called God- that permeating intelligence
“whose center is everywhere, circumference nowhere” is vibrating
at the inmost core of every creature, even to the heart of the atom.
It is thrilling to directly experience that one permeating reality when
the veneer of the persona becomes transparent. When individuals within
a group surrender to a higher ground- a center, a place ‘in the
middle’; not in an unconscious relinquishment, but in a lifting
up of conscious intention, we can pierce the veil, so to speak, and
the revelations of ‘heaven’* pour forth in astonishing abundance.
The solution to every pressing problem of our times is vibrating in
a permeating field of scintillating intelligence- and we can rise to
become the conduit- individually and collectively.
*(not a place above the earth, but the space of
awareness disclosed by physiological/psychic/kundalini energies rising
upward in the spine)
A CHALLENGE: I feel determined to understand
how we can evolve from the ‘primordial’ (unconscious and
subconscious) towards the ‘celestial’ (super-conscious)
without choking the vitality of the instinctive. How can move from the
pull of the ‘collective unconscious’ (as the repository
of the archaic, the cauldron of the primordial, instinctual and elemental)
toward the ‘strange attractor’ of the collective ‘super-conscious’
(as the higher capacities of reason, symbolic intelligence and intuitive
perception)- in ways that sustain the élan vital –the juice
and joy and affirmation of life. How do we integrate the urgent need
for ‘wholeness’ with the critical urge for ‘transcendence’?
Gilgamesh had to kill the monster Tiamet in order for the fragile emerging
ego to sever from the Mater (material/mother) Matrix. In our times,
it is the extremity of the severance that threatens our survival!
It seems the dance of our era is to embody the Tree of
Life from deepest roots to highest blossoms- the full spectrum of consciousness.
In the past we conceived of matter as an obstacle to spirit and built
our transcending towers of Babylon in denial of death and gravity. Now
we are called to find the radiant presence within each heart, each particle-
inside the darkness, within the chaos- and in the grandeur and glory
of the vast evolutionary pageant.
In the past four decades we have done much to reclaim
the instinctive, embrace the shadow, and discover the profound intelligence
of chaos (I love chaos theory!). I feel our collective edge is now to
re-integrate the light- the heroic aspiration, the spiritual quest and
higher ideals that were rejected in the postmodern critique of western
culture. It is time to attend to the vertical dimension so flattened,
denied and denigrated in the post-modern era. (yes, I have read
most all of Wilber’s work with great appreciation)
I think we have to get beyond ‘anything goes’
and take seriously the power of our perspectives, paradigms, thoughts
What we imagine and the images we contemplate
have enormous power to create the reality we experience. It
is urgent, in my view, to THINK SOLUTIONS, to IMAGINE POSITIVE
POSSIBILITIES and to infuse our minds with compelling, awakening,
inspiring pictures. It is very easy to underestimate the power of inspiration.
Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of
what brought you to this work.
As I contemplate this question I am struck that from
earliest childhood I have had a profound interest in the collective
evolution of humanity. When I was child I played in the forest alone
for hours. I built a teepee and in my imagination I created my own future
tribe and made up the rules and rituals of our society. Later, in 6th
grade, I became obsessed with the question of whether the evolution
of life & consciousness would go on forever or reach a final culmination
and come to an end. I have always been drawn to the whole, epic story
and the vast perspective of infinity and eternity. To the consternation
of my high school teachers, I wrote very long essays because in every
topic I felt compelled to begin- as one teacher remonstrated, “from
when we oozed from the mud!”. My grandparents were involved
in metaphysical movements, and so I grew up with “The life and
teachings of the Masters of the Far East”, and the writings of
Kahlil Gibran, Ernest Holmes, Edgar Casey, etc.
I was determined to know the meaning of purpose of life
in its whole grand pageantry through the eons. This led me to study
philosophy, write my undergraduate thesis on “Nietzsche and the
Death of God”, and proceed, on a hairpin turn, onward to a Masters
degree in Consciousness Studies from JFKU. Upon graduation I collaborated
with a group of students who had graduated from JFKU in Arts & Consciousness
to open a “Transformative Arts Studio” in Berkeley. Here
we experimented with the ways in which the arts could be used to shift
awareness, open the heart and alchemically transform the energies of
the psyche. Later I opened a ‘Transformative Arts’ Studio
in Denver, and now I have a wonderful studio at Ananda Village (an
intentional community based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda),
near Nevada City, California.
Through these studios, and at various art & civic
centers, schools & colleges, I have taught courses on ‘The
Evolution of Consciousness’, ‘Women’s Spiritual Traditions’,
‘Sanatam Dharma’, and various courses on using the modalities
of art, imagination and creativity to access expanded states of consciousness.
So many great thinkers have influenced my thought!
Integral Theory; Sri Aurobindo and
the mother, Ken Wilber (especially Up from Eden, Atman Project and
Sex, Ecology and Spirit)
Evolutionary; Tielhard de Chardin,
Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Erich Nuemann (Origin & History of
Consciousness), Michael Dowd
Other Consciousness Studies;
Richard Tarnas, Robert Mc Dermott, American Transcendentalists, the
Psychological; Carl Jung, Roberto
Assagioli, Edward Eddington, Erich Nuemann
Women’s studies; Starhawk,
Mary Daley, Charlene Spretnik
Spiritual; the teachings of
the Saints, Sages and Avatars in all traditions - Christ, Christian
Mystics, Ramakrishna, Ananda Moya Ma, Amichi, Ramana Maharshi, Black
Elk, and many more. And then there are the universal teachings that
have become my path of discipleship and daily practice – Paramahansa
How would you like to be available to others in
• I welcome conversations, visits to my studio,
and artists in residence.
• I would love to bring to the various gatherings,
salons, forums, conferences, etc., the actual artwork of my own and
other ‘awakening artists’ (there is an international
network of artists who are doing this kind of work and it needs to be
• I would like to offer to our gatherings an experiential
dimension of ‘super-conscious’ intuition- accessing the
imaginative realms through deliberate hands on engagement with the modalities
of creativity and imagination- using any & all modalities including
collage, painting, embodiment, sound & movement, improvisation,
dreamwork, theater, guided imagery, etc.
• I would like to put out the idea of calling salons @ positive
visions for the future – and including a call to artists for an
accompanying exhibition. What is the most positive vision that
we can make probable?
Links to this site or others:
Visionary Art Exhibition October 27, 2006
with Dana Andersen at AmateurIllustrator.com
art on this site