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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey.

Grey, Alex, with Carlo McCormick. (1990).
Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International.

ISBN: 0-89281-257-5 hardcover

0-89281-314-8 paperback

Description: Paperback, 96 pages.

Contents: Acknowledgments, preface, 3 essays, Sacred Mirrors-the Plates, progress of the soul, endnotes.

Excerpt(s): On June 3, 1976, we simultaneously shared the same psychedelic vision: an experience of the "Universal Mind Lattice." Our shared consciousness, no longer identified with or limited by our physical bodies, was moving at tremendous speed through an inner universe of fantastic chains of imagery, infinitely multiplying in parallel mirrors. At a superorgasmic pitch of speed and bliss, we became individual fountains and drains of Light, interlocked with an infinite omnidirectional network of fountains and drains composed of and circulating a brilliant iridescent love energy. We were the Light, and the Light was God. (Preface, Allyson and Alex Grey, page 7)

The secret of all genuinely spiritual works of art is that they issue from nondual or unity consciousness, no matter what "objects" they portray. A painting does not have to depict Buddhas to be spiritual. This is why, for example, Zen landscapes are so profoundly sacred in their texture, even if they are "just landscapes." They issue from a nondual awareness or unity consciousness, which is itself Spirit. At the height of transcendence, Spirit is also purely immanent and all-pervading, present equally and totally in each and every object, whether of matter, body, mind, or soul. The artwork, of no matter what the object, becomes transparent to the Divine, and is a direct expression of Spirit.

The viewer momentarily becomes the art and is for that moment released from the alienation that is ego. (In the Eye of the Artist: Art and the Perennial Philosophy, Ken Wilber, page 14).

Sacred art objects are like repositories of transcendental energy that can "charge" the receptive, contemplative viewer. The artist's primary medium is consciousness-the animating force that directs or infuses all other media. Inspiration for the Sacred Mirrors emerged after I had a series of mystical experiences that caused me to redefine my view of consciousness and the self. I felt that my body was no longer just a solid, isolated object in the world of separate forms and existential anxiety, but more like a manifestation of the primordial energy of awareness that was everywhere present. The mystical experience is not some dreamy fantasy, as anyone who has ever had one can agree. ... The mystical experience is a transformative contact with the Ground of Being and, although it is beyond description, it gives people an expanded appreciate of life. During times of cynicism and despair, experiences that empower people to heal conflicts and choose life are especially valuable. I wanted my paintings to visually chart the spectrum of consciousness from material perception to spiritual insight; and to function, if possible, as symbolic portals to the mystic domain.

The Sacred Mirrors are a series of twenty-one images, consisting of nineteen paintings and two mirrors, that examine in fine detail the human physical and metaphysical anatomy. Each image is forty-six by eighty-four inches and presents a life-sized figure directly facing the viewer, arms to the side and palms forward. This format allows the viewer to stand before the painting figure and "mirror" the image. A resonance takes place between one's own body and the painted image, creating a sense of "seeing into" oneself. The Sacred Mirrors may be used as a tool to visualize and focus healing energy to particular parts of the physical and metaphysical bodies. (pages 31-32)

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