Paintings > Pop Shamanism

As we run and hurry through our everyday, life seems to be a flat go here, do this, get this done sort of world. Now, stop for a minute, and think about it again.

Think of not only your life, but the lives of everyone you know, your family, your friends, colleagues, acquaintances. Perhaps think of what they do during the course of a day. Then begin to think of how many people all of them know that you don’t and imagine each of them living their own lives, worrying their own worries and experiencing their own joys. Now think of it all happening all at the same time, right now. Then just try to expand this out to our entire country, our continent, the rest of the world, all the people in it, living their own lives, doing whatever they are doing, right now. Stay with me here. Now expand that out even further and think of the animals, the plants, the wind, the sunshine, where it could be raining, where it could be night. It’s somewhat mind-boggling isn’t it? It goes even further than that because we live on a planet that is orbiting a sun that is part of a solar planetary system, which is part of a galaxy, that is one of countless in an ever expanding infinite universe. It’s not really such a flat do this do that world is it? Yet, that’s only a part of the picture. Remember that we are all made of molecules, which are formed from atoms, which can be broken down further until we get to where modern physics believes that vibrating strings are the makeup of our physical reality. I think you’re getting the picture.

We exist in a vast hologram, where very distinct individual parts, like you and me, like our cells in our body, like the galaxies in space, function and exist on our own, but are part of a vast whole, a unified totality, a grand picture where we have no idea what the image looks like. Individually, we ourselves are a vast hologram, with tissue, organs, bones, and subtle energies making up our own unified whole. There is the microcosm to the great macrocosm, the small and the big in a connected intertwining system. One of the building blocks of all of this is the elements, the subtle energies that are their essences, to the material manifestations that we are so familiar with.

The elements are not just what we think of as earth, fire, water and air, but they are also metaphors for energies felt in our physical, mental and spiritual dimensions, not as different phenomenon, but as refined presentations of the same fundamentals. For example, Fire is the life-giving energy of the sun as well as the life-destroying energy of a forest fire. It is the heat of the emotions, like love and hatred, and the red light of the rainbow. They each create and destroy, build up and destruct, heal and hurt, cleanse and contaminate. Each embodies the opposite forces that are inherent in Nature, inherent in our own nature, and it’s the interplay between these energies that metaphorically begin to construct our world.

When we understand the inclusiveness of the elements and how they arise together, we see that everything is connected, everything is influenced by something else, like a giant interlocking pattern of a pearlescent spider’s web.

Element Fire
Element Fire
Mische Technique
24" x 58"
2007