Alex (left) and Jonathan
Alex was in a loft in Boston where a colleague of Timothy Leary had given a group of 15-20 people, most of them quite inexperienced, LSD. Alex took a double dose. The social environment of Alex’s trip was extremely chaotic–some people were laughing uncontrollably, some were vomiting, some were groping other people, and there was no one who was managing the chaos. Alex began to have an out-of-body experience, and found himself hovering above the weirdness of what was going on in the loft. On some different plane he saw deities drinking from a pool of “electric milk” a “vast lake of timpani,” of “vibrating energy.” Alex described the vision as follows:
“I had a vision of the group soul of humanity as a perfectly circular pool of intense living light. All around the rim of the milky pool were a complex variety of sexual rites, a metaphor for all social interaction. Translucent Hindu deities swooped over the group taking the excessive energy of the shimmering pool and passing through the group as ecstasy and pain. I saw that the reason we were all brought together was to provide a psychic energy feast for the Gods and Goddesses. I saw my heart as the axis of karmic, earthly, and universal energies, transected by and uniting the polarities of male/female, birth/death, good/evil, and love/hate. To maintain a balance of forces we all fed both Deities and Demons.”
This visionary experience eventually became the masterpiece: Demons and Deities Drinking from the Milky Pool.
A Vision of the Top of the Food Chain
The demons and deities were feeding from a pool of “vibratory energetic milk” created from human activities of all kinds, though Alex used sexual coupling to represent human activities in general. I suggested that that the couplings were visual shorthand of human energetic transactions of all kinds and Alex responded enthusiastically to that description. Apparently, the deities were drinking from a vibratory pool of the energetic metabolism of the species so that through the pool they were drawing energy from the entire species.
A reductive way of describing Alex’s vision is to say that it represents the very top of the food chain. The painting, however, is much more than that; it is a revelation of the human form transcending the food chain. Transcendence does not mean removing or floating above something. What you transcend is still present, and the transcendent state includes that which is transcended while new vistas of awareness are added. Alex’s paintings are “forbidden seeing” –revelations of what is hidden but that the species desperately needs to see. Conventionally we see ourselves as the top of the food chain, but Demons and Deities… reveals this as a delusion convenient to those who harvest our energy. Another realization about this painting is that it is a classic illustration of the alchemical principle of “as above, so below.” We see the same range, if more polarized, of darkness and light amongst the deities at the cardinal points of the mandala as we do in the human couplings that form the perimeter. And there was also a similar dark/light range in the chaotic loft where some people were acting out dark compulsions while Alex was receiving this transcendent vision.
Sexual Chi as Food Source
Alex’s artistic decision to represent all human activities by a range of sexual couplings was no random choice. Sexual chi is a potent energetic food that can be harvested by human parasites and predators and possibly other types of parasites and predators. Orgasms can be viewed as energetic flowers blossoming in the collective human energy field. The couplings are arranged in a kind of circular spectrum from loving couplings to atavistic, sadistic-looking couplings. Benevolent entities appear to be feeding off the energy of the loving couplings and demonic entities, one of which looks like a devouring vagina, are feeding off of the degraded (sex as a metaphor for power) couplings. Orgasms, which are energetic eruptions into, and interpenetrations with, the collective human field, vary from the ecstatic unions of loving soulmates to the sadistic ejaculations of rapists. The couplings that Alex depicts in this image can be viewed as a circular spectrum of these possibilities oriented to the cardinal points of a mandala where there are also associated deities.
A Carnival of Lost Souls
The background of Alex’s vision is also interesting and instructive. He was in a chaotic boundary-dissolving experience with a group of people who were predominantly strangers. Socially dense environments of strangers and substances mixing together are likely to default to lowest-common-denominator factors of social parasitism/sexual predation/chaotic acting out of fragmented personalities-what I sometimes call a carnival of lost souls. Everything depends on who are the particular people in a group that is having a boundary-dissolving experience or ritual. Naïve people frequently forget this. Such people think the ritual is what matters and take all comers, but this can be a disaster! Generally, I think it unwise to have boundary- dissolving experiences (such as sex and/or hallucinogenic trips) with people you don’t know and wouldn’t trust with your life, because you are trusting your life with them. There are, of course, exceptions to everything and a visionary as great as Alex Grey was able to rise above the experience and receive a powerful vision about human energy and the entities that harvest it. (Though I have a feeling he wouldn’t choose to be in another such chaotic situation.) Otherwise, I caution people about doing things such as going to a rave with a sketchy vibe redolent of prowling sexual agendas (in other words, almost any rave) and opening themselves to the toxic energy by taking a boundary-dissolving substance. Unless you want to internalize a carnival of lost souls it is probably unwise to blow yourself wide open in an setting of trance-inducing music/lighting and stoned people, many of them on the prowl for parasitic sexual encounters.
An Ancient Gnostic Text on Parasitic Abduction
The power of this image is that it shows those who harvest our energy, and yet at the center of the image is the human empowerment that occurs as we awaken to the food chain. The ancient Gnostics had similar visions and called the harvesting deities the “Archons” (see: A Gnostic View of Mind Parasites). Also, notice how closely the scenario described below parallels a modern alien abduction experience.
(The following ancient Gnostic text is excerpted from the superb metahistory.org website. Here’s the link to the full article.)
From The First Apocalypse of James (NHC V, 3), a revelation dialogue in which an unnamed teacher (the “Lord” or “Master”) confers secret knowledge upon a Gnostic named James:
The Master said: James, behold, I shall reveal to you the path of your redemption. Whenever you are seized and you undergo death-pangs (mortal fear), a multitude of Archons may turn on you, thinking they can capture you. And in particular, three of them will seize you, those who pose as toll collectors. Not only do they demand toll, but they take away souls by theft.
Now, when you come under their power, one of them who is the overseer will say to you: “Who are you, and where are you from?”
You are then to say to him, “I am a child of humanity and I am from the Source.”
He will then say to you, “What sort of child are you, and to what Source do you belong?”
You are to say to him, “I am from the pre-existent Source, and I am the offspring of the Source.”
Then he will say to you, “Why were you sent out from the Source?”
Then you are to say to him, “I came from the Pre-existent One so that I might behold those of my kind and those who are alien.”
And he will say to you, “What are these alien beings?”
You are to say to him: “They are not entirely alien, for they are from the Fallen Sophia (Achamoth), the female divinity who produced them when she brought the human race down from the Source, the realm of the Pre-Existent One. So they are not entirely alien, but they are our kin. They are indeed so because she who is their matrix, Sophia Achamoth, is from the Source. At the same time they are alien because Sophia did not combine with her like in the Source (her divine male counterpart), when she produced them.”
When he also says to you, “Where will you go now?”
You are to say to him, “To the place when I came, the Source, there shall I return.” And if you respond in this manner, you will escape their attacks.
(NHC V, 3. 33 – 34: 1- 25. Translation from NHLE 1990, pp. 265-6 and Kurt Rudolf, Gnosis, p. 174-5.)
What I find amazing is that Alex, in creating this painting, has followed the instructions of the unnamed Gnostic teacher to perfection. The image shows that which is human and alien. It also shows that man is from the source and at the center. This is the secret of our transcendence of the food chain according to the Gnostics. The Archons are masters of deception who manipulate by encouraging us to give away our power to external saviors and authorities. We become like the living dead when they succeed, like Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths–withered, obsessed beings forever craving but unable to reach “The Precious,” which could take the form of an object or person of desire, or a fanatic ideology/fundamentalist religion that enslaves us to its version of salvation. When the deceivers succeed we get, for example, possessed suicide bombers hungry for death and their seventy-two virgins in paradise. The way out of this deceptive matrix is the recognition that we are of the source, of the source of nourishment. An incompleteness is revealed in the Archons because they must depend on us for their derivative nourishment. Clearly Alex was brought out from the source to behold such things and share with us his revelations.
A way out of the bondage of deception is the path of wholeness that is our birthright. The principle of androgyny, the inner alchemical marriage of yin and yang, masculine and feminine, releases us from an enslaved relation to the matrix. I have written about this in Casting Precious into the Cracks of Doom–Androgyny, Alchemy, Evolution and the One Ring
Two Other Related Alex Grey Paintings
Two of Alex’s paintings in his book Transfigurations depict what seem to me a mind parasite attack and the human condition of bondage and mind parasite insertion. In the painting entitled Despair we see a figure with his head down being attacked by small entities equipped with stingers and insectile parts while inside the mouth of some larger deity. The points of attack seem to correspond to chakras. In Self-Hate/Endarkenment we see humans held in shackles and an entity appears to be stinging the figure in the foreground in his third eye. To me it seems as if it is inserting its mind or will into this human victim.
After I wrote the above, on August 14 of 2006, Alex joined me for thirty minutes of a three hour interview with George Noory of Coast-to-Coast AM. After he recounted the LSD experience I asked Alex if he thought that the parasitic beings had influenced the chaotic behavior he witnessed in the loft.
“At one point I did feel that this entire thing has been orchestrated by these beings, that our coming together was not an accident… When we feel influenced to do certain things, or intuitively guided to do certain things- many times we may seek guidance from a higher realm-In the same way one can be vulnerable to the influence from beings from a lower realm.”
Alex then described another mind parasite experience he had under the influence of LSD:
“I remember one time being on one of the most harrowing LSD adventures I ever had. I felt like I was a flapper in the wheel of fortune and every realm of being and dimension was one of these slots that the little flapper was open to. And in one such dimension that was flying by I saw this really strange insect-like creature lunge out at me. After I came back from this trip, and for days afterward, I was really feeling out of sorts and very energetically drained. And I realized that this thing had jumped out and was probably still embedded in my aura. So I did a whole cleansing to draw all the energy back into the heart and then expand it out from the heart to banish this being.”