NOW SERVING Psychedelic Culture

“Everything is Perfect. Love Everyone. Hate No One.” (Jose Arguelles’ words as he left this dimension)

This week Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books is releasing
the e-book edition of Jose Arguelles’ final book
, Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human
The paperback edition will be available in September.

When I learned that Jose Arguelles had died an image came
into my mind of a move on a chess board — the L-shaped move the knight makes in
two directions at the same time, leaping over pieces and seeming to land out of
nowhere. To me, Jose had leaped into another dimension, a shock but no
surprise.  “He will now be assisting
us from the other side of the veil,” were the words that accompanied the news
from Australia from his partner, Stephanie South. The specifics of his death
were simple. On March 23 (Red Spectral Moon), “He slipped away in complete
peace after a short illness.”

his last public communications were lectures to two conferences in 2010, one in
Germany and one in Kazakhstan, that he had planned to attend in person but
instead chose to do so via videotape. In each case he described his decision to
withdraw from public appearances until after December 21, 2012, and delve more
deeply into meditation. He explained to the participants, “I saw that my
responsibility was to continue to go within to cultivate higher states of mind,
states of mind that will approximate the noosphere, that would activate my capacity
for telepathy.”  He had recently
toured regions of shocking poverty in Kenya and India and I heard in his tone
of voice in these announcements a heartbreaking world-weariness with the
physical state of our planet with its wars, poverty, pollution and political

Arguelles, whose spiritual name was Valum Votan, spent the last 24 years
thoroughly enmeshed in the world, traveling, speaking, teaching, writing,
networking and activating. He was a man possessed by his mission and unflagging
in his dedication to it.  He wrote
prolifically, leaving behind a catalogue of books describing a new science, the
science of the fourth dimension of time, along with artwork and illustrations
that will entrance scholars far into the future.  He was paving the way to a new reality with cosmic
stepping-stones that caught the eyes of seekers in every country who were ripe
for a modern times round of metaphysical revelation. The cornerstone of his
work was his amplification of the mathematical codes embedded in the Mayan
Calendar, information anchored in a consciousness achieved during deep states
of meditation. The Mayan Factor: Path
Beyond Technology,
the book he wrote in 1987 to accompany the message of
the Harmonic Convergence, boldly stated that the Mayans were “intergalactic
navigators” who came to this planet to correct our notion of time. This
interpretation was enough to set him apart from all conventional academic and
anthropological views on the Maya.
From this point forward, his following and his future lay well outside
the establishment.

Harmonic Convergence: 1987

call for the Harmonic Convergence on August 16 and 17, 1987, blasted him into
the public eye and forever labeled him a “New Age” phenomenon. He showed up at
a time when sensitive people were staggering under the weight of the rekindled
dark age of the regressive Reagan years and Cold War paranoia after the mind
expansion explosion of the 1960s and 1970s. The message that seeped through the
information channels of its time — copy machines and small spiritual publications
in New Age bookstores — was electrifying. The call came to gather at two sunrises
when energies coming from the center of the galaxy would be channeled into the
planet through the sun and could be received through the human chakra system
for an evolutionary energy boost. No one really knew what on earth was going to
happen and The Mayan Factor was like
freeze-dried food — you could only absorb it in small bites. There was virtually
no name recognition for Jose Arguelles, although his first important book, Mandala, co-written with his wife Miriam
in 1972, was a seminal book in counter-culture circles.

influence Arguelles had in communicating the message of the Harmonic
Convergence was not coming from his persona but from the information itself,
information that, as one person I met in those years said, “rang true.” The
idea resonated — “sounded again” — against an inner truth and was inherently
believable. This is the only explanation for the hundreds of thousands, if not
millions, of people all over the planet who took it to heart and found their
way to places that were sacred to them, whether it was a world renowned sacred
site or an intimate idyll with personal significance, and followed the simple
instruction to “be in your integrity” for those two dawn sunrises. In some
locations there were large ceremonial dances and meditations and in others
spontaneous expressions of interconnectedness with nature and whatever
mysterious force might actually be penetrating our plane from the galactic
dimension. And that was it.

most of the efforts of Jose Arguelles’ phenomenal life, his affect was not
given much regard by the mainstream media or establishment intellectual
community. Arguelles himself noted that the Harmonic Convergence was rarely
mentioned again and certainly did not make any lists of the great achievements
of the 20th Century, even though nothing like it had ever happened
in the history of the planet.  It
was in the Mayan Factor that the
countdown to 2012 was revealed, first as a five-year “unwinding of history”
(1987-1992) and then segueing to the final 20 years of the 5125-year long
count. Arguelles has been given credit for bringing this information out of

enough, the Union of Concerned Scientists published a letter in 1992 stating
that, left alone, the activities of humans on the planet would make it
uninhabitable for our species in 20 years. “If not checked, many of our current
practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the
plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be
unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.” You could argue that this letter signed by 1700 international
scientists — including many Nobel laureates — was the
first-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it prediction. After a few years, however,
the flurry of interest in the Mayan mystery that came into New Age currents
following Harmonic Convergence gradually subsided. As one bookstore owner told
me, “People are into Tibetan Buddhism now.”

those, like me, who had been woken up by the Harmonic Convergence in an
immutable way, the path beyond technology was going to prove long and steep and
often lonely. Jose himself experienced the tragedy of losing his son in an auto
accident two months after Harmonic Convergence and disappeared into a deep
personal retreat with his wife Lloydine. In 1988, a book called Surfers of the Zuvuya appeared in an
entirely different writing style, a light-hearted dialogue between Jose and
Uncle Joe Zuvuya, his fourth dimensional double. Finally, at the end of 1991,
word came of something called the Dreamspell
and a new emphasis on living by a 13-based calendar using Mayan mathematics — Jose
Arguelles was returning to the public eye. Like so much of this Aquarian’s
eccentric modality, the Dreamspell kit was not available commercially and was
instead presented as a gift to launch the beginning of a teaching program to
re-entrain people to live in natural time. The kits were beautifully designed
and timelessly complex. We all entered galactic kindergarten together and the
sorting out process of who was going to stick with it began.

The 13 Moon Calendar Change World Peace Plan

and Lloydine then hit the galactic highway and began an arduous life of travel,
teaching, proselytizing, and trying to faithfully get the attention of every
influential person who came across their path, from Russia to the Vatican to
the halls of academia to the cutting edge of new science probers of reality. It
marked stage two of his mission: spreading the revelation that the whole
planet, in essence, was living an error in time, divorced from the natural
rhythms of all creation and forcing a false time-is-money value system on human
beings. Changing back to a harmonic calendar based on a solar round of thirteen
28-day “Moons” was emphasized as the essential first step to any planet-saving

Thirteen Moon Calendar Change World Peace Plan was launched and became the
focus of a movement that gradually did circumnavigate the globe. Calendars of
all shapes and sizes were produced by inspired artists, teachers and designers,
and gatherings took place all over the world, networked eventually by the
Internet and facilitated by dedicated young people who once again heard the
resonant frequency in the information. We lived by the code “Time is Art” and
we saluted each other with the Mayan phrase “In Lake’ch”–“I am another
yourself.” We used our kin identities based on translating our birthdays into
their Dreamspell calendar “galactic gateways” and gathered at large teach-ins
in Brasilia, Mexico City, Chile, Tokyo, Costa Rica, Oregon, and eventually all
over Europe, South and Central America, Japan, Australia and Russia.

the depth of Arguelles’ revelations went far beyond galactic kindergarten.
There were more teaching kits, the Telektonon
prophetic revelations, the Twenty Tablets
of the Law of Time
, the Seven Years
Mystery of the Stone
and finally the launching of the seven volume Cosmic History Chronicles. Teaming up
with various brilliant graphic designers, the galactic downloads that Arguelles
was receiving morphed into compelling and wonderfully bewildering artifacts. We
were allowed not to understand them but let them work within us to awaken our
awareness of the texture of creation cast into spiraling mathematical models.
The final stage of his work was focused on bringing these textbooks for the
physics of the future into reality, an effort that required a partnership that
could match the intellectual intensity of these transmissions.  The yogic bond with Stephanie South,
the last powerful female partner in Jose Arguelles’ creative life, supported
this intense work. They moved to Australia (and briefly New Zealand) to be in
harmony with the energy they were fielding, once again dipping out of view and

As the new century unrolled, the 2012 date began to take shape on the
cultural horizon and many writers and cultural channelers took a stab at its
significance. The movies, books, documentaries and television specials, not to
mention the jokes and the derision and the religious fervor, have put those
numbers into most people’s consciousness. Many present-day Mayans are speaking
their truths and parallel prophecies are all receiving attention. A plunge into
the Internet will take you from one extreme to another, a wild ride that leads,
essentially, nowhere. In most cases, you will believe what you are conditioned
to believe, because in this kind of time, there are no indisputable facts and
nothing external resolves the internal turmoil. Meanwhile, the Earth herself is
speaking with event after event breaking through our modern world and proving
that we are as vulnerable as we have ever been to nature, if not more.

A Vision from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun

started something of a comeback toward public presence a couple of years
ago.  He spoke at two Prophet’s
Conferences in 2011 and he and Stephanie South made appearances to promote her
biography of him, a work that documents his evolution to the mystic and shaman
that he ultimately became.

He was born on January 24, 1939, in Rochester,
Minnesota, elder of two identical twins. His father was Mexican and his mother
was of German parentage, born in Minnesota. His early years were spent in
Mexico and then the family lived in Los Angeles and returned to Rochester when
his mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis.  When he was 14, his father brought his two boys back to
Mexico for a visit, and it was on this trip that Jose had his first
life-changing experience, a visionary altered state from the top of the Pyramid
of the Sun in Teotihuacan.  In the
autobiography-biography co-created with Stephanie South (2012: Biography of a Time Traveler) he provides this description of
the experience:

There it was! The magnificent Pyramid of the Sun! So
grand, so monumental, the pyramid shimmered in full sunlight like a fantastic
dream. Joe suddenly bolted ahead, racing at top speed toward the pyramid, where
he eagerly climbed the steps of the immense earthen structure. He wanted to be
the first to reach the top. Breathless, he found himself virtually alone on the
great platform atop the Pyramid of the Sun. Something inside of him shifted.
Everything took on a crystalline clarity, unusually sharp in focus; the fine
details of faces and clothes on the people all the way down to the end of the
Avenue of the Dead were suddenly clear. A deep knowing stirred within him. He
fell silent. Teotihuacan:  place where the seekers of the One
Creator God listen in silence to the songs of creation
. Joe looked around. Sky-brilliant
and blue. Mountains everywhere echoed the forms of the pyramids. Teotihuacan: place where the Toltec warriors
receive the light of a distant star.
He saw the great stretch of the Avenue
of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Moon up to the right and, down below, the
humans of the present era. Teotihuacan:
place where the people receive their godly powers. 
A few college students in white-sleeved shirts and a
sprinkling of tourists talked to each other as if oblivious to where they were.
Teotihuacan: place of the teachers of the
geometry of time.
Where were the great masters who had designed and built
this city with such profound perfection and geometry?  As Joe gazed around, this question penetrated his being. A shining white light, emanating from
within things, bathed everything in a soft glow.  And then the earthly
world disappeared.

a young man he was swept into various artistic, bohemian and counter-culture
subcultures. He changed his name from Joe to Jose, experimented with peyote and
marijuana, made a pilgrimage to San Francisco in homage to the Beat culture,
fell in and out of love, and began carving a career path in academia that had
art and art history as the center of it. In 1965 a fellowship gave him the
opportunity to study in Paris where he first sampled LSD and delved into a
variety of mystic explorations. These years were full of youthful excesses,
strange accidents and agonizing relationships. He began his academic career as
an assistant art history professor at Princeton and returned to his own art
that was now taking a cosmic direction, reflecting influences he was soaking up
all around him. He met and married Miriam, the first woman he established a
deep collaborative creative relationship with and began family life as an art
history professor. Together they wrote and illustrated Mandala [1972] and The
Feminine: spacious as the sky
[1977], published by Shambhala Publications.

1968, the needle on Jose’s compass pointed west, and Arguelles and his wife
left Princeton for the freewheeling climate of California and a position at UC
Davis teaching art history.  These
fertile years were characterized by initiations of all types, Arguelles meeting
virtually all the luminaries of the psychedelic era: Laura Huxley, Charles
Tart, Ralph Metzner, Ram Dass, Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg. He caught the
attention of some of the most important figures of the transformational times:
Buckminster Fuller, Dane Rudhyar, Chippewa medicine chief
Sun Bear and the yogi Baba Hari Dass, all of whom wanted him to be their
protégé. It was Chogyam Trungpa, the first Tibetan teacher who came to America
who eventually was his major mentor, and Jose completed cycles of intense
meditation practices with Trungpa at his center in Boulder, Colorado. The roots
of his subsequent creations, like Dreamspell,
can be seen in these practices and he once referred to the Dreamspell teachings
as “advanced Shambhala transmissions.”

also met Tony Shearer, a Native America poet, scholar and storyteller who
planted the seed of the work that would finally capture Arguelles’ whole being:
the Thirteen Heavens and Nine Hells prophecy of Quetzalcoatl. Jose’s account,
dictated to Stephanie South, puts it cryptically:

Tony explained that each of the thirteen heavens and
nine hells refers to a 52-year cycle. Thirteen 52-year “Heaven” cycles lasted
from AD 843 to 1519, the beginning of the conquest of Mexico. Eight 52-year
“Hell” cycles occurred between 1519 and 1935. The ninth hell, Tony told Jose, began
in 1935 and ends August 16, 1987. “Thirteen heavens of decreasing choice, nine
hells of increasing doom.”

“But then what?” Jose asked.

“We must get ready for the cleansing of the world and
for the end of the Great Cycle.”

Founding the Whole Earth Festival at UC Davis

Davis was the site of the infamous Whole Earth Festival in 1970, a project of
Jose’s art history students who were instructed to create their own final exam.
By then, his reputation as being the
radical teacher on campus was firmly set. The environment was right. Human
be-ins were happening, the first Earth Day was brewing and the administration
had no idea what was about to explode on their campus.  Just this very spring, at the 42nd
annual Whole Earth Festival, a former student, Sunny Shine, penned her
commemoration of that event in the Festival program:

Our assignment for the year? Create a Festival to
celebrate the very first ever Earth Day. We had no idea.  Then he’s showing us slides of sacred
sites from ancient cultures around the world, talking astrology, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Mayan calendar, physics, traditional initiations from indigenous peoples — on
and on and on with long interludes of silence, seated in the lotus position on
his grey Formica institution-sized teacher’s desk, bare feet, Native American
flute resting gently in his lap. Not like any teacher we had ever seen or
imagined. “This world is magic, is sacred, is precious, you must care for her,
love her.” What was he talking about?! The more we did not know, the more we
knew he was giving us the Truth. He was passing on something sacred and
ancient, something that connected us to every being who had ever taken the
journey before us. We wanted to learn this dance, it had been resting in our
bones forever, and he was the Pied Piper to start us out on our own heart path.

hippiedom also descended on the Whole Earth Festival and, in terms of career
path, after the outrageousness of the event, 31-year old Arguelles quickly
realized that he and conventional academia were heading toward irreconcilable
differences. Over the next 10 years he had a series of interesting teaching
gigs (Evergreen
State College, San Francisco State University, the University of Colorado and
the Union Graduate School), but finally in the late 70s his next big
move took him to the feet of his formative teacher, the Tibetan crazy wisdom
teacher Chogyam Trungpa. The years at Naropa were the stage for intense meditation
trainings and the battle for his soul as years of increasing alcoholism finally
caught up with him, unraveled his marriage and forced him to face his darkest

he emerged from his descent with a clear head at 42, he met the next formative
feminine partner, Lloydine Burris, a fellow student at Naropa.  Lloydine was by his side for the years
leading up to the Harmonic Convergence and shared the great push to spread his
insights and discoveries all over the world, co-shepherding the flock of “kin”
who were forming the 13 Moon Calendar Movement. Their meditation experience
gave them a common frame of reference as they collaborated in the creation of Dreamspell, which bears both their

had settled in Hawaii after Jose’s son’s death and it was amid the beauty and
power of that island that the pieces of a new creative surge were formed.  Together they had also explored the
Museum of Time in Switzerland where Jose had the revelation that our notions of
time connected with the clock were about mechanical time and had little to do
with time as a dimension of its own, a dimension of the mind. Jose formed his theories then about the mechanization of time
being the root of the industrial age. Clock time forever speeding up leads us
to the present day when all the ailments of modern society converge into total
alienation from natural rhythms and harmonics.

absurdity of the present-day calendar with its irregular and meaningless months
is another theft of the soul, he also cited, where we are ruled by the economic
clock of time is money and holidays are shopping days, not holy days. Nothing,
in fact, is holy in the world we have manifested in the cycle of history, which
began when Babylonian priests imposed a 12-month calendar over the natural
timing led by the moon and kept by all indigenous people. The link between our
estrangement from the natural world, celestial and terrestrial, and the
imposition of an authoritarian calendar is the radical idea that Jose Arguelles
and his wife Lloydine discovered in their explorations. This was the message
that they brought to light in 1992 when they introduced Dreamspell: The Journey of Timeship Earth 2013 into the world.

Dreamspell Kits Arrive

giveaway of 500 Dreamspell kits in San Francisco in the spring of 1992
was a chaotic and exciting affair, most people completely unprepared for
what they took to be something of a game to share with their
consciousness-expanding friends, like the Transformation Game that was popular
at the time. It turned out to be more like the opening day of cosmic science
school — a learning paradigm that took concentration, patience and dedication to
understand and probably a lifetime to truly master. People needed to work on
this together to get it and keep at it. Dreamspell kits had a way of finding
their true owners, being passed on until they reached hands and minds that were
ripe for the exploration. There was a book, several boards with graphics on
every panel, a galactic compass for converting dates from the Gregorian to the
Dreamspell and various other visual aids. All were crafted impeccably and boxed
in a study box with brilliant primary colors.

such a brilliant piece of craftsmanship and intricate teaching would suddenly
drop into the world from the sky, so to speak, was one of the many magical acts
that Jose Arguelles created in his lifetime.  I have my original Dreamspell kit, one of the first 13 that
were flown to the continental US (Turtle Island) from Hong Kong where it was
produced, and it is still intact, not worn out, and, other than being
well-used, still as vibrant as it was the day it was put in my hands 20 years
ago. These days, people compute the date conversions on the Internet sites with
clicks of the mouse, but I still compute them with the Galactic Compass, a
circular slide-rule-like device, and in the process I see how the patterns work
and continually discover little internal rhythms. One of the themes of the
tools that Jose produced was remembering that we learn through all our senses
not just our eyes glued to a computer screen. Folding and unfolding the boards,
laying out the little tiles with the glyphs, putting together the chromatic
time atom…all these exercises return us to an embodied intelligence that we
were designed to use until the modern mechanized era. We’ll see when the time
comes which tools are still in our hands when the predicted technology/cyber
era yields to a quantum shift in 2012-2013.

a matter of years, Dreamspell kits were translated and produced and distributed
along with many variations of the 13 Moon Calendar, large and small, in many
languages. The Japanese were the first to produce color calendars and beautiful
little daybooks with sturdy covers. As production costs lowered and digital
processing from the personal computer got more sophisticated, the calendars
flourished. One year I was with Jose when he returned from a trip at the
turning of the year (which is celebrated on Gregorian July 26, the heliacal
rising of Sirius) and found all the 13 Moon Calendars of the world waiting for
him — a tribute from all the calendar makers. He put them up all over the walls
and looked at the whole display.
The 13 Moon Calendar movement had truly gone round the world.  The next phase of Jose’s creative work
was looming and it required another agonizing split and realignment with a new
feminine partner. Stephanie South, the person who had emerged from the ranks of
his students as his true apprentice, gradually assumed that role.

2002 Jose and Stephanie, also known by the spiritual title Red Queen in
reference to a Mayan temple discovered in 1994, commenced their collaborative
creative work.  The Cosmic History Chronicles project began:
seven volumes to be published in the seven-year count down to 2012. These books
are like none other on the planet, elaborate elucidations of a radical new
science and a radical new history. “The philosophy of Cosmic History is that
the universe exists as the vehicle for the involution and evolution of the soul
as a single unifying circuit of all evolving divine consciousness regulated by
the Law of Time.” (Vol. 1; Book of the
).  Valum Votan and The
Red Queen identify themselves as transmitters and receivers — “We are but the
secretaries. The authors are in eternity.” The
Cosmic History Chronicles
are a wild and compelling read, to put it mildly.

these volumes — all now completed — and in the last major communications given by
Jose Arguelles, it is clear that his whole being was firmly grounded in a
deeply spiritual perspective. He saw our human journey as a journey of
spiritual evolution and was convinced that the end of the cycle of history,
December 21, 2012, (which he called Harmonic Convergence 2012: the Convergence
of All Prophecy), would be an awakening from a dream — if not nightmare — of a
profane history and a re-entrainment of humanity into cosmic consciousness. He
brought forth the term “noosphere” from key thinkers of the past and defined it
as the collective state of mind that will launch a new age in 2013, the Psychozoic
Era, in which we will share the awareness of the connectedness of all
beings.  He proposed a global
meditation as an experiment in bringing a mental visualization into a physical
reality, converting the energies coming into the planet into a rainbow visible
night and day around the planet. The Rainbow Bridge Meditation is being shared
via Internet and is the cornerstone of the commitment to carry on his work and
inspiration among those who value what they learned from Arguelles over the
last two decades.

death on Red Spectral Moon (March 23, 2011) in Australia was another unifying
event, a compression of mind and heart energy as hundreds of thousands of
people who were affected by his teaching and his radical insights stopped and
remembered their experiences with him. We were part of a movement that never
had any money, that eschewed the conventional New Age marketing, that produced
books that were challenging and unorthodox, books that never got any publicity
(“too new for the New Age” was my report to Jose after yet another magazine
rejection) so the news of a new book was an underground event. We keep a
calendar together that most of our friends and relatives don’t keep so we
either have it as our own secret passageway into a vast new land of relationship
and synchronicity or we seek out other kin as best we can wherever we are. The
Law of Time website
is our connection point and, with the
news of his passing, a tribute page formed and honored his 49-day bardo cycle.
There were postings from people who lives crossed at an exotic gathering
somewhere on the planet where Jose was teaching and who use images from
Dreamspell for their Facebook profile. The voices came in from far and wide,
sharing love and respect and gratitude for the life-saving teachings that made
living in a crazy, out-of-control, time-is-money world less of an ordeal.

spring, a handful of kin gathered at the 42nd Whole Earth Festival
to once again introduce people to the work and the calendar and to speak words
in memory of Jose Arguelles at an intimate ceremony in the midst of the cacophony
of the festival and its music. Ceremonies have been taking place all over the
world among other groups of followers, honoring the teacher, honoring the
teaching and rededicating the kin to the path articulated in so many
mind-expanding creative works. He was a pathfinder of epic proportion, an
intellect that had few peers, and a shamanic presence on the world
stage — whether the world knew it or not. As the days roll on toward the
prophetic end date of history, those who have studied his writing and listened
to his lectures are tuned in to the extraordinary and expecting nothing but the
extraordinary. As Uncle Joe Zuvuya would say, “Surf’s Up!”

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