Talks & Workshops Descriptions

Reality Sandwich Retreat Talks & Workshop Descriptions

Better Religion Through Science and Art with Alex Grey

Creativity is a spiritual path for many artists. Entheo-art, art that points to the God within, is a sacred creative manifestation of visionary culture.  Entheo-artists paint the transcendental realms from observation.  The viewer, especially one with a dilated psyche, comes into contact with the visionary source through contemplation of the artwork, uniting with the transformative evolutionary creative force working through the artist. 

After of life of studying the rise and fall of civilizations, Arnold Toynbee commented that civilizations exist to give birth to better religions.  In Roland Griffith's Johns Hopkins study, a majority of spiritually inclined subjects had a full-blown mystical experience after a single dose of psilocybin.  The mystical experience is the foundation of all religion. Visions that glimpse divine imagination catalyze the primary religious experience.  Religion is not just tradition and dogma. At the heart of religion is a life lived in relation to the creative force of the Divine.  

In the entheogenic state, our perception of self-existence is altered and our life path and the way we relate to others and the world is transformed. For those that have a mystical experience, an enhanced moral compass may play a part in activating stewardship of the ailing planet.  Entheogens have catalyzed reconnection with and compassion for all life.  This awakened "ecology of being" translates from the spiritual world to the physical, promoting creative, even visionary ways of remediating our ailing environment and aesthetically transmitting unitive consciousness.  Many who have experienced infinite Oneness  claim to have seen themselves as a part of a light web of souls.  Co-recognizing our interrelatedness is at the heart of visionary culture and is a harbinger of universal spirituality and the dawning of planetary civilization.

Contemporary Visionary Art and Culture with Alex & Allyson Grey

The mystical experience plunges the perceiver into the infinite unity of the cosmos, a classic "cosmic consciousness," glimpsing the profound ecstasies and revelations visited by visionaries like William Blake. As our art historical eye glances over world culture, one of the primary functions of visual art has been the iconic linking together of transcendental and worldly realms. For centuries, people have gone to view art in temples and cathedrals to see a reflection of our eternal self, our soul. Art makes the state of the soul perceptible. Meditative practices and entheogens, such as psilocybin, give artists at the dawn of the 21st century a unique opportunity to create more integrative and universal spiritual art than ever before. The great uplifting of humanity beyond its self-destruction is the redemptive mission of art.
The origins and function of art have their source in the transpersonal domain. Art is a means for souls to come into communion with each other.  The visions that inspire artwork arise in the super-conscious realms.  Heaven seeks contact with earth through the artist's imagination.  The viewers or audience experiencing a work of visual art, music, or performance, participate in a ceremonial fusion with the creative source.

Our art is inspired by higher states of consciousness available through psychedelic and meditative mystical experiences. Together we co-founded the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM) to further the alliance between art and community in a contemporary sacred space. Josef Beuys used the term "social sculpture" to define his activism as art. CoSM is offered in the same spirit. There is a growing worldwide community of artists meeting in clubs, festivals, retreat centers, in workshops and on-line groups evolving a new alliance of creativity and spirituality, largely under the radar of the established contemporary art world.  Festivals and rock concerts give sanctuary to tens of thousands taking psychedelics and celebrating tribal unity. This talk will offer an illustrated view of current and future trends in contemporary entheo art and gatherings born of the alchemical crucible.

Chaos, Order and Secret Writing: The Art of Allyson Grey

The symbol system in the paintings of Allyson Grey represent a world view comprised of chaos, order and secret writing.  Tens of thousands of labor intensively painted spectral squares reveal paradoxes of particles and waves, cells and systems, entropy and inter-reflectivity, meaning and the ineffable.  Allyson received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tufts University, has edited and co-written a dozen books and journals, taught art for over twenty years and has lectured and exhibited her art widely.  Allyson is co-founder of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York.  This talk is a journey through the development of the artists life and work.   allysongrey.com  

(1) Elves, Aliens, Angels and Ayahuasca: Parallel Realms and the Mysteries of the Vine of the Dead.  Graham Hancock

Judging from the abundant evidence of ancient cave art from all parts of the world, encounters with aliens and UFO’s are nothing new. Humanity has been visited, taught and nurtured by non-terrestrial beings for at least 35,000 years, construing them according to different cultural frameworks as “spirits”, “elves” or “fairies”, “angels” or even “demons”, and most recently as “aliens”. The same beings and vehicles depicted in the cave art also occur in the much more recent art of surviving shamanistic peoples still living today in remote regions such as the Kalahari and the Amazon jungle. Even more mysteriously, similar experiences and imagery are reported by Western lab volunteers, placed experimentally under the influence of hallucinogens such as DMT, psilocybin, mescaline and LSD. The growing popularity in the West of the Amazonian visionary brew Ayahuasaca (where the active ingredient is DMT) has opened up these experiences of parallel realms and their inhabitants to an ever-growing constituency of North Americans and Europeans. The common factor, which is also fundamental to all forms of shamanism, appears to be altered states of consciousness and, crucially, this does not suggest that these experiences are in any way “unreal”. On the contrary the evidence supports the hypothesis that in deeply altered states of consciousness the receiver wavelength of the brain is altered to allow us to tune into and interact with beings from other levels and dimensions of reality. These beings, Hancock argues, are the ancient teachers of mankind. Though much of modern civilization is in a state of rigid denial the fact is that they are still very much in contact with us today. These contacts, and how we as a society react to them – are as fundamental to the future of our species now as they were 35,000 years ago.

(2) A Species with Amnesia with Graham Hancock

It's often been said that those who forget the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. But what if we have forgotten an entire, hugely important episode in human history? Myths and legends from all over the world insist that a great civilization that was technologically advanced, powerful and wise existed in deep antiquity but was wiped from the face of the earth when it "angered the gods". In this lecture, Graham Hancock makes the case for a lost civilization destroyed in a global cataclysm at the end of the last Ice Age around 12,500 years ago. As we approach the fated year 2012 he argues that our civilization, too, despite its technological prowess, might be poised on the brink of becoming the next Atlantis.

Alien Christology with Alex Grey and Jonathan Talat Phillips

In this dialogue, Alex will discuss this inspirations and influences leading to the mysterious "Cosmic Christ" imagery in his art and writing, as well as his own visionary experiences around the subject.  Jonathan Talat Phillips will talk about his kundalini  experiences involving Galactic guides and the mystery schools of Jesus.  Also to be discussed are Gnostic cosmology, the possibility of spiritual avatars/visitors from other civilizations, archons and the Anunnaki,  and the unfolding of a larger planetary awakening process.

Evolver Energy Medicine: Chelation & Chakra Balancing

Join Evolver co-founder and Bioenergetic healer Jonathan Talat Phillips on a journey through the ancient art of energy healing. In this workshop, we will learn all the hand positions for a full chelation and chakra balancing energy treatment, which strengthens and cleanses the auric field, as well as how to open and close a healing session. Each person will have the opportunity to both give and receive a healing during this workshop.  Anyone can heal and all levels are welcome.