THE GREAT WORK
Journey to the Hieros Gamos
The quest for the mysterium conjunctum fueled the creation of an impenetrable literary tower of word/image. Exhibited as sculpture, my art-I-fact treasure trove embodies my Aquarian passage into the 21st century icon — from literary impresario to surrealist cut-up deconstructionist to performance artist inventing quantum publishing via the blogel (blog novel) — to boundary-smashing multimedia curator and scholar pioneering discipline-smashing technologies for the universal dissemination of a holistic ontology. At every step on the mystical journey, the critic’s Promethean torch is intent on tracking a new modernism sourced in the 21st century icon reflecting the human transition from carbon to crystalline light beings.
MY QUANTUM LITERARY JOURNEY
Inventing the Surfgeist
My pursuit of a quantum literature as Möbius strip capturing the EVER-PRESENT NOW spans nearly four decades. Catalyzed by my 1983 Kundalini Awakening over my father’s coffin, my early nonlinear experimental writings were informed by my alchemical experiments. The quest to transform lead (my fear of publishing) into literary gold fueled my desire to create a corpus embodying the complementary opposites — male (word) and female (image) reflection of the ontology of the ever-present icon of the Hieros Gamos disclosed in Cyprus as a material art-I-fact. @hieroshivagesamtkunstwerk is an ongoing project comprising the sacred marriage of word/image throughout social media as illo tempore art-I-facts of a cosmic moment in time — to be experienced once and never repeated again.
THE ALCHEMICAL OUROBOROS
As I came to regard this daemon as the Aquarian Age rebirth of the ancient Uranian Goddess, I rode the wave of the Surfgeist (a term I coined in 2014) to transform my corpus through digital technology transforming the relationship between word and image. While diving deep into alchemy, I began to see my mission as the creation of a alchemical corpus embodying the complementary opposites — male (word) and female (image) — as the infans solaris of the ever-present icon of the Hieros Gamos.
The novel that catalyzed the literary quest was begun with the Olivetti manual typewriter (Kundalini Rising)on a hard wood flour in the Once district of Buenos Aries in 1984. The quest was to create a fluid form in which past, present and future converged into a quantum reality defined by reverie, memory and dreams woven into the present vision of a glorified future as a literary lioness. This was the escape from the fractured surface reality of hyperinflation in a land that time forgot with the tango as metaphor for the rigid tension of gender opposites converging in movement and image.
The burning quest for transcendence catalyzes the protagonist’s submergence into metaphysical study. This chapter of her alchemical story opens in the air. She becomes enthralled in flight on her way to Los Angeles to work as a Hollywood script analyst at the start of the GOGO eighties. Living below the Hollywood sign, the narrator finds herself at the center of a shift from the high concept big budget movie to the rise of independent film. With her independent lifestyle, New Age Los Angeles offers unlimited vehicles for spiritual development. The new focus is recording the converge of inner/outer experience marked by synchronicity pioneers a new literary form in which the archetypes on her journey are externalized in the tarot cards introducing the chapters of her spiritual passage of kundalini awakening. The shift into quantum reality is demonstrated by the nonlinear narrative; the opening and closing of the text are presented in the cinematic form of the screenplay. The preface reveals the triumph in which the once aspiring novelist has transformed into auteur — the writer and actor, as well as director and producer, of her own life script.
The third phase of the literary corpus is the containment of the divine fire. This process is enacted with a double Scorpio actor in the protagonist’s new home in the Los Feliz section of Hollywood. The transition of the ethnic neighborhood from old world anachronism into the newly hip is mirrored in the meta literary journey. As the emotions deepen from powerful healing work, the narrative plunges deep into alchemical wisdom. The tarot cards marking spiritual progress in the former text give way to alchemical symbols and rites. The synchronicities are now magical passages into the other side. For example, the internal struggle to contain the wolf & focus the rising kundalini in the alembic to birth the new Self, the infans solaris, is reflected outwardly in the plight of the actor suffering an attack of uncoagulated bleeding. Will the magical attraction of this double Scorpio and Aquarius seeking the unnamed icon of the Hieros Gamos bring them together as companions on the quest for the mysterium conjunctum? There is only one way to find out!
With the final Sublimatio phase before the transcendence of the quintessential element, the writer shifts from meta fiction to a new form of quantum narrative in which nonfiction narrative leaves incredulous gaps for mythical penetration. The specific myth is Psyche & Eros. The love affair with the world renowned art star is precipitated by an attack in the Mexican desert just as the seeker was placing a rose on a cactus to create the ultimate image in her Lost Bride Series of photographs reflecting the prophecy of Margaret Starbird of the return of the sacred marriage partner: “when a rose blooms in the desert.” She returns to New York to express her newfound containment in a new profession as art critic for the local newspaper. Embarked on a new challenge of Möbius strip inner/outer containment, she finds herself as a conduit for the collective consciousness. Forging through any and every opening to extract the gold of a newly emerging icon, given the name Hieros Gamos by prophets, her task as alchemist is now externalized in the outer world. As avatar, her uncompromising reappraisal of stifling dichotomies — left/right brain, male/female, even fiction and reality — places her on the mystical trail of her father, Kundalini research pioneer. En route, she becomes the conduit delivering an Aquarian Age mythology requires a new literary invention. This multimedia project reflects the leaps of digital technology of the turn of the millennium — combining word/image with meta prose, reviews with a contemporary reworking of the myth of Psyche & Eros. The blog takes up where the text of the same name leaves off — the journey through the synchronicities to seek the Hieros Gamos in bold new millennial forms of art as well as everyday life.
These four literary works form the core of my creative process with alchemy. If you share this origin and have a collaborative project in mind, please do get in touch!
Origins of the Journey
The catalyst to the Great Work was my 1983 Kundalini awakening over my father’s coffin. My father was a pioneer in the Human Potential Movement of the early 1960s, who established Aureon, the east coast counterpart to Esalen, where I had my first encounter group at the age of five. Before I graduated from high school, he became a disciple of Swami Muktananda, whom he introduced to the scientific community when the guru visited California in 1974.
I stayed at my father’s Kundalini Clinic in San Francisco during a college vacation in 1979, intrigued, but not fully aware of the mysterious serpent power — and its potential for genius or insanity. I was soon to find out, because at his funeral in 1983, I experienced the healing heads of Sister Denise, a guide to my father’s exploration of Raja Yoga. This remarkable woman was the most angelic being I have ever encountered in a life-long journey of meeting many sages, magicians and gurus. She was so light that she seemed to glide on air, and when she cupped her hands over my head, as I wept before my father’s coffin, I felt the sensation of the thousand petal lotus opening–the tingling in the crown chakra known as the Kundalini awakening.
Following this sublime experience, I lived through a decade of personal turmoil while running across three continents as a writer, with little else but my pen to attach me to the earth. Not until 1994, when I arrived back in my family home in Stamford, Connecticut, did I commit myself to the process of bringing this spirit fully into my physical body–and my body of writing. Typically, I thought it would take a few days, maybe a month; instead it took fifteen years. Along the way, I experienced the great paradox of my life as an extroverted Aquarian: in going inward, I found not only myself but also a profession. Or I should say, criticism found me, for it gave me the ability to exorcise my daemon and reconcile persistent dreams of needing to relieve myself in public. How else could I work through the challenges of grounding a new myth–Kundalini pioneer’s daughter awakened over his coffin–when the lack of roadmaps was compounded with the necessity to earn a living?
Psyche was a mythical mortal who symbolically reflects our soul. You are already participating in her rebirth, simply by reading this introduction. An odyssey, compiled in three volumes, brings an intensive decade-long process of relentlessly tracking the re-emergence of the sacred feminine in contemporary culture to an ending, and KUNDALINI’S DAUGHTER a new transformation.
Initially, the journey was propelled by my own struggle to find Psyche in a tangible form. This evolved into a physical act of impromptu performance/installation art archived through traditional photography, later taking on an entirely new skin in The Alchemy of Love, a 2007 live multimedia production in the Lab Gallery of the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan.
Here you are with the outcome. The first volume of Critical Trilogy covers Psyche’s falling in love with Eros and ends with the beginning of her disenchantment with romantic love. Vol. II contains the character building that rewards Psyche with the profession of art critic under a gender-free label. Vol. III results in the transition from critic to curator as a means of introducing the public to an aesthetic reflecting a new cosmology.
In 1997, I met acclaimed author Margaret Starbird (The Woman With the Alabaster Jar), whose search for the “lost bride” of the gospels was to inspire Dan Brown’s writing of The Da Vinci Code. My passionate exchange with Margaret about the hieros gamos prompted me to begin a conscious and proactive journey to find evidence of the bride’s return in art.
The book you are holding is the refined product of this search. In bringing together a vision of Psyche with a written chronicle of the journey of Her emergence, it reflects an authentic quest: to restore the image of the lost bride to psychic life through the passionate expression of a newly emerging face of the feminine.
The obstacle facing the culture at the turn of the millennium was this: how do we penetrate beyond post-modern cynicism to the embrace of a new cosmology containing the full expression of the divine feminine in union with her male consort? On a personal level, I embarked on a contemporary remaking of a twentieth century urban myth reflected in the title of the second volume, Psyche on 79th Street: the “underground” descent of the uptown New Yorker to an earthiness embodied in the downtown artist community. By becoming fully engaged in developing a codex of this process, I confronted the challenge facing all art disciplines today: how to create an elastic form that is alive, yet timeless, contemporary, yet rooted in the past. Above all, this new art form must tell the truth about the joys and sorrows of being awake at this crucial point of history.
The abyss we are staring into, declared by twentieth century critics as the End of Art, holds the potential for our transformation. It is the paradigm leap we all face–the point where past and future converge into present, the collapse of the Quantum Wave. It is precisely in this undefined space that Kundalini’s Daughter lives and breathes the fresh air of creative freedom–no matter if she is uptown, downtown, or anywhere in between! Once it became obvious that the serpent power was pushing me to creating a new form, my path was clear: to establish myself as a leader in a new avant-garde.
How did I get to that place from my Connecticut refuge? In 2001, I plunged into a freelance job as regular art critic with Southern Connecticut Newspapers (Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time). I began writing about visual art and eventually expanded into dance and theater. Over a span of five years, I published nearly 250 reviews and articles. At every possible opportunity, I chronicled the return of the authentic feminine repressed by both the corporate media, on one hand, and academia with its institutionalized feminism, on the other. Some of these reviews and articles appear in this volume, while others will appear in future volumes.
Paradoxically, the content and rhythm of this book are composed of the serpent’s shedding of the real life experiences required to write it. Yet, beyond an immersion into the collective consciousness, my daemon required surrendering to the universal unconscious–a new version of the myth of Psyche and Eros.*
There are aspects of the original Greek narrative that are missing, as the myth was being lived through a contemporary woman who had been schooled by a father whose core identity through all his transformations was unshakeable: participant and observer rolled into one. In this respect, the virgin in the myth was being newly invented as the solitary female intellectual who betrays her own mind, as Eros betrays Psyche, in order to confront her veiled desire for an authentic connection to another human being. In breaking through the modernist myth of the solitary genius, and narrowly escaping the trap of narcissism, she overcomes the illusions of romance to learn about a love that is real. To succeed in this quest, she must develop her character through discrimination, courage and containment of spirit. This growth leads to a new relationship between Eros and Beauty. But wouldn’t a critic with a pioneering spirit embracing such an evolution expect to be enthralled by a bold new aesthetic?
Perhaps, yet to fall into its enigma meant betraying my professionalism. This was the paradox that I chose to embody, rather than repress, and therefore, the tension of risk defines the very structure of this trilogy. My decision to publish this book was prompted by a mail delivery of my father’s introduction to a book on his guru: “A point that Muktananda keeps making…is the necessity of having direct, personal experience with higher states of consciousness and spiritual energy. This may seem obvious but it is easy to forget this simple truth. Again and again, he exhorts the scientist to study himself, the healer to heal himself, the psychologist to witness his own mind. The pressures to achieve and perform in these fields before one has gone very far into one’s own Self are very great in America. Muktananda says that the journey into the Self can only make one into a better therapist, a better minister, a better researcher.
Nothing will be lost; much will be gained. That is what he told me when I first met him. From direct personal experience I have found he was speaking the truth. 1
Naturally, I have something to add to that list: a better critic. My father raised his progeny to undertake his own spirit of scientific inquiry in pursuit of the Self, breaking through any boundary standing in the way–whether in the body, society or profession. I never doubted that to understand art on the cutting edge, I had to follow my father’s path and balance the tension between the opposites to become both observer and participant. The suspense was high, but triumph lay on the other side of the tightrope: a new language to interpret innovative art forms for the twenty-first century.
Kundalini’s Daughter goes beyond the struggle to cope with my father’s legacy as death-defying explorer of a forbidden realm. It is also the attempt to make good on his unconventional teachings, particularly in regards to non-attachment. The value propelling the narrative forward is not at all apparent in a consumerist culture. And, even today, this is what relegates to the avant-garde the constant vigor of my neo-Reichian psychologist father’s tireless breakdown of energies blocked in the body. As a critic, I followed in his footsteps by zeroing in on impediments within the body of the artist’s work, as well as those within the art world and celebrity-obsessed culture. These dead zones harbor outworn archetypes and patriarchal myths that need be reinvented for a new age of gender equality.
NEW PARADIGM LITERATURE
3 BOUNDARY SMASHING TRILOGIES
The theorem behind the Great Work also springs from within as the infans solaris gestating under the spiral dress of Embodiment (2007). In simple terms, this is the Third, the in-between space occupied by the Hieros Gamos. This explains why I create in thirds: 3 trilogies of 3 texts each. In accordance with a dream I had of a new modernism, each is a chapter in an 21st century epic of wo/man’s BECOMING that is complete unto itself, just as each chapter in every text is complete, yet integral to the web woven by the text. The microcosm reflecting the microcosm. The Möbius strip. Thus is what I mean by a quantum literature in which the multiple potential narrative collapses into a singular path — from the Underground direct to the spotlight of the literary Lion’s Den.
META NOVEL TRILOGY
This trilogy of quantum meta fiction foresaw digital layering of text. The series was launched with Champagne Tango in 1984, continued with Astara is Born (1988) exploring New Age LA and Wolf in the Bottle (1992) propelling a deeper plunge into the psyche via occult study
HOLY GRAIL, HOLY BRIDE
QUANTUM NARRATIVE NONFICTION
This trilogy was launched in 2006 with the Margaret Fuller UUWF Award to write a handbook for the Hieros Gamos. It evolved into a meta journey combining a personal and collective archeology — from the Mother of American Literature in Woman of the 21st Century to Anatomy of an Icon’s personal deconstruction of the icon that first manifested in an encounter group experienced as a child to the adult quest for the Twin Flame similarly embarked on the quest.
This narrative non-fiction trilogy smash boundaries between disciplines of science, philosophy, archeology and religion. The titles reveal the progression from historical figures to the global archetypes: Übermensch:
Nietzsche, Salome & the Ages of Aquarius; The Aphrodite Coverup: Ontology of Cyprus, Island of the Hieros Gamos; and The Ultimate Road Trip: From #MeToo to #WeToo
These 3 trilogies all have individual websites with blogs. Just click the buttons and leap into the New Paradigm!