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short answers to questions heard over the years



F. A . Q .




If you had to describe the project in a few words?

The Mandãla is a visionary piece of sacred architecture, build for a global world at a critical juncture in time. The formal descriptive: "The Mandãla is a visionary shrine in the desert wilderness of the Colorado Plateau where a revolving entity embodying cosmic order dwells in a womb-like chamber."

more info: vision outline
still more info: mission statement


Is it a type of retreat center?

No.

 

Is it like an 'art object' out there in the desert?

Yes, it could be viewed that way.

 

Is it a private or a public space?

The project is planned to be implemented in a private space leased for this particular purpose.

more info: executive summary


Why do we need yet another building? Nobody has been asking for it, so why bother?

Why do we need sacred architecture at all? The Mandãla is, to my heart and mind, a monument greatly relevant to our times.

  

Still, why another temple, when those we already have are ill-equipped to help us solve the many serious problems we face as a modern civilization?

The Mandãla is a monument to the resacralization of the Earth a powerful statement of interconnectedness between human civilization and the natural world. In the end everyone is left to decide for themselves on the ultimate usefulness of such vision.

 

You keep using words like 'mandala' or 'cathedral'. Is it a Buddhist or a Christian temple?

This project is not affiliated with any particular faith; neither it is an interfaith temple.

You may ponder the following etymologies: 'mandala' simply means a sacred circle; 'sanctuary' denotes a womb-like chamber; 'temple' indicates a place dedicated to the con-temp-plation of space and time. For this project the word 'cathedral' is more loosely interpreted as the seat of a higher consciousness. Following that etymological vein the Mandãla is, it is true, very much a 'religious' edifice (from the Latin religare: to bind, to connect; to provide a bond between humans and the gods).

more info: space-time constructs


A 'planetary sanctuary'…that sounds expensive! How much do you expect the project to cost?

$10-20 million is a rough estimate for the hoped for full-scale version of a project build in phases over several decades. Is that expensive? When considering the question, we need to ask ourselves if this art is of lasting value. The answer, to me, is a resounding yes.

 

Where will the money be coming from?

Funding is expected to come from large private donations by a few individuals (rather than small donations from a large number of people), with added logistical support from tech companies.

more info: executive summary


How practical of a mission do you have?

The sanctuary serves several purposes, fulfills different functions — all well outlined on this website. I will add that a 'practical mission' is neither the concern of art or spirit.

more info: mission summary


This shrine is meant to be built in the desert wilderness of the Colorado Plateau. Why so remote a place?

Because the indwelling spiritual entity is based upon the wild and shy Serpent & Jaguar archetypes. Because the sanctuary needs to be sheltered from what has become a rather toxic human world. And because, for the visitor or pilgrim, an authentic personal experience — what is means to be a human being on this planet can only take place in an isolated, natural environment.

more info: Colorado Plateau


What of the 'one-person only' visit policy?

The sanctuary is conceived as a cosmic womb-tomb, pertaining to some kind of collective gestation. That is its first and foremost purpose. Within that framework it can also permit personal transformative experiences by the visitor or pilgrim of the sort that can only take place in a one-on-one communion with the indwelling spirit. As the project develops the 'policy' may change. Let us for now view it as a proper guideline by which future visitation will be considered.

more info: executive summary

 

What do the local indigenous people think of the project?

The Mandãla project has yet to be presented to the Navajo and Hopi nations, whose land encompass a large section of the Colorado Plateau and within whose territory the project is likely to want to be located. Medicine wo/men and elected officials of those 2 nations will be contacted when the time comes. Their approval and blessing will be in many ways essential.

 

What of the Mayas, Aztecs, and other Mesoamericans? How do you see yourself in respect to their calendrical tradition?

My role is that of a day-keeper, meaning one who keeps track of the Sacred Calendar. It has been given to students, researchers, and practitioners like myself to interpret and expand traditional calendrical knowledge so that it keeps relevant to modern civilization and a global world.

more info: calendrical evolution


Still, isn't this project a case of ‘religious appropriation’?

The sanctuary is physically and spiritually anchored in the American landmass. Could a work based on the Serpent-Jaguar totem and the Mesoamerican calendar be built anywhere else? Now, why was the work given to a European-born individual (at least in this lifetime) to pursue and develop, i only have astrological clues. And a good question it is.

more info: spatial axis
more info: project director


From the look of it, there is quite a bit of 'snake' presence in the sanctuary. What is that about?

The Serpent archetype has been denied and suppressed for far too long in our Western culture—with disastrous results. The presence of this vital symbol in a contemporary work like the Mandãla speaks for an 'Archaic Revival'—one that includes a much needed re-emergence of the Feminine in our collective consciousness. And no, no snake idol is worshiped here.

more info: Serpent-Jaguar symbolism


Your bio mentions drugs…

Sacred plants they are—called 'medicine' by indigenous cultures the world over. In our Western society, these great teachers have been made illegal by the ignorant among us and, maybe more insidiously, the not-so-ignorant. To summarize my position on what is otherwise a vast and complex subject, i quote ethnobotanist and psychedelic explorer Terence McKenna: "Let us declare Nature to be legitimate. The notion of illegal plants is obnoxious and ridicule in the fist place."

more info: project director


So the Mandãla is a psychedelic vision?

No, not directly so. But nevetheless ‘rooted in rapture’ , as Joseph Campbell would put it. Its development has been entwined with my own psychological and spiritual growth, which yes, has included extensive psychedelic journeying.

 

Where does the Mandãla come from, then?

The project deals with multiple, entwined multidimensional realities—inner and outer. At one level, it is the end result of an artisitic quest to poetically express perennial truths. At a personal level, it began through a lenghty and cathartic healing journey that occured in my late 20's and early 30'sa journey with definite mythological overtones.

more info: EVOLUTION


How long has the project been in the making?

20yrs at this point in time.


Was the design of the sanctuary influenced by Art-Deco?

No, not consciously so. The design stem from the blueprints of the original vision(s). In other words, how the sanctuary was revealed to me is how you see it today on this website.

 

The design looks old-fashioned...

So be it. Though it may then be more adequate to call it perennial-fashioned (oxymoron as this may be).

 

It looks New Age…

It is a work of the New Age. A genuine New Age, that isnot afraid to embrace the deep realms of the psychological underworld, the dark-bright ecstasy of transformation, the raw intensity of genuine transcendence.

 

It looks like a big home-theater system…

Then so did the great Gothic cathedrals, who were conceived as illuminated manuscripts of stained glass and stone, complete with large pipe organs. Let us today have a home-theater for the Gaian Mind.


[ARCHIVE] What's going to happen in 2012?

The most likely thing to happen is that people will stop asking the same ludicrous question. It is time we stop projecting our utopian dreams or eschatological nightmares onto one date or another. It is due time we grow up a bit. With that said, we should humbly acknowledge the mystery dwelling at the core of the 2012 phenomenon. And true mystery cannot be solved, only experienced.