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. I add to this the formal descriptive: "The Mandãla is a visionary planetary sanctuary in the desert wilderness of the Colorado Plateau. At its living heart dwells a revolving entity embodying cosmic order."

more info: vision outline
still more info: mission statement

Is it a type of retreat center?



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 sanctuary would be a public space privately administrated and regulated.

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 particularly 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. For our civilization to grow healthy again, there is today simply nowhere else to go.


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. Ponder the following etymologies: 'mandala' [sacred circle]; 'sanctuary' [womb-like chamber]; 'temple' [place dedicated to the con-temp-plation of space and time]. Following that vein, though, the Mandãla is 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 'new cathedral for the world'…that sounds expensive. How much do you expect the project to cost eventually?

$10-15 million is a rough estimate for the hoped for full-scale version. 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 maybe some logistical sponsoring by tech companies.

more info: executive summary

How practical of a mission do you have?

The sanctuary serves several purposes, fulfills several functions. They are well outlined on this website. Readers are left to decide for themselves on the ultimate usefulness of such vision.

more info: mission summary

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

Because the sanctuary asks to be physically sheltered from what has become a rather toxic civilization. Also because some authentic personal experienceswhat it 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 Mandãla is conceived as a cosmic womb, pertaining to some kind of collective gestation. But the sanctuary also permits deeply personal, transformative experiences, of the sort that can only take place in solitude. Of course, as the project develops the 'policy' may change. Let us see it for now as guideline by which a future visitor may approach this sacred space.

more info: executive summary


What do the local natives think of it?

The project has yet to be presented to the Navajo and Hopi nations, whose land encompass a large section of the Colorado Plateau.


What of the Mayas? 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 Mesoamerican sacred calendar. It has been given to Westerners like myself, through dedicated studies, to adapt and expand their traditional calendrical knowledge so that it be more relevant to modern consciousness.

more info: calendrical evolution

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

The sanctuary is physically anchored in a locale that belongs to the American landmass. I personally don’t think a work having the Maya calendar and the Serpent-Jaguar totem as its foundation could be built anywhere else. Now why has the work been given to a non-native individual to pursue and develop, i have no clear answer to that question. And a good question it is.

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.