During deep meditation, I entered a state where all energy systems in my body were completely aligned and flowing. It was in this state that I envisioned Theologue. I was wearing a Mindfold which allowed me to stare into total darkness. I stared into an infinite regress of electric perspective grids that radiated from my brain/mind and led to the horizon. A mystic fire engulfed me. Across the horizon all I could see were perspective lines going into deep space. I was seeing both the perceptual grid of my mind on which space and time are woven, and the universal mind which was both the source and the weaving loom. At this moment, faintly, Himalayan mountains appeared. Transparent, but present, they formed a vast and beautiful panorama and then disappeared back into the grid.
One morning, a series of seven visions flashed into my mind. As soon as I drew one image, another replaced it until I had drawn a complex seven-stage journey of a wanderer discovering the spiritual path, having an introduction to his own true nature, embodying that truth, and reentering society.
I spent the next year painting each scene and sculpted an unusual frame to hold the paintings. As I was working on the painting, a poem related to each panel came through me. The finished altarpiece, Nature of Mind, is my homage to the artists and wisdom masters of Tibet. The Tibetan Buddhist teachings known as Dzogchen were the inspiration for these visions.
In Dzogchen texts various symbols distinguish between the conceptual dualistic “mind” and the self-liberated, non dual “nature of mind”. The thoughts of the dualistic judging mind are symbolized as clouds that arise and dissolve in the open vastness of the skylike nature of mind. The mirror is also a potent tool for illustrating this distinction. The mirror reflects all things, beautiful or horrible, and the dualistic mind gets caught up in the reflections, judging what it likes and dislikes, becoming emotionally charged about relatively inconsequential matters. The Dzogchen teachings advise us not to identify with the passing reflections but to recognize that our true nature of mind is the mirror’s infinite capacity for reflection.
There are numerous vajra symbols throughout the various panels of the Nature of Mind painting, and in the frame surrounding the images the vajra motif is found sometimes in winged guises. In Tibetan Buddhism, vajra (also called Dorje) carries the association of transformative spiritual knowledge and is a symbol of the mind’s true essence. Other sculptural details on the frame include Manjushri’s sword of discriminating wisdom hovering above a sacred text that is emerging from a lotus. The lotus is a symbol of transformation because it begins life in the mucky underwater mud and grows up toward the light, opening as a beautiful pure white blossom. The Melong, or circular mirror, at the top of the frame pillar is a Dzogchen symbol of the ability to distinguish between the conceptual mind and the true nature of mind. The Tibetan syllable Ah is used as a mantra symbolizing primordial perfection; it is found both on the frame and in the second painted panel, on a book cover held by the dead yogi. The dragon like beings sculpted on the right and left sides of the frame are hybrid guardians called makaras with attributes of elephants and crocodiles.“
Collaboration with Allyson Grey.
There are a continuum of avatars who have been sent by the Almighty
to enlighten and uplift the world. These sage beings have interfused
their most human self with the Divine source. In every generation,
like a perennial plant, they emerge, when conditions for their reception
cry out. Every person is an aspect of one Godself — the avatars
are simply the purest example. Jesus, Buddha, Padmasambhava, Yeshe
Tsogyal,Ibn Arabi, Rumi, Plato, Plotinus, St. Teresa, Hildegard
von Bingen, Emerson, Ramana Maharshi, Adi Da, Ken Wilber.
These and many other wisdom masters have shown humanity the
way toward the Godself inherent in all beings. By their teachings and
example and radiant presence, humanity evolves spiritually. Like a
fire by which we can warm and guide ourselves, the Godself attracts
and calls to our own soul, showing the path to realization.
So study the mystic texts and truths from all traditions. Familiarize
your smaller self with your Godself beyond all limitations. The
same light and love flows through the wisdom of each tradition.
Religion is a means to link God and Self. The teachings are tools for
transformation and keys to enter the timeless. We use the practices
of the traditions such as meditation and prayer to rise beyond the
tradition toward the One Godself. When judging whether a teaching
is adequate to the task of enlightenment, look to the teachers, the
exemplars. To what degree are they realized? To what degree are
they living and speaking and expressing as Godself? When you
have found the mystic fire, stand close. Your obstructions to Godself
will begin to melt away and burn off as cinders. You will see the
ashes of fear and self-hatred, delusion, and misguided desire as the
fire consumes your body with Love Bliss and Infinite Awareness.
Body Mind is the fuel of the Mystic Fire. Shine with the light of
Compassion, Laughter, Generosity, Faith, Creativity, and Wisdom.
Your life is a medium for the Godself.
— Alex Grey with Allyson Grey
excerpt from Net of Being, 2012