Join us in the tropical islands of Hawaii at the Mystic Garden Festival on Maui!
MYSTIC GARDEN from CoSM on Vimeo.
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1. You recently travelled to the Holy Land of Israel in 2013. Tell me some of the highlights of culture that you found, perhaps lessons you learned. How are they using art to elevate their culture?
Traveling to Israel fulfilled a dream of a lifetime for Allyson. When she was in nursery school at her synagogue she brought in nickels and dimes to send to Israel to grow more trees. We visited a kibbutz and the highlights in Jerusalem, praying at the Wailing Wall, making a connection with the deep history of spirit, love and struggle permeating the region. The music scene is very developed, with festival and club culture growing. It seems that most Israelis and Palestinians want peace, and when you see the borders you see how impossible it is to separate everyone. Spending time in Tel Aviv we saw the young artists covering areas of the city with intelligent street art, some of which was celebrating pot. It was nice to see medical cannabis making a strong cheap legal presence in Israel. The strangest place we visited was the caves of Mount Sodom, there is a totally natural crystal cathedral space inside the mountain.
2. You travel the world to work at festivals, could you name your top 5 destinations on the planet and why they are important to you?
Meeting with friends all over the world affirms the growing planetary civilization, the radically welcoming Love Tribe that celebrates creativity and wisdom from all traditions. It is thrilling to meet this global family from Moscow to Santiago, from Mexico City to Hungary and Vienna, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. We go because, in a world of strife, our tribe invites us and thereby joins with us to build temple grounds and leave a trace of the people that celebrate creativity as a sacred path.
Touring the temples of Egypt was a powerful initiatory life-changing experience. Seeing the Solar Eclipse in the outback of Australia with thousands of hippies was unforgettable as was tripping in the jungles of Brazil, and painting and celebrating with the Love Tribe in Moscow, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Grass Valley, the Ozarks, San Francisco, Portland, Tucson, Atlanta, Asheville, Athens, Austin, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Munich, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, Maui, Honolulu, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, New York City...
3. Please give us an update on Entheon. The Entheon Kickstarter campaign was funded in 5/2013. You mentioned you had a bank loan behind it as well. Has construction started? What phase are you in? When do you plan to open doors?
The Entheon Kickstarter Campaign was CoSM's best fundraiser ever. With support from 1,510 backers, the campaign achieved 160% of the 39 day campaign, starting on Bicycle Day, the 70th Anniversary of the invention and first experience of LSD by the chemist, Dr. Albert Hofmann and ending on the anniversary of our first night together, May 31st, 1975, a date that became a life-time. After all involved with the Kickstarter Campaign were compensated and rewards sent to all 1,510 backers, most of the remaining funds will finance the all-important architects and engineering drawings necessary to create a functioning building clad in sculpture. Our bank loan will yield nearly a million, but to complete Entheon with ALL sculptures will require additional fundraising and support from the global community. We anticipate new foundations and steel to begin late spring.
In January 2013, CoSM grounds with Wisdom Trails and Grey House opened to the public four days a week, Friday through Monday. Guests accommodations are available 365 nights a year. This represents a huge transformation for CoSM in this country setting and has greatly impacted CoSM's "Sur-Thrival." Target date for the opening of Entheon: Autumnal Equinox 2015.
4. There are a lot of peaceful people who are trying to contribute to a better world, that do not necessarily get to festivals. But you have described these festivals as a "place to create a temporary zone of planetary civilization based on art music and love" and through that there is this wonderful connection of consciousness that happens. How do we spread that connection, reach others in everyday life, to make the changes we want to see? What is the best way to foster that consciousness in a day to day lifestyle without losing touch?
One doesn't have to attend a festival to meditate on cosmic unity or to make art a spiritual practice, these are the classic ways of connecting to our creative spark within. Festivals are temporary utopias. As festival attendees, we choose a festival where good music, dance, art and good company can be predicted. We open our hearts to friends new and old and share the creative spirit. Being a leader and a participant in community is how we spread interconnectedness. Look for a community toward which you feel resonance and get involved, become a part, not necessarily to "make a living" but rather to fulfill and nurture your soul. "Right livelihood" often benefits from the web of relationships created in a professional, philanthropic or spiritual community. A spiritual community with creative goals attract rich resources and positive energy to spiral upward together.
5. There is a lot of disconnect with people becoming disillusioned and disenfranchised by the commercial nature of the world, our corporate, fossil fuel driven economy. How do we meet that head on in social change without becoming disenchanted? How do you continue to believe in art as the great uplifting of humanity, when sometimes humanity seems to move so far from being human?
Remember that God is the Divine Artist and our cosmos is the evolving masterpiece of creation. Whatever the local news says, existence itself is an infinitely mysterious miracle! Appreciation is part of the aesthetic experience. Our challenge is to find something to appreciate at every turn in the spectacle of our lives. We discover the gift of our life is love. God is Love and Love is the only answer. There's a lot of bad out there that can prey on our mind. The world needs uplifting and making and viewing art with positive messages can do that. Every community is improved when artists move in and creative energy permeates the zone. A global community is the same. Cultural richness is an attractor and, like a honey blanket, it infuses our world with beauty and healing. In order to seduce transformation on a mass scale, we must discover the divine in our hearts and in the Nature-field, then get about the sacred business of preserving our precious planet.
Alex & Allyson
Special thanks to Zachary Bobo (by Mike Oliver) for the great photo.