A Psychedelic Love Story
with Alex Grey & Allyson Grey
What impact have entheogenic experiences had on the lives of artists, Alex Grey and Allyson Grey? Over forty years ago LSD turned these atheist performance artists into mystics and lovers. The Mystical Experience uniting self and God occurs in the visionary imagination, and can be invoked through psychedelics. Artists who depict their glimpses of Heaven are creating a new sacred art. This understanding lead the Grey’s to co-founding the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, an art church celebrating creativity as a spiritual practice, and now building Entheon, Sanctuary of Visionary Art, in upstate New York.
On the forefront of a movement in which painters join musicians on stage, the Grey’s have painted together before tens of thousands of dancing people at New York Broadway theaters, at sold-out festivals and arenas in dozens of international cities across five continents. As long-time champions of cognitive liberty, a growing international “sacramental culture” has embraced the Grey’s as important mapmakers and spokespersons for the visionary realm.
The mystic paintings of Alex Grey articulate realms of psychedelic visionary consciousness, revealing interwoven energies of body and soul, love and spirit, illuminating the anatomical core of each being. Alex’s visual meditations on the nature of life and consciousness, the subject of his art, have reached millions through his five books, the exhibition and extensive reproduction of his artwork, speaking appearances including a popular TED talk, stage sets for major rock bands, video animation, and Grammy award winning album art. alexgrey.com
Allyson Grey, a painter and social sculptor, has been Alex’s creative collaborator, life partner and studio mate since 1975 when they met in art school. The paintings of Allyson Grey portray an essentialized world view, a symbol system of chaos, order and secret writing representing the material world of entropy, the interconnected light-realm of unity and the sacred symbols of human creativity. With an MFA from Tufts University, Allyson has long been an art educator, designer of creative experiences and muse to artists worldwide. allysongrey.com
Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM (cosm.org), a creative spiritual retreat center
Has your Psychedelic Soul ever felt validated by Visionary Art?
by Alex Grey
When people journey deeply inward with psychedelics in a supportive setting, they encounter a realm of spiritual light and beauty so fantastic that they are profoundly moved and positively changed. Psilocybin studies performed with the highest standards of scientific rigor reveal that 65% of the time, in a safe set and setting, people can have a mystical experience, a transcendence of space-time and union with boundless spirit. If one is able to have a mystical visionary experience with psychedelics, there are tremendous healing benefits for the mind, including the potential overcoming of grief, PTSD, addiction, and the powerful discovery of one’s purpose in life.
Most of the millions of psychedelic experiences that happen every year around the globe, occur outside of a controlled medical scientific experiment. Many people, having seen such extraordinary and disturbing things inside themselves, may feel stunned and a bit isolated, because the altered states are so out-of-control and impossible to communicate. I believe that one of the chief functions of visionary art is the validation of psychedelic souls. When people see that artists have depicted similar visionary dimensions, they breathe a little easier and realize, “Oh, they saw that too! I am not crazy after-all. We are connected or similar on the inside.”
Unlike any other time in history, there are now many artists from around the world dedicated to skillfully portraying their highest psychedelic visionary states of consciousness through painting, sculpture, and digital media. There is an international visionary art movement that deserves to be seen in a new sacred space.
Most people who are contributing money to the psychedelic movement are helping advance the medical scientific psychiatric and decriminalization efforts. These are areas of great promise and importance so that the truth about psychedelics can be known and their healing power re-integrated with our society.
Much of the spiritual wisdom conferred by the psychedelic state is visual. The science doesn’t touch or communicate that, and it is currently impossible to point a camera onto our mental flow. Only the visionary artists have begun to translate these life-changing experiences into communicable iconography.
When society is ready to see the higher vision of a cosmic order revealed through sacramental spirituality, this truth will begin to outshine materialism, fundamentalism and nihilist nightmares that bedevil our world.
The great visionary artist William Blake called our mystic dimension the Divine Imagination. Blake also said, “All Religions are One.” These are healing prayers in a world at war. The creative force is spirit in our hands, waging peace, painting by painting.
Entheon means a place to discover the Creator within. Entheon, Sanctuary of Visionary Art at CoSM will honor and preserve visionary artworks that point to our common transcendental source. Join us in this historic quest by independent artists to build a new sacred space.