Geometric Meditation: The Mandorla

The ALL begins with a point.

Yet the point is in ZERO / NO dimension.

Do not yet make the point. The point does not exist. But please contemplate what is before the point….

It is WILL, and INTENTION, and LOVE. It is explosive DESIRE.

You want to create, to start, to begin the journey, to make a mark. You really want to express!  But you must first choose a place to begin, and a direction to go. Because once you select your origin point – there is no going back – your point will immediately activate and create the FIRST dimension. A line is being drawn.

Please take a moment before you place your point. You must first conceive exactly where your point begins, and which direction it is going.

I am waiting for you to choose your origin.

I am waiting for you to choose your direction.


A LINE is drawn. It is called the FIRST dimension – but it is not the first thing!

The ‘point of origin’ will become a memory. We forget our beginning so quickly in our material race through the dimensions of time and movement. Can we hold both in our head? Try …  hold the place you are going, and the place you have come from.

… remember the point.


©G. Barnes 2016


Justiniano – On Archetypes from Nature

“Instead of talking of the imprinting of the imagination as coming directly from “above” … this passage looks at it from “below,” as a process of ascent. In it can be seen a way of speaking of the transfiguration of sense-perception in the creative act. In other words, it suggests the possibility of not having solely to rely on the illuminations coming from above to depict the archetypes.”

Fr. Silioun Justiniano (2013) ‘Archetype and Symbol III: On Noetic Vision.’ Retrieved from Orthodox Arts Journal

Wentzel Jamnitzer (1508-1585) The intelligible made sensible – Platonic Solids

Doing Time with the Archetype

I have uploaded to youtube a ‘screen recording’ on June 28, 2013, at Woolston, 4.40pm – using Quicktime Player’s ‘movie recording’ and ‘screen recording’ with the onboard laptop camera.

Unmediated, nil interference or ‘reconstruction’ of – me, time, studio or process. As a professional television editor/director – the temptation to meddle is huge! But I wanted to just capture time_thought_work. The only intervention is the START, the END, and the ANGLE.

Video still
Video still “Screen Capture, 28.6.13, 4.40pm” G. Barnes

It is about observing myself (my ego), all the while knowing I am not just this ego making stuff – I think I am more – the person turning  the camera on and off – watching myself? It makes for an interesting meditation anyway! The camera watching me… like the Omniscient One perhaps? It keeps me in the present, and mindful.

… the Way of Love is about alternately distancing ourselves into a meditative and self-integrating silence of our own being and empathically uniting with the eyes and world-views of others. (Uskokovic´, p. 360)

All that we are aware of as our experience derives from the interplay between creative actions of two sides: the subject and its environment. (Uskokovic´, p. 362)

It reminds me that what it is I am doing, creating, painting, etc – I need to do from a place of core truth. What is the truth? A friend said to me today – ‘You will know the truth when you hear it, because you have always known it.’ Brilliant woman!

Furthermore, we should know that the core of our thoughts, emotions and aspirations becomes embedded in the products of our actions in the world. Play chords on a musical instrument with the heart filled with devotion, and the music flown into the air will mysteriously shine with a grace concealed within. It is likewise with all the creative acts and events in the world.

In the end, miraculous accomplishments in life are all about great wishes that have burned within their creators. Whether we are trying to make inspiring works in the fields of arts, sciences or ordinary, casual communications, cultivation of great wishes inside ourselves presents the first step towards a successful embodiment of our visions and dreams. (Uskokovic´, p. 368)

I have been ‘captured’ ever since I was a teenager by an Archetype. It has such a hold on me, that no matter which way I turn – to Nature, to Space, to Atoms, to the Heart of Humanity, or to the Mundane or Media,  to the I, or to the Many – the Archetype continues to hold me in its power – while my feeble brain and spirit stumble along this postmodern road.

Contact with an archetype cannot be revealed in the language of everyday experience; it requires exclamatory and idiomatic expressions; it is always attended by some measure of entrancement. But a sense of archetypes can also dawn on ordinary minds, caught in the web of manifold, benumbing experiences. (Zolla, p. 191)


Uskokovic´, V. (2012), ‘On love in the realm of science’, Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research 10: 2+3, pp. 359–374.

Zolla, Elemire (2001) ‘Archetypes,’ Phi Beta Kappa Society: Rome

Rare Creatures

G. Barnes, 2013. 'Cosmic Christ Transfigures on Mars'
G. Barnes, 2013. ‘Cosmic Christ Transfigures on Mars’

I have started a painting – it features a byzantine Christ transfigured on a Moon landscape. I’m thinking of calling it “Rare Creatures”. It is in all respects a ‘Cosmic Christ’ I suppose, although that intention was never explicit in my thinking through the design. That, in one of those lovely ‘oh yeah’ moments, comes later….  The Cosmic Christ is a mystical archetype most succinctly expressed by one of my favourite theologians, Fr. Matthew Fox, who also reiterates one of my favourite female artists – Hildegarde of Bingen:

… the “Cosmic Christ Archetype” is a universal way of seeing the world. The Cosmic Christ Archetype is a way of seeing the splendour and divine grace in all things. Hildegard of Bingen, the twelfth century Christian mystic, said, “Every creature is a glittering mirror of divinity.” In terms of John’s gospel, this is the light of Christ in every creature.

If I try to relate in terms of today’s sciences, I think of photons (a tiny indivisible quantity of electromagnetic energy). We know that there are photons in every atom, in every being. Therefore, the Cosmic Christ is the divine radiance that’s present in every galaxy, in every star, every porpoise, every blade of grass, and every human. (see

Universal archetypes are under threat today. Religious fundamentalism exploits them for its own dubious reasons, modern science continues to expand, evolve and fragment – forgetting the intitial unifying impulse, and even capitalism has nearly totally divorced itself from it’s ‘real’ foundation (gold). We live in slippery times, in a post-nihilist modernity that  ‘unabashedly rejects discourses motivated by sentimental allusions to universals’ (Archive Fire; Nihilism)

The advent of hypermediation via communication and digital technologies has combined with what Ray Brassier has called “the negative consummation of the enlightenment”, as well as the ever-expanding assaults on the living flesh and ecological stability of humans everywhere to create a crisis of legitimacy for every existing linguistic and normative institution on the planet. We do not inhabit a modern or even ‘postmodern’ world, we subsist in an advanced industrial calamity. (see

While I think the sentence ‘we subsist in an advanced industrial calamity’ is a beautifully framed phrase that nicely sums up our current state of being, here in 2013, and approaching the brink of several ecological collapses  – I personally reject the entire nihilist framework.

We, as artists, have I believe heightened sensitive instincts – and these should be trusted. So when I read this above, and then the following below – I look to what lightens my soul. Matthew Fox goes on to say how the Cosmic Christ archetype can be employed to help ‘save the environment:’

…it is not about duty; it’s about pleasure and delight. That the earth is a garden, radiating with a divine presence. When it is in danger, it is like the crucified Christ; the compelling urgency here is born out of the experience of beauty and grace, not out of duty. Beauty and grace inspire us to let go of our lifestyles that are hostile to the health of the environment, and to recreate our lives in terms of politics, economics, education, worship, all of it. So that’s one of the practical implications—in terms of the ecological crisis, it gets us moving and awake. (Fox; Cosmic Christ)

Moving, and awake. Compared with the ‘post-nihilist’ environmental strategy:

The future of our species will depend entirely upon the willingness of people to abandon our previous and varied delusions for intensely reflective strategies of praxis and collective habitation. We have to design new delusions for vastly more pragmatic ecologies.

‘Beauty and grace’ or ‘new delusions’? I’m a simple soul, I listen to what is ‘enlivening’. When I begin to read some writers of this ‘nihilistic epoch’ – the post-modern and post-structuralist writers who have rejected theism – I find that a small greyness descends.

I avoid the grey; in search of colour –  verdaccio and subtle glazes of blue and green.