In the Garden of the Mystical Redoubt (2005-2006)
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Mystical realization is defined by the denial and even denigration of the experience of self. Mysticism holds that personal emotion, attachment and sensual, human love are all the mark of ignorance, and tether us to the "human;" while mystical attainment, which attempts to deny the "I" and move to some airy region where personality is diaphanous and emotion untouchable, somehow leads us toward God's ultimate purpose.
Frankly put, this is wrong.
After all, if the universe bequeathed us anything, it certainly gave us our tendencies. If we believe that it is our ultimate purpose to outrun these tendencies through a kind of mystical repression, this seems fallacious and illogical. This universe has created us in a certain manner and, as such, it is through our very human quirks and five senses that we can most clearly come in contact with the universe that birthed us. The desire to turn tail and hide beneath some absurd cloak of non-action is just a deeper form of human ignorance.
These works explore the horror of classical mystical attainment – cold, lonely, miserable, unloved, terrifying, insanity producing and just plain wrong. I have created a series of 85 different images representing mystical "adepts" in various stages "on down a garden path" towards personal, ego dissolution.