Heaven & Earth Combine in a “Meetup” of Spirit and Matter.

The whole planet is a “Meetup group,” as it seems we are trying to unify.  Sondra and I travel around the world and see more similarities in people and their relationships than differences. People are engaged in their own interests, families, careers, relationships, personal growth, etc. Some people are serious enough to question their life and take a look within.  They want something deeper, more lasting and fulfilling, more communicative of the larger picture, and they want intimacy with their partner on the spiritual scale. They wish to have a religious experience that is not found in churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. but in a “meetup” with the sacredness of Life itself.


“Heaven and Earth” by Markus Ray

I painted this work years ago. I was into the DOT and X that I talked about a couple of posts back. Also, I was looking at two triangles converging—one pointing upward, and the other pointing downward. One could say the merging of the Male Principle with the Female Principle. These also come together in the six pointed star, or the “Star of David.” That said, I wanted to merge this potent symbol with another potent symbol, the calligraphic depiction of “Allah” used in the Muslim religion. Tara Singh had a picture of this symbol in his prayer room, to represent Muhammed, as he honored the custom in Islam not to depict the Prophet in images. So a symbol of “Allah” would do.

I put the two together in a pentagon. It was intended to be a harmonizing factor. I called the painting “Heaven and Earth.” Spirit and Matter come together in a “Meetup,” long before we even had that word in our internet vocabulary. Of course, not too many people here in the West even recognize this symbol for Allah, but it does not matter. Just the energy of it comes through in the painting, unrecognized or not.


Soon after Sondra and I got together in 2008, we were headed off to Ecuador to the “Valley of the Immortals.” The Incas called this place “Vilcabamba.” It is an area known for the longevity of its people, achieved mainly from an herbal drink they concoct from the local plants. Who knows? It is definitely a special place where one feels the “Meetup” of Heaven and Earth.

Vilcabamba is a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in Loja Province, about 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Loja. The etymology of the name “Vilcabamba” apparently derives from the Quichua “huilco pamba.” Huilco denotes the sacred trees, Anadenanthera colubrina, that inhabit the region; pamba (cognate with pampa) is a word meaning “a plain”. The area has been referred to as the “Playground of the Inca” which refers to its historic use as a retreat for Incan royalty. The valley is overlooked by a mountain called Mandango, the Sleeping Inca, whose presence is said to protect the area from earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Reputation: Located in a historical and scenic valley, it is a common destination for tourists, in part because it is widely believed that its inhabitants grow to a very old age. Locals assert that it is not uncommon to see a person reach 100 years of age and it is claimed that many have gotten to 120, even up to 135, which would make it an area with the oldest inhabitants in the world. It is often called the Valley of Longevity. Wikipedia



A Touch of the Timeless — in Time.

We think of Heaven as a perfect place of eternal life in which happiness reigns supreme, and all death is overcome—which means no illness, no problems, no conflict. Generally no death is possible in Heaven, within the eternity of a Self-Realized Nirvana. God grants our entry into Heaven, or not. According to our good deeds we might get past the gatekeeper, Saint Peter, who will probably ask us first about all the dastardly deeds we managed to accumulate in this lifetime. Well, we will probably sink ourselves from this moment of heavenly flotation, preventing us from rising above it all.

It was not until my “Meetup” with A Course in Miracles that I began to see Heaven in a different light altogether.

“Heaven is the decision I must make.” ACIM says in Lesson #138. WOW. In other words, I have dominion over my entry into this elevated state of being —or not. I am the one who decides for it, not Saint Peter of the pearly gates. Furthermore, the “gate” is not some etheric, mythical do or die entryway into some promised land — withheld or granted. The Gate is our own mind—and whether we can, with our own mind, accept our total innocence, our sinlessness, right NOW. This is the Gate: can you forgive yourself completely for everything and accept your God-given perfection right now?


“Elephanta – Head of Shiva”

Elephanta blew my mind too. 

In the year 2000 Tara Singh and I tavelled to India. It was my third time to the Mother Land, our first time of going together. We went with another fellow student, John McClure. Our first stop was in Paris, because John spoke fluent French, and we needed a lay over. Then we flew from there to Bombay— Mumbai it is called now. We stayed near the Taj Mahal Hotel, because we were to see an island in the bay called “Elephanta.”  The India Gate was nearby, from which we caught a medium tourist boat to the island. The attraction to this place had been strong, as a huge Head of Shiva, or Trimurti, is housed in the rock-cut temple there. The Temple of Elephanta is  generally believed by historians to have been completed in the middle of the 6th century (550 CE.)

The colossal Head of Shiva, about 6 meters tall, sits back in the far recesses of the cave temple. Tara Singh had a picture of this Trimurti at his Foundation in Los Angeles, and we had become quite familiar with it over the years. But to see the Head in person was another story. It was like a meeting with Lord Shiva Himself. So powerful was the experience, I hardly even remember how we got there, what we said, how I felt, what happened other than I was deeply moved. The thing put me in a trance, almost.

When I returned to Philadelphia I painted this 4ft. X 6ft. canvas of “Elephanta – Head of Shiva.” I was still engaged in the use of the Dot and the X. It seemed appropriate that the Dot would emerge as the “third eye” of the Master.

The Dot and X are Universal. 

I love the Dot and the X. I will always go back to them. This recent series I call “DC Convergence.” These small paintings are a kind of “coitus” of the Dot and the X. I now see the theme running through my work for a long time—and even so, how many lifetimes are focused by these two pictorial elements? However, I would never be a “minimalist” in the sense of a Rothho or a Newman. They did that, and did it well. Not my job to recapitulate, though I love them so much. For me, there are too many things whirling about us to ignore the physical stuff of existence. Things are not completely reducible down to the emptiness of spiritual space. There is a  fullness of a sacred body—a universe of multiplicity.  But the Dot and X are potent for me to open up other infinite possibilities.


DC Convergence #6

The Meetup of Heaven and Earth lends itself to an egalitarian approach to subject matter. The Star of David and the Calligraphy for Allah co-exist in this melding. The “bindu,” the DOT of sperm-life infuses the motherly matrix of the X of infinite four-corners of space, and out from them moves a force of Creation—the offspring of the Son of God. And that Son is brilliant in his/her co-creations that meld and flow with a Heaven made manifest on Earth. If we can do it once in the human race, then why not infinitely again and again with the clarity we know is possible?

Go for it! Make your world a Heaven. Make the decision once and never go back. Bring the infinite into the finite and come up with a spawning of new Life for yourself. Nothing is stopping you but you. Heaven is the decision we must make!

Om Namah Shivay!

THANKS for reading,






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