Sporolation

Greetings friends, here is a color sketch of an idea conceived in a conversation between Jon Ohia and me. This preliminary sketch is done with acrylic and photoshop and measures 5"x15"
Stacks Image 543
Stacks Image 547
2nd Draft
Stacks Image 558
conceptual sketch done in traffic
"Sporolation"  portrays a man being lifted from a field of entheogenic fungi toward the arched vault of the heavens by a shimmering umbilicus of mushroom spores as they wind their glittering way toward the Sun. The man wears a loin cloth depicting a fractal, microcosmic portrayal of the sacred man/mushroom communion - the subject of the painting itself. At the top, a Sun, then Man, then Mushroom and Finally Earth. His elevated form represents the higher-states of consciousness at times bestowed to those who eat the forbidden fruiting bodies of psychedelic mushrooms.

  Mushroom spores levitate into the furthest reaches of our atmosphere and beyond. They can survive the vacuum of space, which has led some to propose theories that early earth was colonized by mushrooms from other planets (backed by a fascinating fossil record), and allows for the possibility that spores from earth have made their way to other planets across the galaxy and are colonizing wherever possible. Therefore, we find the man floating in their anti-gravitic field.

Another theory this painting references is the theory put forth by Terence McKenna that the evolution of early humanity consciousness - and even genetics - was catalyzed by the accidental and then intentional ingestion of naturally occurring hallucinogens such as mushrooms...

  The field of epigenetics proves definitively that our choices, food, even our thoughts can turn on and off various genes in our DNA which we then pass down to our children. Knowing this, there is no doubt a handfull of psylocibin mushrooms would have flipped quite a few switches in the genes of our ancestors. Hence, the glittering trail of spores is shown wrapping around the body of the man creating a double helix which crosses at his genitals (this being relevant to heritable traits, epigenetics, reproduction and evolution), his heart, the throne of compassion and love, and behind his head at, of course, his brain. His genes and mind whirl in double helical synergy with the twinkling spores of his fungal guides. On the topic of the mind, I have drawn upon the potency of an allusion to the Garden of Eden. 

  According to Christian Mythology, Adam and Eve lived in a state of ignorant bliss. This serves as a metaphor for primitive homo sapiens' crude grasp of the world and their relationship to it, let alone their place in the universe. Tempted by a snake, they ate "forbidden fruit" from the Tree of Knowledge and they could never go back to their ignorant states of consciousness and ways of being. It is a beautiful coincidence that mushrooms are "fruiting bodies" -  a mycological term for reproductive organs of the larger mycelial network. And so it was, I believe, that we left the Garden of Eden, the ignorant cloister of our own limited minds, connecting to the vast mycelial network of consciousness. There was no going back, only forward or up as it were. Hence, the luminous strands of spores not only symbolize DNA, but also the snake, an excellent symbol for earth-bound energy and wisdom, which mushrooms also embody. The snakes look upward at him, one at each hand.