Monday, March 16, 2009

The art of life - the life of art

The current time and space in which we act as creative beings present us with challenges significant enough to make us revisit the core of our being and our consciousness when looking for answers. They present us with dramatic opportunities to help us review our intimate inner values and sources of growth, such as: is history a positive force of learning, or is it a devastating current incessantly pulling us into darkness; is individuality a source of joy and growth, or is it a force of fear, allowing anonymity; do mistakes nourish wisdom, or are they fateful steps which permanently chain those who seek; is Mother Earth a partner and a participant in finding peace, or is she just the subject of endless exploitation; is water an unconditionally given source of life, or is it our property to utilise without any mutual obligation? Actually, life consistently opens possibilities for us to learn about the vastness of our fields of the unknown, of the infinity of our possibility to grow - as humans, as a society and as a part of the whole It would be difficult to find a better person to talk to about these topics than Marko Pogačnik - the friend of the Earth and cosmic traveller who highlights entirely different catalysts of development of space and time. This is his story.

VB: Who is Marko Pogačnik, the person sitting before me? Several namesakes have been appearing in public media lately...
MP: The fact that several men with the same first and last name have been appearing in public media is a true challenge for each of us. We are unable to rely solely on our names; we need to hone our own identities. My base is art. I started with conceptual art (the OHO movement, 1963-71) and later expanded my field of activity. Now, I am active in various areas of life, including: ecology, geomancy, politics, ethics and personal spiritual growth. My motto is: "the art of life - the life of art".

VB: What is your role in our current time?
MP: My experience tells me we are in a time of epochal change. I am predominantly active in the field of changes in space. For three decades, I have been observing the formation of a multidimensional space. Most of its dimensions lie within the invisible field; however, this does not mean they are not real or affecting the everyday life. On the contrary, their influence is rapidly growing. I am developing and teaching the type of perception which enables people to experience invisible layers of reality - the layers where archetypal forces of life are at work and where everything is connected to everything else.

Marko Pogačnik and Violeta Bulc
(Source: Bojan Brecelj, IPAK)

VB:What is the subject of your Manifesto?
MP: I see that the ecological, economic and identity crisis in which we are drowning is the other side of a very far-reaching process of transformation of space and time. On one side, many things are crumbling; while on the other, I can see (based on the said multilayer perception) that something wonderful is forming - something which will enable a full and creative future. Before we give up on life, it needs to be told that some of us see fantastic possibilities emerging on Earth and in the cosmos. We need to redirect our attention from failure to potential. I tried to voice something similar with "Geokulturni manifest" (Geocultural Manifesto). (Author's note: you can read the complete text of the Manifesto here)

VB: What is its purpose?
MP: Until matters are stated clearly they only exist as a possibility. I believe that in this moment we are currently experiencing, when rationality is unable to provide a logical solution for the problems, we can turn to intuition. We can use the sensitivity of a view which, in addition to the worldly, can see the beyond. Art in its essence (which is almost forgotten nowadays) is perfect for such a task. We need to break out of all frames and declare that positive development is possible, but only under the condition that we completely change our attitude towards the Earth and the cosmos, towards time and space - and this involves raising the question of what human kind is in its entirety. The manifesto aims to point to the necessary steps in this direction.

VB: Why now?
MP: There are two reasons. From the astronomic point of view, we are currently in transition from the period governed by the Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. The influence of the Pisces constellation is forcing us into irresoluble conflict, war and competitiveness. It is trying to teach us the difference between the real and the false. The Aquarius is an entirely different constellation. It enables integration of opposites, synergy and multilayeredness. The time has come for a drastic change!
The other reason would be that the exclusively material or rational level of existence is becoming too narrow. We will suffocate ourselves and nature if we insist on it as the only reality. Think of how many we are and how aggressive the technologies that we use! It is time to gather courage and open up as individuals, and as a civilisation to other dimensions of the planet and the cosmos, so far almost unknown to us. It is time we set on a journey of discovery of "new continents".

VB: What is the value the Manifesto brings to our time and space?
MP: Change, transformation and a new beginning are the keywords. The time and space we live in are not an absolute category. We have invented them ourselves as a result of our progressively rational approach to reality. The reality of life has infinite dimensions, not merely four! It is time we learned about some of them. Yet, we cannot learn about them if we do not transform ourselves into beings that are more sensitive, more "feminine" and more intuitive. Many individuals from different backgrounds around the world are interested in other dimensions of reality and are experiencing them on a personal level already. The Manifesto is written as a call to everyone to admit these facts, to publicly express our experiences and start their practical realisation in all areas of live, creation, economy, education, etc.

VB: You state that the Earth is an organism in itself. What do you mean?
MP: The modern man underestimates the Earth unbelievably. The ancient cultures knew her as Gaia (The Greek Goddess of the Earth), the mother of all life and thus as a cosmic intelligence. She developed all these infinite forms of living beings, including our abilities to dance, think, create and have emotions as human beings. But we can only do all that as long as we are a part of her. When we depart her (when we die) we cannot dance or create. She presents us with such wonderful gifts - but only if we are a part of her entirety. Nowadays, with the dying of our communication with her intelligence the symptoms of crisis and decadence are consistently becoming more serious. We have been facing mass extinction several times in recent years. But the Earth is life! It is time to reconnect ourselves to her and start building a civilisation in cooperation with her. We often call her Gea - for example in terms such as "geography" or "geology" Therefore, I call such a civilisation "geoculture" in my manifesto.

VB: What is the role of the Earth in the wider cosmos?
MP: Unlike any other star or planet we are familiar with, the Earth managed to develop life on the material level. Perhaps there is life on other planets as well, but certainly not on the material level - this has been explored. It took Gea billions of years to transform matter into living organisms. The Earth is an innovator of inconceivable ability. Do not make the mistake of thinking it is merely a matter of mechanical evolution in the Darwinistic sense. The Earth was able to do that because it is imbued with divine intelligence which leads development into such innovation. I am able to make this claim because I have personal experience with communication with this magnificent consciousness and being.

VB: How much do people really know and understand about the planet Earth?
MP: It is only with development of the experiential science of "geomantics" - in which I am involved as well - that we are starting to learn about the vital and energetic organism of the landscape, and about its energy centres and currents. This is an almost unknown level of being which makes material life possible. We are even less in contact with the intelligence cells of the Earth and its memory captured in minerals, rocks, mountains and oceans. We know about some of the Earth's ability to store information from silica and the capabilities of our computers. But this is just the beginning! Scientists claim that a drop of water possesses greater memory capacity than silica. On the other hand, we feign ignorance and talk about "artificial intelligence". No, dear Violeta, what we are dealing with in computers is the Earth's intelligence.

Marko Pogačnik and Violeta Bulc
(Source: Vibacom)

VB: What about humanity? What is our role?
MP: My experience tells me that we are beings of the cosmos. We probably came to Earth to help her develop her intelligence. Indeed, we have developed new species of plants and animals in cooperation with her intelligence, we have manufactured magnificent machines from her minerals. We have built cathedrals from her stone. Earth would not have been able to do this by herself.
Then we became self-absorbed and aloof as if we did not need the Earth. For example, we can use genetic engineering to create new species of plants on our own now. We can draw energy from rivers or create it by splitting atoms. It is time to realise the nonsense of such behaviour. The rivers from which we draw energy by force are the Earth's rivers after all. Plants we deform according to our needs are the Earth's plants. Would it not be better if we recognised the Earth as our partner? Why not cooperate with her to develop technologies which nurture life instead of destroying it. I claim in my Manifesto that the next era of our civilisation cannot be anything other than an era of partnership between Gea and the human culture.

VB: What is the next cycle of democracy in your opinion?
MP: Nowadays, the only existing form of democracy - if it exists at all - is in relationships between people. What about other creatures: animals, plants, mountains, rivers and creatures nowadays only existing in fairytales? If we accept that they all are forms of consciousness similar to man's, with their own memories and creative abilities, then we no longer have any grounds to deny them their rights to a dignified and happy existence. Instead of the democracy we know today, I envision a community of all living creatures in the future. Indeed, some of these creatures are food for other creatures. But why not, if that is the purpose of their existence? Nevertheless, we need to recognise their status, their conditions of joyous existence and the gratitude they deserve.

VB: Is our society advanced enough to make that transition?
MP: Yes, we are doubtlessly advanced enough - we would not think or write about it otherwise. However, it is not easy to adopt actions which lead to the transition from one evolutionary age to another. Therein lies our weakness. We need to gather courage and express our visions. The cosmos and the Earth are two powerful and wise forms of intelligence which are able to help us, if only humanity chooses to make that step. By declaring a decision - as I am trying to with the said Manifesto - we have already declared our willingness to accept their help. We are not alone.

VB: What advice would you give managers in these trying times? How can your Manifesto be helpful to them?
MP: As an artist I have no practical tips in stock; I can only contribute a wider perspective of the situation. During times of great crises and change such a view from the bird's (or perhaps angelic) perspective is absolutely critical. In this case, I am someone who has been exploring issues of sustained development for decades and I have tried to discuss it with the intelligence of the Earth and that of the cosmos. Managers usually do not have the necessary time or training to do that. My contribution is in visions and impulses aimed at development.
My advice is to accept the time of crisis and change as a time of great creative challenges. We should never let ourselves be frightened or intimidated. We need to keep an inner peace, be centred and grounded. We need to be aware that our intellect is not the only sort of intelligence accessible to us. Scientist discovered that a heart has its own memory and intelligence. I claim that the latter is of a complete nature and of a loving disposition. In times like ours we need to listen to the intelligence of the heart, even when making decisions which have nothing to do with romantic relationships!

VB: Where should they direct their focus? Where should they begin?
MP: One cannot begin anywhere but with oneself. To be able to face challenges in the age of change, I believe we need to nurture the qualities I have already mentioned - we need to be grounded, centred, keep our inner peace and listen to the voice of our heart (intuition).
Being grounded is being consciously and sensitively connected to the Earth and to nature. As soon as a person notices that all their focus is on what is inside their head, they should stop working for a moment and feel their connection to the heart of the Earth. Connect yourself to the force of gravity, remind yourself of your favourite tree, use your feelings to weave yourself into the tissue of life.
Once you have sensed the dispersedness of your being, take a moment to centre yourself on the point of inner peace. It is somewhere along the spine, between the heart centre and the solar plexus. You will sense it as a point of divine presence within you, as a point of inner stability.

VB: Where is your path leading you next?
MP: To Belgrade. Last year, I laid bronze plates with cosmograms along the spine of Belgrade, starting at Avala and ending at Kalemegdan, just above the confluence of the Sava and the Danube. It is a sort of acupuncture of space through which I am trying to activate potentials sleeping within the urban landscape of Belgrade. Such potentials are capable of balancing the urban chaos and work towards making the urban space complete. I realised this project in cooperation with the city's ecology council. Tomorrow, I am travelling there to attend the opening.

Author's note: Violeta Bulc interviewed Marko Pogačnik on March 2nd, 2009.

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