Alex Grey is a visionary artist known for his cosmic paintings reminiscent of hallucinogenic trips. His work is in fact inspired by altered states of consciousness, including LSD trips and Ayahuasca journeys. In this Ted Talk, Alex discusses the evolution of his art and the role it played in the expansion of his consciousness.
I find Alex Grey and his artwork both inspiring and relevant to dreaming. After all, when we enter the dreamworld, we enter an altered state of consciousness. Watch the Ted Talk, “Alex Grey: How Art Evolves Consciousness” and read my discussion about how this talk relates to dreams, continued below:
DMT: The Connection Between Ayahuasca and Dreams
The connection between psychedelics and dreaming may not be immediately obvious. However there is a strong connection, particularly between Ayahuasca and dreaming. Not only in the fact that both induce altered states of consciousness, but also in the way that these states are produced.
DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a naturally occurring substance that catalyzes both Ayahuasca journeys and dreams. Scientific studies have shown that DMT is produced in the pineal gland in mammals (including humans). It is sometimes known as the “Spirit Molecule” and it is found in both animal and plant life. It has been shown to connect the physical and spirit worlds (Strassman, 2001).
So what does DMT have to do with dreams? Well… DMT is produced in your pineal gland (also known as the third-eye) and released when you sleep. And Ayahuasca contains large amounts of DMT and when taken orally produces dream-like visions.
In essence, Ayahuasca journeys and dreams are intimately related. Both in the way they are induced and in their affects.
Dreams Evolve Consciousness Too
Let’s bring this discuss back around to dreams, shall we? Ayahuasca is a powerful medicine and is definitely not for everyone. However, everyone dreams, every night… Dreams are for everyone.
You can use your dreams in the same way that Alex Grey uses psychedelics and evolve your own consciousness and view of the world.
Creating art based on your dreams is an excellent way to explore your own consciousness.
Alex Grey: Skeleton’s in the Closet
In this Ted Talk, Alex Grey walks us through his own conscious evolution. Beginning with magical drawings from his childhood; progressing to technically accurate skeletal drawings; and eventually moving beyond the physical into the metaphysical realm, Alex uses the human figure as a gateway to divine expression.
Throughout this Ted Talk, Alex discusses his art and takes the viewer on a journey of spiritual and cosmic discovery that explores the question: Does consciousness survive death?
Here is a brief progression of Alex’s work in which you can clearly see how his consciousness evolves with his art. Each piece is explained in more detail in the talk.
Dream Art and the Evolution of Consciousness
Creating artwork based on your dreams is excellent way to explore your own consciousness. One of my practices is draw pictures of my dreams, particularly when they are visual in nature.
You don’t have to be a professional artist like Alex Grey to create visionary art based on your own experiences. The simple process of bringing your nightly visions into the waking world is enough. Here are a few examples of my own visionary art:
It’s your turn, Dreamer
I’d love to hear from you. What art have you created based on your dreams, Ayahuasca journeys, or other psychedelic experiences? How has creating artwork evolved your consciousness? Share your drawings and stories below.