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Charles Gilchrist Mandalas: Gallery 10

Print #PCX4812: Snow Flake In Nature's First Pattern

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Snow Flakes and Sacred Geometry
An Interview With The Artist: Number 10
by Leslie Page

L.P. "All right Charles, the tape is running. Here we are in your studio again and about to begin another interview. This will be our tenth conversation."

C.G. "Wow, that many? You know Leslie, I've only known you a few years but it seems as though I have always known you, You've been a good friend and a most valued patron. Thank you for everything you have done. Really, I could not continue this work without patronage like yours.

L.P. My pleasure, Charles. I'm getting at least as much as I give.

C.G. Is there something specific you want to talk about today?

L.P. "Yes, I want to know about the snow flake painting we were just looking at. It is particularly attractive to me. A Mandala, of course, and is obviously part of your very ambitious series. Tell me about it. Is it titled?"

C.G. "Yes, It's called 'Snow Flake in Nature's First Pattern,' and is exactly seventeen inches square. Technically it would be classified as an acrylic painting panel. It is a Mandala from the series called Post CX-48 which, as you know, follows the first series, CX-48."

L.P. "How many Mandalas are in the entire group?"

C.G. "I'm not really sure. About seventy five, so far."

L.P. "I know, from our earlier conversations, the first forty eight Mandalas (CX-48) were commissioned pieces. How did the second group get started (Post CX-48)?"

C.G. "Of course I was thrilled when we got the commission (1997 - Gallery 6). Myself and several assistants, began by wrap stretching about eighty linen canvases over handmade redwood frames with hard-board tops. We made all those stretchers as close to seventeen inches square as possible. I chose the most perfectly sized panels for CX-48, and I'm still creating Mandalas on the remaining canvases. And the theme continues."

L.P. "And, of course, that basic theme is Sacred Geometry."

C.G. "Yes, all the Mandalas in this series are based on sacred geometric archetypes; the timeless, unchanging principles of geometry."

L.P. "But this one seems slightly different Charles, more representational. I mean the snowflake is clearly delineated, and the piece seems much less abstract than most of the others. Why a snow flake? What do snowflakes have to do with Sacred Geometry?"

Snow Flake in Nature's First Pattern

C.G. Sacred Geometry truly is the architecture of the cosmos. I mean that literally, Leslie. And snowflakes are a perfect manifestation of those principles, proving the point. Snow flakes are like fingerprints in the sense that they are all absolutely unique. But even though there are no two snowflakes exactly alike, they are all based on the hexagon.

L.P. Always based on the hexagon? Is that a scientific fact?

Author's note: The pioneer work documenting snowflake geometry was done by Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931). His famous book "Snow Crystals," was published in 1931.

C.G. "Yes, that is a scientific fact and "Snowflake Bentley," proved that. I have personally studied hundreds of the beautiful little things.... all hexagons. That basic hexagonal pattern is seen in even the most anomalous variations of snow flake. And the hexagon is naturally created within 'Nature's First Pattern."

Nature's First Pattern

L.P. "We've talked about 'Nature's First Pattern' before. It is that never ending grid of overlapping circles you believe to be so important."

C.G. "Very good, Leslie. I see your study of Sacred Geometry is beginning to sink in. But it's not just me, many people are beginning to perceive this reality. The signs are all around us. 'Nature's First Pattern' is truly THE creation pattern. I have been meditating on this pattern and its multifaceted possibilities for many years."

L.P. "I take it you are talking about open-eyed meditation; the technique you use while creating your paintings and drawings. I know something about this concept but tell me more. How do you actually begin these open-eyed meditations? Better yet, how did you begin this specific meditation on the snowflake?"

C.G. "My transcendental work always begins with a prayer, continues and ends in prayer."

L.P. "Really?"

C.G. "Yes, and for me this work has proven the unmeasurable value of serious prayer. In the creation of multiple hundreds of Mandalas, I have consistently witnessed the dual nature of prayer; the Yin and Yang of prayer; the projective aspect and the receptive. That very famous Biblical axiom hints at the poles of prayer: 'ASK and ye shall RECEIVE.' For me, that axiom is not just a beautiful sentiment, but rather a living reality."

L.P. "I understand Charles, and quite agree. My prayers have been answered many times. So you are actually praying as you are working, literally asking God for something as you are working. But asking what?

C.G. Once I finally arrive at a firm meditational concept, that idea becomes the prayer and the process begins. In this case I could clearly see the direct relationship all snow flakes share with Sacred Geometry, and I was interested in deepening my understanding. I asked God, that benevolent, always nurturing and guiding universal mind, to teach me about this relationship I could so clearly see. I wanted to know everything, Leslie. . . peel back all the layers. This was the projective part of my prayer. . . the asking part.

L.P. "So let me get this right. You asked God to teach you everything you could learn about the nature of snow flakes through the creation of this mandala."

C.G. "Exactly."

L.P. Did you, or rather do you actually speak the words, or do you form them in your mind? Do you repeat the prayer over and over like a mantra, or what?

C.G. Yes, both, and sometimes I repeat a phrase over and over, like a mantra. But mostly I just try holding my eyes and my mind on the concept. The perfection of the geometry holds me. It's just like any basic meditative technique, directing and focusing the mind on a single thing, like your breath or heartbeat, which acts as a mantra. In this case the meditation was open-eyed and the focus was on the geometry of an imaginary snowflake forming in "Nature's First Pattern."

L.P. "But where is the receptive aspect in this Yin - Yang of prayer, as you called it?

C.G. "Ahhhhh, yes. That IS the question. As you know Leslie, the relative effectiveness of any prayer is directly related to the amount of energy we can give that prayer. The more focus we can muster and the more emotional energy we can feed that prayer the more powerful it becomes. But the universe can only respond when we finally release the focus of our prayer and let it go. And that's exactly what eventually happens in all types of meditation: the repeated Mantra eventually slips from our minds and we find the stillness, the bliss of empty alertness, pure consciousness. I experience this same quality of consciousness in my open-eyed meditations."

L.P. "You are saying that at some point you forget the prayer and are taken over by the creative process itself."

C.G. "Yes , exactly. I forget the prayer. I let it go. And as this happens I begin to feel a poised calmness and openness. I find myself unconditionally observing the creative process as if from above; as if another body or another mind was actually pushing around the paint and I am just watching the piece grow. There is no prayer, in fact NO worldly desire in that kind of inner-space, only a witnessing of life and the process of creation. And in that completely at-ease stillness I begin to understand at deeper and deeper levels. It is within those quiet spaces that I perceive a knowing beyond words, and my prayers are answered. "Ask and ye shall receive.' And my education continues."

L.P. "Charles, It seems to me this type of prayer you are describing is more like a trinity than a duality. You are describing the projective and receptive aspects, but you are also hinting at a stillness which is neither, and that makes three parts. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, comes to my mind."

C.G. "Yes, you can see it that way, Leslie. The unity within this duality can be seen as the third element. From this point of view, prayer becomes an equilateral triangle. The Father is the projected prayer, the Son is the answer, with the stillness of The Holy Spirit balanced in counterpoint. That is a beautiful thought, Leslie. And it is true, Unity, Duality, and Trinity are universal omnipresent and omnipotent realities.... all simultaneously interactive."

L.P. "Let's get back to this Mandala. As I see it, you have often described your process of creation as having an intrinsic mystical nature. In fact, what you have just described is the classic mystical experience, as if you were in direct communion with God. Are you a mystic, Charles? Do you talk to God? And if so, What did God tell you about snow flakes?"

C.G. "I'll take the first question first. Yes, I believe I am a genuine Mystic. Whatever that truly is, I am not exactly sure, but it was never my goal to become a mystic or to force the experience. It is just part of who I am. Even as a small child I had numerous mystical experiences. I used to hide it from almost everyone but I'm too old for that now, and I have a hunch more people are having mystical like experiences than ever before."

L.P. "You may be right, Charles, but those souls still represent a small proportion of the total population. Having those kinds of hyper intimate communions with spirit is not exactly a common human experience. Mysticism defies conventional understanding."

C.G. "Yes, I guess it does. Probably because the experience is so far beyond words. It's like trying to describe fire to someone who has never felt any real heat. You have to grock fire, really experience fire, before you can understand. It's not about words. One burn is worth a billion words."

L.P. "I understand what you are saying but here we are, doing this interview, and words are what we have to work with. Answer my second question, Charles, if you will. What has your communions with spirit taught you about the esoteric nature of snow flakes?"

C.G. "Let me see if I can find a string of words worth speaking. Imagine, Leslie, a cloud of warm water vapor rising in the sky. And as it continues to rise it continues to cool, floating in the airs almost weightless. And as it approaches zero degrees centigrade, something extraordinary becomes possible. A magical kind of alchemy is about to happen. As that water vapor continues to lose calories, it begins to change its elemental nature, transforming from a gaseous state, straight into a solid state. And as it freezes, Leslie, and becomes a snow flake, it always takes the form of a unique hexagonal crystal.

Now Leslie, this is the question: How does the water vapor know it should freeze in the pattern of a hexagon? Because it feels the creation pattern in the eathers* and freezes in and around this architecture."

(*) Author's note: Charles informs me that because he is using the ancient spiritual meaning, he prefers the ancient spelling "eathers," as compared to the modern, purely material "ethers."

L.P. "Wait a minute, Charles. I was with you all the way but suddenly I'm not. Scientists have been suggesting the probability of a sub-atomic world for a long time, so that concept does not confuse me, but water, in any form, can not think or feel anything. It has no mind and is not alive."

C.G. "No Leslie, water is not alive as we normally think of the word. Water has no mind like ours, nor any self consciousness. But in my meditations I have come to realize the entire universe, including water, is consciousness. And this reality will be proven to anyone who cares to investigate with an open mind. By either direct and/or indirect observation, It is easy to see that all matter and energy behaves preferentially. Even the coarsest matter has its likes and dislikes, its attractions and repulsions, and even specific behavioral patterns. Isn't that a clear and undeniable demonstration of consciousness?"

L.P. "I believe the scientific term for what you are describing is 'chemical affinity.' I have never heard it described as consciousness."

C.G. "The ancient sages knew this truth thousands of years ago, and came to these conclusions without the aid of any kind of sophisticated instrumentation. They used their human powers of observation and reason, and found this truth within: the entire manifest universe is consciousness; nothing but vibrating consciousness."

L.P. "All right, for the sake of our conversation I will yield to this ancient understanding of the nature of the cosmos. Let us assume, for now, that the universe is nothing but a vast accumulation of relatively conscious stuff. Let's get back to the snow flake."

C.G. "Thank you Leslie. So, if the universe, also known as The All, is consciousness, then that would include the sub atomic realm, also known in ancient days as 'The Eathers.' I see the eathers as the purest manifestation of consciousness, or God Mind. The eathers are composed of a God stuff which is not exactly matter or energy, but rather something which is responsible for both and vibrating at such incredibly fine and subtle levels as to be almost beyond human comprehension. Within this pure God Mind stuff, all possibilities exist. And everything that could possibly become manifest is dependent on the first and most esoteric of God's archetypes. God's Sacred Geometry is the dimensional architecture which saturates these eathers. Hence, as the water vapor freezes, God Mind instructs that water vapor, through a correspondence of consciousness, to follow The Creation Pattern."

"L.P. "All right, Charles, let me see if I understand this concept. Water vapor always freezes into a hexagonal snow flake because it is somehow aware of, and is directly connected to, this root creation pattern which you are convinced is saturating the eathers?

C.G. "That is a very concise explanation, Leslie, Yes. Water, in all its various forms, knows how to behave as water because water is an idea held in the mind of God. God Mind is forever instructing the entire manifest universe through the ethereal realm. Everything that exists knows exactly how to behave because God Mind is at its heart. That is, of course, also true for human beings. Our biggest problem is that we generally don't bother to listen to this inner perfection. Our minds are mostly too noisy to hear the more benevolent instructions. Water vapor, on the other hand, is a direct manifestation of God Mind with no self conscious interferences."

L.P. "Interesting concept. But not all solidifying matter takes the form of a hexagon, Charles. How do you explain that?

C.G. I contemplated that question as I was working with this Mandala. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the relative weightlessness of freezing water vapor. I also absolutely know that water has a direct affinity and correspondence to this very important archetype of Sacred Geometry (Nature's First Pattern). And water molecules have an intrinsic geometric structure. I believe the three atoms of oxygen and hydrogen, which form water, are somehow harmoniously aligned to the Creation Pattern in an angular way. Sixty degrees is the principle angle of the hexagon. I would not be surprised if those three atoms (1 oxygen and 2 hydrogen) turn out to share a sixty degree relationship of some kind."

L.P. "Interesting. So let me extrapolate. This esoteric view of the universe would suggest that the atomic and molecular realms are intrinsically geometric in nature and that all forms of energy and matter are necessarily what they are because of the principles of Sacred Geometry."

C.G. "Yes, exactly. Sacred Geometry is the architecture of the universe."

L.P. " I am becoming more and more interested in your work, Charles. Do you have a final thought.

C.G. "Yes, thank you Leslie. This God stuff we call 'Water,' is a vital aspect in the universal evolution of consciousness. And this fabulous God stuff 'Water,' is directly connected to Sacred Geometry, and specifically to Nature's First Pattern . . . The Creation Pattern. Snow flakes prove this esoteric relationship.

For me, this is an obvious fact: where water exists, life must necessarily follow, and when we find water on other worlds, in its liquid, gaseous, and solid forms, we will always find life. And by reason of principle, the snow flakes of these other worlds will always form as crystalline hexagons. Sacred Geometry is truly the architecture of the universe, and water is the mother of life."

Print #PCX4812: Snow Flake In Nature's First Pattern

Beautiful prints, on fine watercolor paper, are now available. Charles personally creates and signs these prints. The image size is 11" by 11". The paper size is 13" by about 15". The price is $59.95, plus $14.00 insurance, shipping, and handling anywhere in the continental USA.

The low Wholesale - Dealer price is:
One print - only $59.95 - plus $14.00 I/S/H
This print is shipped flat
See (Order Form)
Print Number PCX4812

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