José Argüelles & Time is Art

José Argüelles, time is art, documentary
By Michael Peter Langevin

I had the honor to know the late philosopher and artist, José Argüelles. He was an author, a visionary and a genius. He taught at Princeton and other Universities, and founded Whole Earth Festival in 1970. He invented (with the assistance of his wife Lloydine) the perpetual Dreamspell calendar in 1992, which is a modern day usable version of the ancient Mayan Calendar. At one point in his career José spoke to the United Nations. In his speech he stressed that it is essential for the world to stop using the Gregorian calendar for the good of all humanity. This plea sadly fell on deaf ears.

Recently, I saw the inspiring documentary film called Time is Art: Synchronicity & the Collective Dream. The film’s theme and title are inspired by José Argüelles and is dedicated to his radical views of time. The film follows writer, Jennifer Palmer’s spiritual awakening as she moves from being a material world based person who lacks purpose in her life, to a spiritual and creative oriented person who lives a life directed by synchronicities. Along the way she comes to believe that there is a new society being born, where people will unhook from their enslaving patters of monitoring and being monitored by time. A world where they will stop being controlled by clocks, watches and the Gregorian Calendar.

Most of us never realize that the Western Calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory, took the western world off the 13 moon Julian calendar. José Argüelles felt that when humanity stopped using a calendar which was in harmony with the moon cycles and seasons we became vulnerable to entrapment as consumers and workers. We stopped flowing and appreciating nature, spirituality and our creativity. This is a tendency Jose saw as beginning the introduction of mechanized time.

Before the 1300’s there were no mechanical clocks. Time was not very uniform to say the least. In the early 1500’s watches were invented. At the dawn of the 20th century, by the end of World War I in 1918, it had become expected that most adults wore wrist watches. This change represents the transformation of society and the roles humans were demanded to play in it.

In the movie, Time is Art, the premise is stated that time and how we interpret and cope with it, is a choice most people never realize they have. Jennifer realizes that as she begins paying attention to the coincidences and synchronicities that occur in her life, she begins to relate to time in a different way. Simple things as being struck by the fact that she recurrently sees the number 11.11, as well as numbers that are of great significance for her, becomes an opening to view time differently. She feels more open, at peace and creatively inspired.

Throughout Time is Art, we get to follow the heroin on her quest to open up to a more spiritual outlook on life. She converses with many wonderfully eloquent people: from Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake to street artists and intuitives, all of who speak to a different way of helping Jennifer on her journey through life and the understanding of time.

The Dreamspell Mayan Glyphs
The Dreamspell Mayan Glyphs

Breaking away from the Julian Calendar which was in harmony with the moon cycles moved people farther away from nature. The same is true when people moved from telling time by the position of the sun to telling it by mechanical devices. When humans are aware of nature and its cycle they are more likely to realize that just being and enjoying are fine pastimes. One does not have to work from 9 to 5 and purchase or consume. In the film there are scenes in Joshua Tree, California at the Synchronicity Symposium at the Institute of Mentalphysics as well as the California Red Woods where this point is struck home very strongly.

José Argüelles created the Dreamspell calendar because he believed that the Maya people understood time better than any other civilization. Therefore, they had the most accurate calendar system available to any culture. Their calendar provided them with both a physical and spiritual perspective on time. One that he felt no calendar today could offer.

The Mayans utilized the 28-day human female biological cycle for the physical aspect of time. Because it so closely followed the cycle of the moon, it was readily observable and of course, all women naturally follow that cycle anyway. They also used a sacred calendar known as the Tzolkin. This calendar is a cycle of 260 days comprised of smaller cycles of 13 and 20 days each, turning concurrently. The Maya claimed that the spiritual cycle came to them from the stars, or from the galaxy. They were aware of all the planets in the solar system, even though they did not have the use of telescopes. The spiritual cycle was overlaid with the physical cycle to provide them with an accurate perspective on time, including all aspects of life. Today countless people across the globe start their mornings with the DreamSpell calendar to see what their day will consist of, and how to harmonize themselves with nature.

Time is Art also has wonderful insights into synchronicities and coincidences. One of my personal favorites is when Gram Hancock points out the amazing coincidence that just at the time when the Amazon Jungle is shrinking, Ayahuasca has emerged and become the consciousness raising substance choice of today’s youth. As if the rainforest itself is calling out and start to communicate directly to people by one of its most potent plants.

I cannot end this article without praising the writers, directors and producers of Time is Art. Katy and Joel Mejia of Things Are Changing Productions, along with Maia Monasterios and Jennifer Palmer have done a phenomenal job. The visual effects are beautiful and the film leaves the viewer inspired and more open to seeing the world in a different light.

Jose Arguelles
The film is dedicated to Jose Arguelles

Writer, Jennifer Palmer and producers, Katy and Joel Mejia, in collaboration with Stephanie South and the Law of Time Foundation are currently working on the Time is Art book. Also in the works also in collaboration with the Law of Time is the second documentary in the series, Time is Art: When the Grandmothers Speak, (working title), inspired by the Hopi Indian prophecy, “When the grandmothers speak the earth will be healed”. The film follows Rome, an artist and rapper who studies the Dreamspell calendar and seeks to understand how the rise of the sacred feminine can help the shift in planetary consciousness in these troubled times. As with the first film, the filmmakers use synchronicity to guide during the storytelling process.

Time is Art premiered to a sold out audience in New York City and has screened in 8 countries around the world. The film most recently screened in theaters in Baltimore, Maryland. The film, bonus scenes and the soundtrack is also available through the True Seekers Video On Demand package, on Blu-ray, DVD and En Español. For more up to date info, follow the film on Instagram, TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

Michael Peter Langevin was the publisher/ editor for twenty-seven years of Magical Blend Magazine. He has authored three books: Secrets of the Ancient Incas, (Career Press) and Secrets of the Amazon Shamans, (Crossroads Press) Spiritual Business, (Hampton Roads). His present day company LangevinAxelsson Marketing specializes in Social Media Marketing and Public Relations Consulting.


  1. Yeah! It makes me really happy to read this article, all these years of ongoing collective work, … still expanding … recognition starts to wake people up more and more … and the purpose be accomplished … 13 Moons to synchronize Earth’s Time and Mind … thank you very much to the realizers of this film … i hope i can watch it soon

Leave a Reply