How Art Freed Me From Depression

kate-melendez2
Art by Kate Melendez

by Kate Melendez

About a year ago, I found myself being consumed and destroyed by a disease I did not understand. I felt hollow and dark as my world sank deeper into this void called depression. The doctors tried to listen but they couldn’t get the full picture; see, communication is a difficult thing when you have no idea what to say. And, I honestly did not want to participate in this mess. I did not know what was happening to me and how I felt about it since I was uneducated on my own disease. The doctors can try to label a patient, place them in a category, and prescribe medication after medication; but this will not solve the problem.

I needed help. I did not sleep or eat and began to self-mutilate. I had to leave school, I could not see my friends, and I could not function on my own. I felt like a child stuck in a thick, black cloud with nothing but her thoughts. I could not turn my mind off, they call this ruminating, as I played and re-played the same negative thoughts over again in my head. I mostly came to the conclusion that I did not belong in this world. So, I knew that there were two options: kill myself in order to escape or get better.

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Art by Kate Melendez

I come from a high school that was tragically affected by suicide. During my sophomore year, a junior boy who was deeply admired took his own life. I thought maybe this was a copycat from the almost identical suicide that happened six years prior. Then, no more than a week later, a freshman boy also decided to kill himself. Forever engrained in our brains is the images of these boys who we grew up with and thought we knew, but I guess we didn’t. Countless others attempted and failed, but not the father of the freshman boy who succeeded in taking his life too. I was an art major who knew of many kids who were self-mutilating already and I worried that I might lose them. Suicide was becoming contagious and an epidemic of my own reality. Time passed and sure enough, another one bites the dust: a beautiful, blonde haired and creative girl. The community I once knew to be a safe-haven was suddenly losing its Light.

kate-book2
Kate Melendez

Every time I contemplated committing this act, I thought about the living. I thought about the hurt and emptiness on the faces of the parents left on this Earth without their children. What were they to do? Rise above? I could not and would not do that to my Mother and Father. I still had a lot of Love inside me waiting to explode and my Light was dim, but it was not out. I made my decision: I was going to get better.

Kate Melendez

I struggled but I made it out alive. I attended an outpatient program for about a month, found an amazing therapist, and actually returned to school. However, I did not stay long because my life took a turn. See, I wanted to get better and beat my depression but I did not stop there. I began to create and follow a new Life Path towards wellness, love, happiness, and spirituality. As I healed, using the skills I learned through DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and the conversations I had with loved ones, I started to discover who I was.

I began to discover my talents in a new way. I always could draw and paint and I even knew that art should always have a message, but things started to change in me. I had the art, I had the messages, but I was closed off to a whole world that I never knew existed. Trust me, I was always a believer but I was not aware of all that was around me. I began to get more in touch with my spirit side and started to follow signs and symbols, which definitely scared those around me. I went from being a depressed slug to an over energetic, spiritual butterfly. So, I ended up having what I believe to be my Spiritual Awakening, which unfortunately led to my permanent leave from school.

I felt like I was broken again. Still a butterfly, but with broken wings. Is it possible that my metamorphosis was not complete? I’d say so. It is in this time that I came across the film: Time Is Art. I remember watching it for the first time and feeling so much emotion and excitement and joy because FINALLY I had found my people. Finally, I had found a community of individuals who knew exactly what I was experiencing. This film opened my eyes to the information that I had been craving to learn. It opened my mind to endless possibilities and hope. And most importantly, this film was done well! I knew that whoever was behind this film was thinking, was conscious, was aware, and most importantly, they were talented. This film is full of ART! Art in the way that I’ve been waiting to see it and it transformed my whole Being.

jose arguelles, time is art

I created these illustrations for my book inspired by the film, ‘Time is Art’, to show how Time really is Art, which is an idea that stems from author and visionary philosopher, Jose Arguelles. My art represents “My Time” and “My Time” is measured by my experiences and lessons learned. “My Time” is not a compilation of seconds, minutes, hours, classes taken, degrees obtained, money saved… no, “My Time” can only be valued or observed through the art that I make each day. My Art is a direct reflection of my progress and how I have changed and continue to change. As I grow, I will continue to make art each day in order to capture each moment because “My Time” is Right Now.

The Key to Transcendence

James Reads
Illustration by James Reads
“We are at a time when knowledge is being renewed. We are being called to turn inward, away from the virtual cyber-world into the vast realm of our own mind – the ultimate supercomputer.”

By José Argüelles/Valum Votan & Stephanie South/Red Queen (GRI)

For more info visit TheLawofTime.org

Excerpt from

Book of the Transcendence
Cosmic History Chronicles, Volume VI


1. Every living dynamic has ever aspired to surpass itself. In this aspiration lies the key to transcendence. The need to transcend is often the function of a crisis in which we find ourselves, individually or collectively.

2. The planet has a cosmic life program apart from the external chaos and disturbances that affect the world today. At this stage in the evolutionary cycle, the biopsychic field is in a state of maximum turbulence, to such a degree that even the DNA is in a state of agitation.

3. The theater of psychic activity on this planet is interplanetary—beyond the scale of what most of us can presently imagine. The consciousness horizon that we have been operating on has been set at a low frequency and is continually lowering.

4. The average person today is so involved in technological gadgets, sporting events, movies and social networking that it is hard for most to conceive what it is to consciously function as a cosmic impulse receiver and transmitter. We have traded in the keys of higher consciousness and transcendence for online personas that have little to do with our essence.

5. To gain a wider view of cosmos it is important to develop the capacity to withdraw our mind from the chaos of the world and look down on the whole Earth from above. We must leave our conditioned world-view behind and find the thread of light within that connects us to the Divine Source.

6. The divine calls upon the human in order to realize itself. Only a few at this time can penetrate that barrier of consciousness and realize themselves as interplanetary vortex transmitter-receivers within the solar system, and ultimately in other parts of the universe.

7. The urge to transcend is a natural dynamic built into the cosmic principle of the involution and evolution of consciousness. It is the duty of those who hear the call to surrender and merge with the cosmic energies that are currently working for the liberation of the Earth.

The Time of the Lone Wolf is Over

lone wolf, hopi, kate melendez
Illustration by Kate Melendez

Recently, I saw the film, The Revenant, with Leonardo Decaprio (who shared an award with the First Nation’s people who acted in the film) and it reminded me a bit of one of my favorite films, The New World. Before I watched The New World I had no idea it was the story of Pocahontas (I will watch any movie by Terrence Malick). And just like in the film, The Revenant, I had no idea there would be profound messages by First Nation’s people in the narrative (it’s certainly not mentioned in the marketing campaign). There’s a beautiful documentary about the making of the film (which is based on a book that is a true story) and the destruction of Native American land, their environment and way of life in Canada where the film takes place.

Hollywood does have the capacity once in a blue moon to surprise you, even in the midst of the #OscarsSoWhite movement (not a single person of color was nominated for a 2016 Oscar).  In 1951 Sacheen Littlefeather refused to accept the Best Actor Oscar Award on behalf of Marlon Brando because of the treatment of Native American people in Hollywood and the media. It must have been an incredible moment in time. In the spirit of Brando, Dicaprio recently donated money to the First Nation’s many causes. Brando was doing his part – which even today would have ruffled feathers.

As an artist who is well aware of how little love Native Americans get, I feel no shame in sharing my love of the Great Spirit and Mother Earth.  My personal spiritual path is all over the place, from chanting Hindu prayers like the Gayatri Mantra, meditation, yoga, to Ayahuasca ceremonies (Peruvian and Brazilian, both very different). However, Lakota sweat lodge ceremonies with my local Taino community is by far my favorite way to connect to nature and Great Spirit. The time has come for more of these teachings to reach the masses. The Hopi Elder prophecies are incredibly profound and this statement inspired me to write a song I perform with my band Dream Circle. Also one of our next documentary projects, “The Grandmothers Speak” (which is turning out to be almost like a ‘Time is Art’ sequel in a sense) is inspired by these teachings.

If you ever have the chance try a sweat lodge ceremony, take my word for it, you will be transformed!

A Message from the Elders, Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation:

“You have been telling people that this is the eleventh hour.
Now you must go back and tell people that this is the hour!
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your Garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to yourself.
And not look outside of yourself for a leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing very fast.
It is so great and fast that there are those who will be afraid.
They will hold on to the shore.
They will feel that they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has its destination.
The elders say that we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open,
and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time we are to take nothing personally,
least of all, ourselves.
For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones that we have been waiting for.”

hopi
hopi

Awakening to the Synchronic Order

Excerpt from Time, Synchronicity & Calendar Change by Stephanie South via Lawoftime.org


 
“Virtual reality shows that we are starved for release into a parallel world, an imaginal realm that is not just a reflection of our worst nightmares, but of our highest most sublime aspirations.” – José Argüelles

“There will come a time when the birds will fall from the trees, the rivers will be poisoned and the wolves will die in the forests. But then the warriors of the rainbow will appear and save the world.” – Prophecy of the Cree Indians

stephanie south

One time is ending, but another is just beginning, an entirely new era in the history of the Earth: the noosphere. This is the message of José Argüelles. We are leaving the world of pure sensory matter, and entering a world of mind and telepathy. In this new world of the noosphere, time is not what a clock measures, but a factor of synchronicity, and the synchronization of our minds into ever expanding consciousness.

C.G. Jung first introduced the idea of synchronicity to the modern mind in 1952, with his famous exposition, Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. This was the same year as the discovery of the tomb of the great Pacal in Chiapas, Mexico. This tomb – the enigma of the man whose body was buried there – was to become a central facet to Jose’s life, especially in his investigation of the Mayan calendar and culture. After years of study and experimentation, Jose discovered that synchronicity is based on an underlying mathematical order akin to the underlying mathematics of the Mayan calendar, though this information is universal, and not strictly “Mayan.” He labeled this the “synchronic order,” the cosmic ordering principle of synchronicity.

José ArgüellesJose discovered that the synchronic order is a matrix of living intelligence; it is a fourth-dimensional order of reality based on the Law of Time. Hence, the Law of Time is the science of synchronicity. In Time and the Technosphere (2002), he states that the future of human evolution is to become a medium of cosmic consciousness traveling back to the stars but through the superior knowledge of the actual laws of time. He believes this is what the Maya foresaw.

His path to this discovery was not ordinary; it was the path of a visionary. In aboriginal society vision is considered one of the highest values to cultivate. In Western culture vision is generally dismissed as not real. The visionaries are those who have had visions and are able to present them to society so the people can become renewed. The visionary sees through and beyond ordinary reality.


Stephanie South is author of Biography of a Time Traveler and Time, Synchronicity and Calendar Change: the Visionary Life and Work of José Argüelles. She is also featured in the upcoming book “Time is Art”. For the past ten years she has been engaged with Arguelles in the Noosphere II project that resulted in the production of the seven-volume Cosmic History Chronicles (2005-2011). She is also featured in Patricia Cori’s book, Beyond the Matrix. She is creative director of the Foundation for the Law of Time. Her blog is 1320frequencyshift.wordpress.com.

 

Meditating On the Idea That Time is Art

Meditation is a modality that can sometimes feel as if its being shoved down your throat. You hear about it and read about it all the time. My first exposure was through the filmmaker, David Lynch, some ten years ago. He travels the world doing lengthy presentations on transcendental meditation. It’s a long story, but at the time, my cousin who was also interested in meditation suggested we go to one of his talks at UCLA. It was totally last minute and hundreds of people were in line. At one point I think we finally figured out that it was, of course, completely sold out.

But the universe does it’s thing and somehow I ended up at the stage entrance where people working the event were taking a smoke break. I did the classic “act like you know” thing and walked in with them and sat down at an empty seat. No one blinked an eye, because it was as if I was meant to be there. A minute later with his massive head of hair, there was David Lynch on stage literally blowing my mind. Besides the usual rants about how Hollywood ruins films, he talked about how meditation helps him channel his increasingly risky ideas into his films through a “stream of consciousness” technique. He even had a physician on stage hooking people up to some machine that showed how the brain waves were effected during meditation.

According to the David Lynch Foundation, Transcendental Meditation doesn’t focus on breathing or chanting, like other forms of meditation. Instead, it encourages a restful state of mind beyond thinking.

Stevie Wonder also sang about TM in one of his most popular songs “Jesus Children of America” from his mind blowing 1973 album, Innervisions. The lyric “transcendental meditation speaks of inner preservation” used to loop in my mind for hours after listening to that song. I thought, wow, Stevie was really tapped in to the incredible creative energy of the 70’s and I need to meditate so I can write songs as profound as he did during that time.

I tried TM but soon realized it wasn’t really “hooking me” so I gave it up. I tried chanting with a Buddhist organization and it was a form of mediation to some degree but that didn’t seem to work for me either.

Meditation works differently for everybody. For some people, they need to do 20 Ayahuasca ceremonies and ask for help with their meditation practice. Some people need to do a 2 hour yoga class to relax enough to actually mediate.  I love yoga, and I can typically meditate for a few minutes after a class but in order to really “tap in” I needed to step it up a notch.

One day I discovered a group sound meditation session lead by Alexandre Tannous. He uses gongs and tuning forks to “tune” the body. Not long after a session with Alexandre, I formed my dream project, a band called Dream Circle with my husband Joel. Alexandre was also the inspiration for the first webisode that eventually turned into the feature documentary, Time is Art. Watch the clip below.

Fast forward many years later. My husband Joel and I had been editing Time is Art for months. When it came time for story editing, the most difficult part of the process, the three core collaborators did a private sound meditation at Golden Drum to help smooth out the tension. We are all very opinionated with strong personalities that often talk over each other so it was important to get in sync. We were also told after the session that creating an alter in alignment with the four directions before a major meeting or editing session will help the collaboration process.

Just to relax, I started listening to a particular mantra with tibetan bowls. Not long after the sound bath we started each editing session by creating an alter and listening to this recording which turned out to be the Gayatri Mantra. In the beginning I didn’t know what it meant but felt transformed every time I would meditate to it for even just a few minutes which goes to show you just how powerful it is.

The Gayatri Mantra is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus worldwide and is a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rigveda.  It is considered to be a supreme vehicle for gaining spiritual enlightenment. The longer form of the mantra activates all seven major Chakras and connects them to the seven great spiritual realms of existence.

A modern translation of the entire mantra says, “I invoke the Earth Plane, The Astral Plane, The Celestial Plane, The Plane of Spiritual Balance, The Plane of Human Spiritual Knowledge, The Plane of Spiritual Austerites, and The Plane of Ultimate Truth. Oh, great Spiritual Light which is the brilliance of all Divinity, we meditate upon You. Please illumine our minds.” By chantjose arguelles, time is arting this mantra, Divine spiritual light and power is infused in each of the seven chakras and connects them to the Spiritual Realms. The last part infuses our minds, hearts and souls with the power of the spiritual light that created the Universe.

After a few months of consistent meditation to this recording I began to live the messages in the film. Time truly became less about rushing and trying to get things done. I’ve learned to slow down and take things as they come. My creative ideas have always been more then I can handle (or anyone else for that matter, just ask my husband). When the time comes I know all the documentary treatments, the screenplays, the events, the workshops, the albums, the trips all over the world will be executed when they are ready. There’s no rush because there’s plenty of time, especially since there is really no time when you live the mantra ‘Time is Art’.

Time can serve or inhibit us

time is artThe background of each of us is irrelevant. It is the foreground that matters to the rest of us. Who is it you are today? How do you spend your moments while we are sharing them?

It doesn’t matter what took place before now. Not that these things don’t have value, they do. When we were involved in them they mattered very much. Now that they are a thing of the “past”, they do not.

Time is an aspect of the day to day that can serve or inhibit us. It is held in our mind and its relative effect takes place there as well. It doesn’t really exist – there is no such thing as “time”. A “time-piece” has been invented, that moves brilliantly and we’ve all agreed that the rotations signify a specific measurement. That is all it is.

Why bring up “time” or the “past”? It is these ideas that define our days and shape the view we hold about the possibilities for our lives. What you feel capable of is in part defined by how many “years” you’ve been here, by how those “years” have been spent and with whom. There are walls on our dreams of the “future” and chains holding us to our “past”. These things are not truth. They are fabrications held in the mind; they are thoughts.

There is a story of a man who was locked in the freezer car of a train in one of the Scandinavian countries. He died. When his body was found, it showed all of the clinical effects of having been frozen, yet the freezer was never turned on. His mind killed him.

Our minds are doing the same. Any limiting or inhibiting “fact” held there can be reversed. All thoughts are malleable and can change. Often it is those that fly in the face of “reality” that project us the fastest and furthest into our dreams. A life spent re-defining yourself to others around you seems unproductive unless you are interested in staying there.

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