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January 4, 2011

“Entheogen”… a psychedelic spiraling fractal animation.
Special thanks to musician Robert Arnold for providing the evocative soundtrack!
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PLEASE NOTE: Deep focus or prolonged viewing of this mystically swirling fractal animation video may cause minor temporary visual disturbances in perception / optical illusions. It may invoke in some feelings of intrigue, contemplation, gnosis, & an intuitive sense of interconnectedness or resonance.

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~ en “in, within,” / theo- “god, divine,” / -gen “creates, generates”
~”Creator god inside us”
~ “Generating the divine within”
“A modern term derived from two Ancient Greek words, ενθεος (entheos) and γενεσθαι (genesthai)”
~ Entheos means literally “in God”, more freely translated “inspired”
~Genesthai means “to cause to be”. So an entheogen is “that which causes (a person) to be in God”. In its strictest sense the term refers to a psychoactive substance (most often some plant matter) that occasions enlightening spiritual or mystical experience… In a broader sense, the word “entheogen” refers to artificial as well as natural substances that induce alterations of consciousness.


This, my first official fractal video animation, represents a thought experiment of sorts. Using the medium of the fractal flame, i sought to explore and portray the concepts of-

Unity.       Duality.
Balance.     Polarity.
Multiplicity.   Pattern.
Interaction.    Emergence.
Transcendence.    Transformation.

Above and Below.
Inner Space and Outer Space.
Temporal and Eternal.
Chaos and Cosmos.

Observing self-similarity and pattern~
In life we see self-similar structure all around us. Trees, mountains, clouds, forests, weather patterns and many other things in nature / natural phenomenon exhibit fractal characteristics. So too, do we see this geometry at play in the human body- for example in our fingerprints, our circulatory and nervous systems, our heartbeat’s electrical impulses and in our DNA. Fractal patterns and geometry can be found in the structure of the universe, from atoms and spinning subatomic particles, to spiraling solar systems, to spiraling galaxies as well.
Expanding upon these observations further, we can determine  patterns of similar thought and belief within human interpretation, expression, experience, ritual, legend, history and societies- in spite of the various cultures separation in time and physical distance. For instance, stories of creation:

In the Beginning..
creation cosmology myths legends stories

Judeo Christian– “God created man in his own image.”  /”Let us make humans after our own likeness” , “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and  multiply”

Islamic –   ^ &  “the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder” / “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority”

Kabbalistic Judism– “Before He gave any shape to the world, before He produced any form, He was alone, without form and without resemblance to anything else. Who then can comprehend how He was before the Creation? Hence it is forbidden to lend Him any form or similitude, or even to call Him by His sacred name, or to indicate Him by a single letter or a single point. . . . But after He created the form of the Heavenly Man, He used him as a chariot wherein to descend, and He wishes to be called after His form, which is the sacred name ‘YHWH’.”

Chinese / Taoist- “There was something featureless yet complete, born before heaven and earth; Silent – amorphous – it stood alone and unchanging. We may regard it as the mother of heaven and earth. Not knowing its name, I call it the “Way” (Dao or Tao). The Way gave birth to unity, Unity gave birth to duality, Duality gave birth to trinity, Trinity gave birth to the myriad creatures.”

Hopi- “Now, let us make ones like unto you and me, so that they may rule over and enjoy these lesser creatures,” sang Tawa (the Sun God) , and Spider Woman ( Earth Goddess) shaped the Thoughts into woman and man figures like unto their own.”

Mayan – “Kukulkán (also known by the Aztec name Quetzalcoatl) and Tepeu decided to preserve their legacy by creating an Earth-bound species looking like them.”

Navajo- “On the fourth day when the other gods departed, Black Body (the Fire God) remained behind and spoke to the people in their own language: “You do not seem to understand our signs, so I must tell you what they mean. We want to make people who look more like us.”

Hindu- “The gods cut up purusha ( the cosmic man), took the quarter of him that was manifest in their realm and placed it upon the sacrificial fire; from this the Vedic deities Indra, Agni and Vayu were born, together with the cardinal points of the universe, animals, humans and the four varnas(orders).”  /   “In the beginning there was a single soul. This soul looked around, and saw nothing but itself. It exclaimed: ‘Here I am! , From that moment the concept ‘1’ came into existence… Yet, since pleasure can only be enjoyed in company, this soul lacked all pleasure. Thus it wanted a companion… So it split into two, becoming a husband and a wife.. The couple bore humanity.” / God said: ‘Let me multiply! Let me have offspring! ‘ So he heated himself up; and when he was hot, he emitted the entire world, and all that it contains.   And after emitting the world, he entered it”

B’laan- “Finally Melu decided to make the earth; so he worked very hard in putting the dead skin into shape, and when it was finished he was so pleased with it that he determined to make two beings like himself, though smaller, to live on it.”

Greek- “Then man was made, perhaps from seed divine .. so to found a better world, perhaps the new-made earth, so lately parted from the ethereal heavens, kept still some essence of the kindred sky–earth that son of Iapetus [Prometheus] molded, mixed with water, in likeness of the gods that govern the world” / “Someone created men to be a race like unto the blessed gods, albeit he gave them inferior strength: whether it was the son of Iapetos, Prometheus of the many devices, who made man in the likeness of the blessed ones, mingling earth with water, and anointed his heart with the anointing of the gods; or whether we are born of the blood divine that flowed from the Titanes;” / In the mythical Greek cosmogony of Hesiod (8th-7th century BC) the origin (Arche ) of the world is Chaos, an unlimited (formless) void considered as a divine primordial condition, from which everything else appeared.”

Vajrayana Buddhism– The Primordial Buddha is said to be a self-emanating /originating Buddha present before anything other existed. A song on the Primordial Buddha of Diamond Light: “I am both creative and destructive, compassionate and ruthless.I create the rainbow relationships of the Buddhas,The interactions of their light and shade.I destroy illusion with the power of Truth,And kill the sense of the separate self.I am compassionate towards those that strive for perfection,And I aid them in the casting off of desires.I am ruthless towards the evil, the clinging, and the desperate,For only the pure may approach me.I hold the reins of creation in my hands,The first light of the Void and its wave of divine colors.I hold and store them, refract them within my crystal.The prisms of cut-glass within my symbolic waters.”

And so on….Patterns are woven throughout humanity’s belief traditions.


Modern Scientific Theory– Our universe sprang into existence as a singularity (we think) around 13.7 billion years ago. How it originated and what is beyond our universe is up for debate. The singularity did not appear in ‘space’,  ‘space’ was super-densely compacted inside the singularity. There was no space, time, energy or matter here before the this singularity appeared. After it’s appearance, the Big Bang started the expansion of the Universe we now live in. Although there is currently no official unified Theory of Everything, much of reality as we know it follows fundamental laws of physics, and follows patterns of being. Sub atomic particles seem to follow a less obvious and more unusual rulebook. However, its commonly taught that the Wave-Particle duality constitutes the basic building blocks and matter of physical existence. (See also-  elementary particles, chaos theory, quantum entanglement, quantum superposition/observer effect)

Fractal Geometry –  “A fractal is a rough or fragmented shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,” Creating patterns of self similarity expressed though limitless variation, repeating itself into infinity.


“Out of many, one”
Out of one, many.

“Entheogen” – An Audio & Visual Meditation and Exploration into Fractal Nature, Emergence & Interconnectivity.



Tagged: alchemy, art, avant-garde art,  consciousness, entheogen, esoteric, fractal, geometry, hallucinogenic,  mathematics, music, new age,  optical illusion video, shamanic, spiral, trippy, tunnel of eyes and light hallucination near death experience ,

In the beginning there was a single soul. This soul looked around, and saw nothing but itself. It exclaimed: ‘Here I am! , From that moment the concept ‘1’ came into existence. Realizing it was alone, this entity became afraid. Then it thought: ‘Why should I be afraid, when there is no one but me?’ So its fear subsided.Yet, since pleasure can only be enjoyed in company, this soul lacked all pleasure. Thus it wanted a companion. It was as large as a man and a woman embracing. So it split into two, becoming a husband and a wife.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Catherine permalink
    January 6, 2011 9:18 am

    ..well I don’t know how you guys do something like this but it’s awesome! While watching, so many thoguhts came to mind..a few include…
    …God watching over us and all of creation….creation and diminishment…change….constant change but with consistency….how small things are great things and how everything is connected.
    Enjoyed the visual and the sound….way to go guys!

  2. January 10, 2011 6:00 am


  3. January 23, 2011 11:00 am

    Leah, can you please tell what software did you use to create this masterpiece?

  4. January 23, 2011 11:49 am

    Hello.This article was extremely interesting, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

  5. January 23, 2011 7:58 pm

    To create the fractal art i used “Apophysis”version 2.09. Through that i create the base images (key frames) that the animation will morph between. From there, i loaded the key frames into “Flam3 Animator” which allows me to create a sequence of the base images and add effects such as motion blur. From there, Flam3 will automatically render the ‘in between’ morphing frames, one by one. When that finished, i took the many resulting rendered .jpeg frames into “VirtualDub” to stitch them together and create a fluid AVI video. Lastly, I imported the AVI video into “Adobe After Effects” to add in the finishing touches such as music and text, and to further compress the video.

    Here is a tutorial that i roughly followed:

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