February 12, 1990


     The ICS Arts Crafts and Livelihood Program continues to forge ahead with a this new integrated study, entitled Benedictions, conducted by ICS resident visual artist MYSTERYFORMS and agent-apprentice MX7 as part of their current work-study practicum.

     This brilliant, vibratory opto-acoustic rendering of their research is prefaced with the following invocation, ceremoniously setting the thematic approach and atmosphere of the piece:

I acknowledge and pay homage to You,
the supreme source of All
Blind to Your splendour and numb to Your embrace;
Bathe us in Your radiance that we may see

     Their research papers tell of a mystical incident in the life of the saint, Mirra "The Mother" Alfassa, which forms as the inspiration for their study.  The Mother describes her experience, which MYSTERYFORMS describes as "of beatific and gleaming enlightenment" thusly:
...there was in fact this entire impression of power, of warmth, and of gold.  It was not fluid, but like a powdery mist.  And each one of these things...was like living gold: a multitude of small points of gold, nothing but that.  One could say that they touched my eyes, my face...and with a tremendous force!  At the same time, there was a feeling of plenitude, of an all-powerful peace.  It was rich, it was full.  It was movement at its maximum...and at the same time it was absolute peace, perfect stillness.
ICS Arts Crafts and Livelihood Community - Junior Division ca.1990 
     MX7 recounts frequent trips with MYSTERYFORMS to their favourite Buddhist vegetarian restaurant, where they spend many hours brainstorming and discussing their projects - usually over a hefty meal. It is there that they regularly encounter a wide range of free religious/devotional material, from prayer books, to sutra recitation CDs, to devotional music tapes, calendars, and other ephemera.

     "We were always enamoured by the artwork and graphics that grace the covers of these devotional materials," MX7 shares, "We love the kitschy, unpretentious feel about them.  There is this sort of earnest intention to convey the sublime, the divine, even if it is through limited experience and understanding.  We tried to convey that similar feel - whether by default or design - in Benedictions".

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