Acid Test Mandala

acid testText taken from my mandala diary: 1st of April 2011
“This is the first mandala I’ve done in a long time, it doesn’t seem that long ago but looking at the date on my last mandala, it’s been at least 6 months. I guess 2 of those months were spent in SE Asia, either way – time really flies! I decided to colour this mandala in with paint; it’s a much more time consuming process than using pencils, but it makes it a lot more vibrant and I think the finished product looks worlds better! Besides, this is how most Tibetan monks construct their mandalas, not that this matters at all.

‘Can you pass the acid test?’ was a question put up on Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest) and the Merry Prankster’s posters advertising their acid test parties in the 60s. At the parties, guests were dosed heavily with LSD, while the Grateful Dead, also dosed on acid, would play live music; some people experienced a dissolution between themselves, their ego, and the outside world, while others simply had a good time. The term ‘acid test’ refers to the process of using a very strong acid to distinguish gold from the base metals, figuratively it means a test of ones character. By taking large doses of ‘acid’ people at the parties would either dissolve and break through, revealing ‘gold’ enlightenment, or they would fizzle away like a common metal and freak out. Internal alchemy, turning oneself into gold by dissolving our layers of ego and illusion. Life is an acid test, can you pass it?”

acid test

5 thoughts on “Acid Test Mandala

  1. A lot of people did experiment with chemicals (more than nicotine and alcohol), and still do. Not sure exactly how I escaped the trend. It could have been my feeling of protectiveness toward the one brain I had! The idea of losing control of my own individuality, just as it is, has always been too much to bear. My “I am” is naturally conjoined between human and spirit – and that’s the path I find comfort and enlightenment.

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  2. Drugs are a shortcut, you don’t need them to find comfort or enlightenment, and more often than not they just burn you out. I’m glad that you have found peace without the need of using drugs, but I still don’t regret any of the drugs I have taken in the past, they have provided me with some unforgettable experiences and memories! I don’t take drugs anymore though… Thank you, I really appreciate your kind words! You too!

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  3. Oh wow! This is beautiful. Also, I am a big fan of Ken Kesey but I never thought about the more traditional meaning of acid test… great fact. Rock on! :)

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