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Harmonic Convergence

August 16 -17, 1987

Arguelles and Jean on pyramid at Chichen Itza.

Being co-founder of the Farmbarns School for Experimentation in the Arts  (Lenox, MA, 1977-1987), it was clear early in the 1980’s that my co-conspirator, Edwin Treitler, and I were uncovering some unconventional and effective ways of viewing the purpose of art in our society. The school was a place where we would perform creativity experiments with workshop participants to test our theories. Early on, we became aware of the writings of Jose Arguelles, who at that time, had written The Transformative Vision, Reflections on the Nature and History of Human Expression, (Shambala, 1975). This book provided for us the visionary backbone context behind our own findings. Our express interests lay in an ever expanding definition of art, how the arts effect planetary change and, at the same time, how art reflects the psyche of a culture, thereby providing a sensitive roadmap for how a culture creates its future.

As an arts advisor to the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, I recommended that Arguelles be invited to lead a week-long workshop in the summer of 1982. Edwin and I met him there and he announced to us that we would find ourselves as part of what he called the Planet Art Network, working toward a global art event on August 16-17, 1987. His book, The Transformative Vision, had described the importance of this auspicious date, as recorded within the Tsolkin, or Mayan Calendar.

The next five years, the activities of the Farmbarns appeared as training events to learn what it meant to produce a mass media event. I became involved in numerous collaborative global events aiding various causes, from ending world hunger, The First Earth Run, and World Day. Some of these were successful, and others fell short. Each experience of involvement provided powerful teachings.

All during these five years, a close connection with Jose Arguelles was maintained as he underwent his own process of discovering how to launch a global event based upon his

“Death Dance” New England Harmonic Convergence – 1987

understanding of what the end of a cycle of time known as the “smokey mirror”.  Ultimately, his book The Mayan Factor, proved to be the catalyst that brought world-wide attention to his message of “Harmonic Convergence”, and for people to gather at their own sacred places during the two days to usher in a time of world peace and harmony. He held this as an event of the Planet Art Network.

Mayan Ceremony Meditation

It became clear that the function of the Farmbarns was to be the vehicle by which this event would take place. Early in May of 1987, we put out a call to our network to meet and begin the planning of what we would produce on these prescribed dates in August. It was decided by the group to produce a two-day, one night ceremony designed by Jose. Another faction within the group wanted to also provide an artists’ retreat at the same time. Another arts group from Boston would produce the arts retreat while I facilitated the training and coordination of the Mayan ceremony.

The Northeast Harmonic Convergence event was held at the Abode of the Message, in New Lebanon, NY. It involved ninety people over two days and two nights. Sixty four people participated in the Mayan Ceremony over seventy-two hours. Other events involving perhaps thousands of people took place at sacred sites around the world. From Boulder, CO, through radio satellite, coordinators called into “central command” consisting of Jose, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Rubert Sheldrake, Marilyn Ferguson and others. There is no actual verification of how many people partook in events.

As for myself, holding this event as a galactic art event as opposed to a humanly established event scheduled based upon convenience, I was struck by the scope of its success. Being derived from a Mayan astrological numerical system it did not require human planning, scheduling, press releases, all the usual means to gather mass attention. The synchronicity of Arguelles’ book featured six weeks before the August date on the cover of the Wall Street Journal, sent the international press into a frenzy. People began to seek out venues to attend in hoards and to seek understanding of how to participate in this occasion.

Photos by Nick DeCandia