We are made of pure energy. If human beings really are, as the cosmologists say, made of 13 billion

year old stardust, then the atomic vibration of our very being must have some imprint of what it

means to exist as pristine light moving through time and space. Jaq Belcher breaks open the source

code of this primordial existence, a perception so timeless that it can come alive even today. Source

code means the knowing or awareness of the absolute truth that is written into the fabric of matter


The art of meditation. The ancient wisdom revealed in Jaq Belcher’s art is accessed through the

repetition and precision of cutting the seed shape over and over from a large sheet of white paper.

The meditative simplicity of this action can open the pineal gland, which is associated with the third

eye. The pineal gland is a very small organ shaped like a pinecone located at the center of the brain.

Yogic teaching explains how strict discipline of on-going mediation releases the mind from the

chatter of daily thoughts, allowing a deeper consciousness to emerge. As Jaq cuts the same shape

again and again, she opens her pineal gland thus allowing plain white paper to reveal cosmic truth.

And our journey into an inner awakening begins as we step into the piece titled, Initiation. Here we

are welcomed into a life-sized pinecone showing the pineal gland in its full vibrancy.

Source code revealed. When we enter Jaq’s inner world made visible through the paper cuts which

open space and the folds that show the play of light and shadow, we discover more than simply a

clever way to make a plain sheet of paper come alive with design. Beyond counting the cuts or

variation in shape and fold, there are narratives that speak to the origins of creation. The story that the

work tells starts like this, “In the beginning we were pure energy floating in space, longing to come

into form . . . “

We were once formless. Whether we believe we have had one lifetime or many, there remains the

unfathomable question of what were we before we were here. Perhaps our consciousness, long before

we were born, was unbound energy floating blissfully at one with the divine source. Some believe

that the soul chooses the limits of human existence as a way to learn and evolve, a way to explore the

marriage between energy and matter. The venture of descending into a body onto a small planet

requires that we forget that we are part of something much larger - the evolution of the universe itself.

As we enter this work, we have a small glimmer of recognition of what we once were.

Standing in front of the piece titled, Space, one has the fleeting memory of being free of the limits of

physical form, when we could taste pure freedom. The mind quiets and the emotions calm allowing

the remembrance of still, silent deep space. The piece shows over 14,000 cuts rupturing the surface of

the large white paper in uniformity save for the center where a small ball of smaller cuts spirals into

the center. One gets the sense that emerging from this sea of free-floating energy, something

indefinable is longing to come into form.

In the three part series titled, Conversations – Random, Rising, Radiating, more of the story

unfolds and from a wide-open field of activity arises a disturbance that eventually settles into a

collected circular form. We feel the free flow of energy as it begins to find definition. Having arrived

into the world of form and limit, we land at the piece titled Winter Vessel, where the seed shape

seems to materialize out of an ethereal space of open cuts. Here a larger image of the seed form

claims its place in this field of possibility.

This possibility is furthered in the two pieces titled, Sphere of Possibility (stars) & Sphere of

Possibility (full) where the circular shapes arise out of the field and finally land and take root in the

piece titled, Wholeness. In this third piece there is a circular luminosity that makes one want to

snuggle in and take residence. And we settle into the tenebrous primordial womb from which

everything is to be birthed. As pure consciousness we were freely floating in space, now we explore

the limits of existence this spherical egg and discovering that the experiment of the formation of

matter is a long-term project just at the beginning of existence.

The long journey from the origin of being as pure consciousness into the limited form of this circular

womb is further described, like an aria or a reprise in the piece titled, Matangi. Here we see a long

and winding descending path of indented seeds making their way through the field of the familiar

raised cuts. The contrast of indented vs. raised offers a clear passage from divine source into the form

of being. Most spiritual traditions have a description of incarnation – from abstract idea into concrete

formation, from concept into reality. The yogis teach how this transition is the power of the Goddess

Matangi, who is the divine experience as it is expressed in speech or art. Jaq’s image of this Hindu

Goddess shows how the path of coming into existence narrows into almost a single point, thus

illustrating how once it is articulated, any taste of the sacred source feels like leftovers from the

actual contact with the divine.

The story now dramatically turns to the installation titled, Lunar Codex. A codex is a manuscript or

volume of ancient sacred texts meant to decode the secrets of the universe. As one enters the room,

one perceives that a sacred meeting has just occurred and shivers runs through the spine. On the

suspended four-sided squared paper a crescent moon sits at the top, from which a series of seven

increasingly smaller descending seed shaped drops move down each side. Below are concentric

circles of “seeds” or paper cuts made from the paper hanging above.

The message of this sacred meeting between line and circle, above and below, is the arrival of lunar

nectar upon the waters of the primordial ocean of being. The point of yogic meditative practice is to

wake up the mind and body enough to experience the divine amrita pouring down from the pineal

gland through the spine where it is received by the pelvic bowl. Lunar Codex illustrates the moment

of contact of that flow through the spine to the earth below. It shows the play between line and circle,

where the line of the codex, with its great drops of nectar, appears to have descended and touched the

dark pool that lies below, causing concentric circular waves of blissful enlightenment.

Think differently. According to Albert Einstein, “In order to think differently, we have to actually

think differently.” Experiencing Jaq Belcher’s art invites us to perceive beyond the limits of time,

space and causality. This re-awakening to our essential nature, which is complete freedom, offers the

chance to reconnect with who we really are, by remembering from where we emerged. And in the

end, Jaq’s calling is to an evolution of consciousness. We are invited into the reality that any

perceived division of the self with any part of existence is an illusion. We are, in fact, one with all

that is.

Vyana Bergen is a Tantra teacher and spiritual guide. She earned her Masters in Divinity

degree from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and was formerly a pastor in

the United Church of Christ. For the last 15 years she has worked as a retreat leader for

Shalom Mountain Retreat Center. Today she lives and works from her home temple, Tripura

Sundari, located in the Catskill mountains, which she shares with her husband Cristian Graca

and their german shepherd, Barnie.