You’ve probably already heard by now about the world-changing event that is supposed to happen on the 21st of this month. While skeptics dismiss the Mayan Prophecy outright as mere superstition, there are diehard believers preparing for the End of Days. An Icelandic artist who goes by “getZen” has an entirely different vision for the date in question. Rather than waiting for something to happen, she intends to make something happen. Grapevine met with getZen to learn more about what she has in store.
So, what’s the plan for December 21?
I’m going to attempt to make a prophecy come true. I have no idea what will happen but I have a vision of what I would like to happen. I think the idea and will behind it is what matters—that there can be a raising of consciousness of unconditional love. I’m going to be at Hjartagarðurinn on December 21 at 20:00 and the general public is welcome to come and meditate with me.
What was the inspiration behind this?
[British journalist] Graham Hancock gave a talk on his experiences taking the ayahuasca vine, which has been used by shamans in South America to gain altered states of consciousness and connect with the universe around them. I think that we are experiencing a spiritual crisis, a disconnect between ourselves and the natural world. To re-connect is to restore empathy, which is in itself healing. After all, what good is a doctor who has no empathy? Emotional intelligence and activity should be considered as important in our educational system as book knowledge.
And how would you define “spiritual”?
Well, it’s a very broad term, but I’m approaching it from a more practical point of view. It’s a form of maturity—the wisdom we get through experience and meditation. Emotional intelligence is the ability to use the mind as an eye. I don’t believe there’s a such thing as the “paranormal.
Why is it important that people re-connect with the natural world?
I think in many ways, Icelanders are very Americanised. We grow up with American consumer culture, and are surrounded by it all the time. We’re an addicted people. Addicted to “stuff,” to drugs, food, porn, alcohol, other peoples’ opinions… We are in many ways hypnotised by culture, the media and advertising. But we can learn how to hypnotise ourselves. Meditation ignites oxytocin, which produces the feelings of trust and love, satisfaction that people normally seek through their addictions, and it can help free us from these addictions. Yoga is also a great way to develop balance.
Why do you think some people react to this idea with dismissiveness, if not outright hostility?
When we haven’t experienced something for ourselves, it’s hard to understand it. A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart. Some people have fun judging others. Those who judge others tend to feel inadequate and also judge themselves. There are people who define themselves by what they don’t believe (and therefore believe), rather than by what they do.
What’s the best way to respond to this?
You can’t make someone learn something, but it helps to ask them if they can tell you why they are this way. To understand that is very liberating. If you know yourself, you know the universe. Similarly, the Dalai Lama once said that we want to live in an environment we trust. But then we have to trust ourselves. We live in a world that’s constantly getting smaller and more multicultural. So we need to learn how to not judge or make assumptions strictly by surface appearence. Theres an infinite depth and possibility in all of us.
You’ve often talked about the importance of the education system, and that it needs to change. What changes do you think need to be made?
I think the changes need to start in kindergarten, and should pertain to health, first and foremost. It’s not laziness to meditate and to relax. Yoga should be taught in schools, too. I believe it could reduce bullying. With meditation, you find your inner core. You find a commonality between you and other people, developing empathy instead of focusing on surface level differences.
Teachers should be taught to be more encouraging of students with different skill sets, too. Take, for example, children with ADHD. A lot of them find it difficult to maintain the attention needed for reading textbooks. The same material could be taught through documentaries or music. Meditation, yoga and paying attention to nutrition can also help increase your attention span. There’s also the matter of how a subject is approached. Studying art, for example, is actually like studying psychology. When you study a painting, you’re not just admiring someone else’s message. You’re also seeing your own inner workings, like a Rorschach test.
What kind of society do you ideally envision?
One where people learn to respect their bodies and selves. Respecting others and nature will follow. I want to see people become their own leaders, doctors, teachers and role models. There are so many people who live for how others see them. As social animals, we are of course always aware of this and make compromises to maintain harmony within the group, but the important thing is to understand why you think what you think. Your self-image is born from your imagination. You create your own experience of existence.
Do you think we’re headed towards this kind of society?
I believe we are moving in that direction. It’s what I’m seeing anyway. Many of these things are even being taught at the university here. It’s happening slowly, but it is happening. There’s a domino effect at work here, a chain reaction that I believe this event can be part of to help move it along.
What would you say your mission is?
To be useful. I create my own mission through art, magic, consciousness, every day, in how I live. I’ve often said I believe more in being a ‘lausnamaður’ [“solution-person”] than a ‘listmaður’ [“artist”]. To see unconditional love and unity for a world not only with independent nations but also with caring, creating, healthy, happy, loving, and independent individuals with an understanding of us all being part of one and the same eco-system. We need to create equilibrium. Love is infinity.
For more information, readers can contact getZen at email@example.com.