To Empty so the Gods can Fill.
"Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing."—Sylvia Plath
Invoking the Muses and the Gods for 40 days and 40 nights.
“An insoluable problem is seldom solved on its own terms; rather, it loses its urgency through the dawning of a new way of life.”-Carl Jung
The number forty has long been universally recognized as an important number, both on account of the frequency of its occurrence, and the uniformity of its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement.
From an art book to a call to action...
This is an invitation to put your greatest addiction, problem, fear, demon, obsession, re-occurring issue… on the 40-day altar to see what happens when you set a sincere intention, offer it up to the gods (archetypal forces) and implement 7 core elements into your daily life.
What happens when we lock ourselves into a 40-day Temenos? (sacred, enclosed space and time where we can be utterly honest with ourselves without fear)
Get brutally honest with yourself about something that you did, said or thought that you would not want anyone else to ever know or find about.
Looking for daily signs and messages each day. You can choose a random song on shuffle, pull a tarot card, open a book for a word or passage, read your tea bag quotes, or look for messages on subway signs, street grafitti etc.
Commit to a loving act that puts you back in your body on a daily basis. A foot massage, a long walk, child’s pose, meditation, breath work etc.
Give up something you take for granted or overly attached to just for one day.
Let go of a negative mental attitude, thought form, habit, ugly piece of clothing, etc. each day.
Meditation, poetry, films, art work, sunsets, etc. Don’t let one day go by without having at least 3 minutes of beauty and inspiration that you have consciously taken in.
Look at your relationship to time on a daily basis. At the end of each day record the time you got up, what you did in between and what time you are going to bed. How much time did you spend on specific activities? How would you ideally like to restructure? You have 40 days to work it out.
Why 40 days:
Siginficance of the number 40:
1. "Life begins at forty"-saying
2. According to the Maharal (16th century Prague), the number 40 can raise someone’s spiritual state.
3. Forty measures of water are said to purify a person.
4. According to the Talmud, it takes 40 days for an embryo to be formed in its mother's womb.
5. Muhammad was forty years old when he first received the revelation delivered by the archangel Gabriel.
6. To understand a people, you must live among them for 40 days. ~Arabic proverb
7. 40 days are the waiting, the preparation, the test or the punishment.
8. According to the Egyptians, it is the number of days necessary for the soul to become definitively delivered of the body. Following the death of the physical body, the etheric body spends 40 days being dissolved in the universe.
9. The customary number of hours in a regular workweek in some Western countries is 40. (The song, "40 Hour Week”)
10. 40 corresponds to the thirteenth Hebraic letter, mem, and to the 13th major arcana of the Tarot: Death.
11. In Hinduism, some popular religious prayers consist of forty shlokas or dohas (couplets, stanzas)—the most common being the Hanuman Chalisa (chaalis is the Hindi term for 40).
12. Buddha fasted for 40 days in the desert.
13. The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40-day regression (some scholars believe that this ancient information was the basis for the number 40 becoming sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
14. 40 years of marriage is called the Ruby wedding anniversary.
15. 40 represents the eternal hell, according to J. Boehme, relating to the cycles of the incarnation whose form does not change.
16. Some Russians believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for 40 days.
17. 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin, though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered.
18. Jesus was presented at the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth.
19. Before the temptation of Christ, Jesus fasted "Forty days and forty nights" in the Judean desert.
20. 40 days was the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus.
In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter.
21. The Quran says that a person is only fully grown when they reach the age of 40.
22. Rain fell for "40 days and 40 nights" during the flood of Noah.
40 symbolizes death and spiritual rebirth.
I want to get real
by Robert Palmer
I firmly believe that the work that Sherene does, with Jungian therapy, dance, and astrology, along with her profound pieces of art and literature could be the antidote I need to fight off the demons that a typical program of recovery could not lesson.
I do not think I am alone.
I do not think that I am special.
I think addiction runs rampant in our society.
As human beings we are constantly looking for something to fill that God Shaped hole that lives in our hearts. All God is to me is something bigger than myself. I am an artist and I know right now I need therapy yes, but my body and soul need art.
A medium to explore my fears, my hopes, my strengths, my weaknesses.
I want to collaborate.
I want to learn to listen.
I want to create a dialogue with another, maybe someone who can help, someone who can identify.
I want to get real.
Project 40 will be a different type of experience.
The focus will be the 40 day process, documented in its entirety through prompted focused, in-depth journaling, video diaries, recorded authentic movement/meditative sessions.
Yes, we are asking for the artists to take a good hard look in the mirror at their own reflection and ask the question:
What is holding me back?
What has me tied down?
What is blocking me from ultimate serenity and joy?
I want to get real.
If so, Project 40 could be the project for you.