Glazen huis



An initiative of PAE* –

Where Performance Art and Shamanism Meet
Amstelpark, Amsterdam September 12-16, 2018

The longing for beauty is universal and indestructible, being an innate quality of the human mind. This explains why aesthetics is central to any culture that seriously reflects and seriously deals with all aspects of everyone’s Quo Vadis?
Western culture lost this capacity because it lost its sense for ‘wholeness’ after the schism between its culture and nature. Cultural time diverged from the time cycles of nature.
Its linear time became: Future equals Progress.
The schism became more radical in the 20th century by logical positivism and radical empiricism due to their doctrine of the ‘empty mind’. One no longer believed that the human DNA was a source of ‘beauty’ as well as ‘goodness’ and ‘truth’ with its innate intuitive desires, comprehension and empathy towards life and whatever we sense in our environment.
One doesn’t realize that the doctrine of the ‘empty mind’ is nonsensical. Why? Because it cannot explain the learning capacities that reach further than our instincts. The human mind is creative. It is capable to stretch from an intuitive notion of One(ness) toward an infinite plurality of forms, ideas, impressions and expressions.


Shamanism and animism are closely related.
Becoming a shaman, woman or man, is a vocation, destination or obligation, usually determined by tradition within an ancient community in an ancient culture.
Its multiple tasks imply caring for the members of the community, in fact the well-being of the whole community, especially during birth, sickness, dying and through communication with the ancestors. Why the ancestors? Because animism believes in the living-living; living dead and the yet to be born.

Echoes of shamanism, an appropriate title for the performing artist, aspires to open the channels of the hidden layers of our consciousness. It runs parallel with the discovery of deeper layers reaching from the individual subconsciousness into the collective unconscious layers. By sharing the process with each other, we discover how hidden tensions and blockades dissolve. Dissolving implies liberation of hidden energies like in Xi gong movements. The entrance to deeper layers is a source of inspiration for all artists, but especially for the performing ones because of the simultaneity of action and expression. Where Performance Art and Shamanism Meet is the space – the theatre where the personal exploration of body-consciousness coincides with the body-consciousness of the members in the audience.

This is a remarkable event because the uniqueness of each human being is not an isolated ‘anything’. On the contrary. Its uniqueness has its origin in the world of plants, snakes and birds. It participates in the infinite, limitless potential of living nature, of which humankind is the last phase in its timeless evolution. Humans are carriers of the first living cell and everything that follows from there in the domain of plants and animals: Where Performance Art and Shamanism Meet.
Fons Elders


*PAE is artists Nina Boas, Martijn Stellinga, and ieke Trinks, who organize events that give priority to visual art practices intended to be experienced live. The first PAE event took place in 2008 in the Wolfart Projectspace in Rotterdam.
September 12-16-2018

A brief report on the Ayahuasca ritual during the night of August 20-21, 2010

Dear Robert,

It was a peaceful, intense and yet mellow night …Preparing my self the evening before by reading to Colette about the possible effects of the ayahuasca, I decided to fast most of the day, building up a quiet concentration while reading and writing. On my way to the South, I prepared my self to meet the living dead in the circle of my family and friends, in case there would be any recognizable wish or need from the other side. But after taking that decision, I realized that it was better to free my mind of any pre-occupation, realizing that an „empty‟ space is the right preparation for whatever could or should happen. By emptying my mind, I followed the advice I often give to my students: realize that you don‟t know, and – even more important – and that you don‟t know that you do know.

When the „spirit‟ of the ayahuasca-plant began to penetrate my brains and body, the effects were sensual and erotic…I approached Colette…her body was melting too, moving in and out my body. Also other bodies moved in between as waves that mingled together in an open space, in a passive and yet spontaneous process. I don‟t know the time but it probably happened after midnight. When I told the story to Colette, she told me that she woke up at midnight 00.30 and felt me entering her body describing similar feelings as the ones I experienced. The distance between her and me was 150 kilometers. She couldn‟t sleep anymore during most of the night – feeling sometimes confused about what happened with her and with me.

After a while I left the maloca to walk into the night, surrounded everywhere by patterns of flickering lights, as if the eye was able to see the energies of the leaves of the trees. Here and there people were leaning against a tree. Walking was difficult. I had to smile. The scene looked as a strange theatre play, a clinic or house for elderly people. I had to shit behind a tall tree enjoying that the earth would swallow whatever we secrete.

Back into the maloca, the statue of the jaguar in front of me went through a transformation. Its long neck became a snake moving up and down in spirals.

Suddenly the music was everywhere. The drumming sounds, rhythms and lyrics by you, Frank and your friend entered my brains in a way as I had never experienced before. Sometimes there were periods of deep silence till the music began to stream again. The beauty of the music was of a rare quality…never the same; an ongoing flow of continuous movements without any repetition, moving in and out each other, not different from the movements of the bodies before. The intricate patterns resembled what I had read about physical and chemical structures or quanta whose positions are always floating with every atom in interaction with the other atoms, forming patterns in infinite spiraling movements.

Finally I slept for a while.



The day after

During the night and early morning, I was astonished about the sounds and rhythms the three of you were playing. It was there in the space of the Maloca, as the sea of flickering lights in the outside space. But the day after, reflecting about the experiences, I understood that there was a correspondence between the visual experiences and the audio experiences. In both cases, the DMT had been touching the neural structures of my brains. The beauty of the sounds and rhythms came from within, just as the pattern of lights outside the maloca. Stimulated by your music and the flickering lights outside, the neural structures created the visual and audio impressions by arousing the innate DNA-patterns which we humans share with animals and plants. My brains participated actively in evoking the qualities of light and sound which were there but also here: they came to life in „my own‟ consciousness. I write there and here in italics and „my own‟ between „…. „ , because there is no separation during the experience between outer-space and inner space. In reality, there is never a separation between both. There is an all- embracing consciousness present in whatever exists in nature – the realm of pure being. What the scientists formulate as laws of nature, is the mathematical- empirical dimension of the innate consciousness, present in plants, animals, rocks, stars and so on, interacting permanently. The fact that the various levels of human consciousness imply also the potential of self-reflection, makes it even more interesting but not essentially different. Being and consciousness are two sides of the same coin. They are only different for us humans by separating our existence from an all-embracing conscious Being. Self-reflection opens the possibility of cosmic consciousness but also of alienation. These are the opposite poles of human existence. The idea that matter and thought, to use another expression than being and consciousness, are two sides of the same coin, is also present in the philosophy of Spinoza and Locke. I knew about Spinoza but not about Locke, the empiricist. Thanks to a study of dr. Wim Klever, I made the discovery. Herewith a quotation from Wim Klever‟s “Vermomde en Miskende Spinozist (Locke).

William Carroll writes in the Preface of his Dissertation upon the Tenth Chapter of the Fourth Book of Mr. Locke’s Essay (1706) and his two anonymous books Spinoza rev’ved (1705 and 1709) about the notion of God by Locke and Spinoza: “the Eternal Existence of one only Cogitative and Extended material Substance, differently modified in the whole World, that is, the Eternal Existence of the whole World itself”. A quotation from Wim Klever‟s study, entitled: John Locke (1632- 1704) – Vermomde en Miskende Spinozist. Vrijstad 2010 2de druk, p.3.

What I am trying to say with the quotation of Carroll is the ontological equation between Nature and God or the notion Tawhid in Islam, indicating the Oneness of God, and its striking correspondence with the world view that reveals itself in the Ayahuasca experience.

However, there remains a difference in the epistemological assumption between Locke on the one side, and the Indian, Islamic or Buddhist world view on the other side. Locke believes in the tabula rasa: our knowledge is an effect of sense impressions. The Indian, Buddhist or Islamic world views are based upon the idea and the experience that there is not only an ontological equation as in “Deus sive Natura” (Spinoza) but also an epistemological one. The ontological equation includes an epistemological equation: one only Cogitative and Extended material Substance.

The vision of Locke and Spinoza provides the rationale for the animistic and sjamanistic world view that experiences reality as alive and fully interconnected. Each philosophy, religion, ideology or policy that denies the hidden interconnectedness, cuts itself loose from the living, conscious energy that permeates reality.

But there is also a missing link. The epistemological inheritance of the empiricist Locke continues a dualism, already present since Augustine in Christianity. This dualism blocks the road to insight into the hidden treasures of the human mind. Insightful shamans may be helpful in showing which road to go, with ayahuasca as the inner guide.

I finish my letter with the quotation of two haiku which are my perceptions of the intrinsic relation between matter and mind.

The here and the now / Without borders and limits / Infinite presence

{Warder, Kapberg, 15.01.2009 – the morning of the death of Arne Naess}

“Nature Deity” / “Deus sive Natura” / Japan Spinoza

(written autumn 2007 on the island of Shikoku, in Awa Ikeda – “Nature Deity” printed on the slippers of the JYH, belonging to the Buddhist temple; “Deus sive Natura”: God or Nature, a statement by Spinoza).

Fons Elders
Kapberg, September 16, 2010

Walk on:


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