Everyone knows mushrooms, but not everyone knows that they are the fruits of an organism that is hidden from view, the mysterious mycelium. The mycelium consists of a very fine network of microtubules spread underground and always brings great benefits to the environment in which it is present. Scientists have discovered that the mycelium in forests is crucial in allowing the passage of nutrients but also the exchange of information between plants, for example about the presence of dangers such as pests and infestants, so that trees can prepare the appropriate defences.
Cast mycelium experiment I (Ganoderma lingzhi)
The mycelium is therefore a symbiotic super organism of the forest, it is the matrix from which mushrooms are born but it is also a natural communication network that some experts have dubbed the Wood Wide Web; if you do an online search you will find numerous results that are worth exploring, the underground world of the mycelium is fascinating, if you have seen the documentary ‘Fantastic Fungi’ you know what I mean.
Cast mycelium experiment II (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Nature provides all its creatures with what they need to grow and be well, for example I have always been impressed by the fact that plants produce oxygen, which has more the characteristics of a gift than a functional result for the life of the plant itself, the tree does not need oxygen but is instead indispensable to all the life we know on this beautiful planet. I believe that trees are the most selfless and indispensable beings on the planet, it is easy to understand this when you have taken a few grams of mushrooms and spend time tripping in nature!
That magic mushrooms teach us so much is well known to anyone who has encountered them, but what can mycelium teach us? The example we see from scientific observations is clear, connections have a value whose benefit is extended to all components of the environment; in our case – me writing and you reading – the great value the mycelium tells us about is the connection between people, networking benefits everyone who is part of this ideal mycelium from which the entire human social reality is generated.
I think science is based on continuous research and not on dogma, which is characteristic of some religions, and it is in this evolutionary sense that I use it as a reference for observations that can be shared by everyone. This sane science tells us that magic mushrooms are rich in beneficial applications for our health on a physical, emotional, mental and in many cases spiritual level. The numerous researches underway around the world will sweep away the stigma that surrounds psychedelic substances, I am certain that one day psilocybe mushrooms will be recognised for what they are: a gift that nature has intentionally given to all mankind. I say intentional because nature is conscious and intelligent, you would have to be blind not to see it directly, but unfortunately it is evident that there are still many who do not see; to all these modern blind people the psilocybe mushrooms could open their eyes, just as they do to the more than 80% of the terminally ill who have been fortunate enough to encounter them, the fear of death in all those cases literally vanishes because they have understood the transcendent nature of the human experience on Earth.
Self portrait (Sketch)
Science is the simplest, and for many the most reliable, model for showing the underlying reality of certain phenomena and creating understanding, but it is not the only one, other great models of direct experience are contemplation and meditation, art, fiction, history, all areas where the human intellect can apply itself and find new understandings and insights.
I write about magic mushrooms and do a useful bit of education and information for the benefit of those who read me, and my “mycelial” contribution is to give visibility to all those who are spreading knowledge and understanding about magic mushrooms and their enormous healing and reconnection potential. Modern man is disconnected from himself, from what he feels and from the natural environment from which we all come, mushrooms are here to help us mend this lost connection.
Psychedelic Toad Mushroom Stone (Black ceramic)
Alexander Main helps us with his works, he is a dedicated and devoted artist to magic mushrooms, who has experienced and assimilated their transformative power to give artistic substance to the spirit of these incredible creatures. Who is Alexander he tells himself on his website, but here I would like to tell what I have seen in him and his work, and why I consider him as important as all those who work directly with mushrooms, such as the shamanic ceremonies of the friends of Nature Temple in Holland, the research and remarkable patents of Paul Stamets who is a ‘simple’ self-taught mycologist, the good popularizer Michael Pollan with his books, the incredible music of the Shpongle and finally also myself, after three books and a whole blog dedicated to magic mushrooms I think I can fully fit into this category of ‘psilocybe mushroom lovers’.
Olmec Prayer Mushroom Stone (Cast stone)
Alexander is a young man from Berlin, a city known for its great artistic and creative activity. Germany has a favourable policy that helps and supports young people’s art and creativity, and he is certainly a fruit of this climate that favours research and artistic expression.
Mushroom Installation (Berlin Art Week)
Art is often an expression of the artist’s inner torment, and Alexander also confirms this matrix, his personal history and life in a large western capital created the conditions for him to explore his creative potential; the hard lockdown and crisis of the past few years were the decisive push to launch himself, confirming that crises always contain the seed for new opportunities.
Mushroom Stones, cast stone (left/right), cast mycelium (center)
The Magic Mushrooms that Alexander creates are a modern re-edition of ancient Mayan Mushroom Stones found in Guatemala and also dating back over 3,000 years. They are beautiful objects, inspired by contact with magic mushrooms but in fact inaccessible to the public, they are few and rare and mostly visible in a few museums or in the hands of a few private collectors.
Ancient Mushroom Stones
Now this art is accessible again – finally! – recreated by Alexander after much research and experimentation to obtain a piece that is beautiful to see and touch.
Working in the atelier (Berlin)
For almost 3 years he has been working closed in his studio in Berlin with clay, silicon, plaster, quartz and ceramics, to recreate the desired colour and texture, but not only that, each statue contains a hint of magic that cannot be told, but that in moments of expanding consciousness one might perceive.
Mushrooms growing from plaster (Pleurotus djamor)
Ideas travel the world in many ways, visual art is a high road to spread thought forms that will later find concreteness through other disciplines, such as films and documentaries, fiction and essays, music and even circles of people sitting around a fire, the oldest and deepest form of authentic human connection. Alexander is doing much more than meets the eye, his beautiful mushrooms spread spores of a thought that comes from the depths of time, the humans who lived 3,000 years ago in the Central American jungle are close to us through the works they made and which come alive in the handmade pieces of this young German artist.
Visit his site HERE, the opportunities to give and get a gift are endless. As Alexander says: MUSH LOVE!
Mushroom Installation (Berlin Art Week)
If you enjoyed the post and found it useful, please buy me a coffee!