Many people believe that when we consume psychedelic entheogenic medicines, we tap into both an inner space as well as an interdimensional, shapeless plane of existence too vast and complex for us to describe or define with our limited human capabilities.
Through his art, Chris Dyer attempts to give a physical, visual form to concepts, beings and feelings conjured to his mind in part from his many experiences as a spiritual psychonaut.
We had the chance to tap in with the Canadian-Peruvian skateboarder and psychedelic visionary to learn more about his life, his artistic process, and what he’s seen and felt during his many experiences with various journey-inducing substances all over the world.
On his life as an artist:
I was always super creative as a kid. I have pictures of me drawing and painting from three years old on. When I moved to Peru at age four, all I really wanted to do was create clubhouses and towers made out of tires, and make little booklets of my favorite toys and cartoons while all the other kids were playing soccer. I quickly became very unpopular because of it, because in school you gotta play sports and be all super athletic – and I just wanted to draw, paint, collage and do sculptures. I was always kind of like the weird artsy kid. Then I just ended up going to school for it and making it a career. I’d say that’s just kind of like how I was born, and I’ve just been going with it.
On the influence his Peruvian upbringing had on who he’s become:
Peru’s tricky. When people think of Peru, it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s so beautiful with the llamas running around the mountains and the ruins and the Incas, and then you go to the jungle and you drink ayahuasca – la la la.’ But no, for me, growing up in the ‘80s and the ‘90s in Lima, Peru was terrorism and blackouts and getting mugged four times a year for being white. I went to an all-boys school, so it’s just like hyper-masculine scenarios where everyone’s fighting over power, and me being a sensitive artist, I had to build a bunch of armors to protect myself from getting too energetically robbed. It gave me a lot of challenges that I’ve had to work through in my life. I’m better now, but I recognize where the wounds started.
On the interconnected experiences and visions reflected in tribal art throughout global history:
Cultures around the world somehow had access to the portals that take you to the center of all creation – to this other dimension that has a flavor in this art that’s been spread around the world. They’re all connecting to the same center of creation, and it comes out and it manifests as a head in Mexico, or a carving in Nepal, or some motifs on textiles in Peru. This tribal artwork from ancient times, they were all tapping to the same place. And I’m tapping to the same place. Yes, I am Peruvian and I grew with a certain influence, but I’ve also traveled to 45 different countries around the world and observed the similarities. Then I go into that place of oneness and try to understand what these interdimensional consciousness beings are and what they’re trying to tell us, and how they’re trying to help humanity throughout time. They’re in a place past time, so they’re just waiting for us there. In that other dimension, they exist. If I were to go into an Ayahuasca ceremony today, I’d tap into that place. It’s the same exact time and place – since it’s timeless – that the pre-Inca cultures tapped into, and many other cultures around the world.
On the experience of Ayahuasca:
When I’m there, I’m like, ‘What the fuck’s going on here? What is this place? Is it alien? Is it collective consciousness? Is this an aspect of God? Is this God itself?’ A couple weeks ago, I did my 45th ceremony in Willow Creek – I was sitting in the other dimension for a few hours just observing it and letting it teach me how to fix my own corrupt coding so that I can shine more and help empower others to shine more. And thus, together we shine together and create a flame of humanity that is so strong that we’ll break through the darkness that’s trying to hold us down as a humanity. … What is this fractal consciousness reality that feels like many souls in one, that wants to help me and wants to help us? It’s almost like the elders are cheering us from the place before and after life. That’s where I go with Aya.
On the differences between Ayahuasca and other entheogenic medicines:
When I did Bufo, I went somewhere else. Bufo took me to a white place where I wasn’t even there anymore. And thus, I don’t have many memories of it. There wasn’t even a ‘Chris’ left to observe because I had dissolved into everything-slash-nothingness, and there’s a subconscious part of me that remembers that place of expansion in my dreams. With mushrooms, you can get to that place that Aya takes you, but you gotta take like, a lot of mushrooms. Then again, I’m biased because I’ve done so much Aya that when I do mushrooms, the entity of Aya that already lives in me, she comes through and she wants to start doing work. It’s almost like the mushrooms open a portal, and then the spirit of Aya comes in and is like, ‘Oh, let me work on this motherfucker while I got access.’ Certainly, weed is an entity also – all these entheogens or plants are actual entities that are also a collective consciousness. They have different flavors. I would say Aya is more feminine, while Bufo felt more masculine. Bufo seemed like an alien from a dimension that didn’t really understand how it is to be a human. It just cut me into little pieces, and fuck if I fell on the wrong side of madness or sanity. It was a little bit rough; I wouldn’t do that anymore myself. This is not me bad-talking Bufo. I’m sure it’s done wonders for a lot of people, but I need the motherly, tender care of Aya – that’s why I continue working with her. I haven’t done iboga, so I can’t really comment on that, but I’ve heard that’s a totally different beast. Plus, there are cultural spirits attached to it. … I think all of these medicines open different portals, and really, once the portal’s open, those places are so big it makes the physical plane that we live in – with our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, the universe – look small compared to the astral plane where there’s no up and down and it just goes on into infinity or eternity. Once you’re there, it seems like that’s the real place and this is the fake little video game that we play to kind of experience physical reality, and this array of human emotions and pain and joy. In the end, we’re from beyond, and these places that we go through these medicines are closer to our real self. I would say our true, pure, real self is what we understand to be God – that oneness, the absolute energy of love and expansion. But that’s just my personal belief.
On why he uses entheogens:
My intention with doing medicines is to heal as a person. Every time I’ll take a medicine, maybe mushrooms or DMT, whatever – it’s always about, ‘OK, how can I heal my human wounds so I can be more spiritually empowered to be of service to humanity?’ Mostly vibrational. But that’s the thing, once you’ve upgraded yourself and brought some healing into your life, then the things that you do come from that place, including art. So, the art will be the art of somebody who’s healed a little bit more from before, and thus be a reflection of that place.
On where the designs and figures in his art come from:
It’s certainly a channeling. Something’s being channeled … perhaps I’m a soul from a different planet or dimension or reality, and these things just come through me naturally. I do believe that these entities that I paint exist somewhere else, even if it’s just an imaginary world. They do exist, and they’re grateful to me for bringing them the murals. I believe them to be portals that can channel a certain frequency and vibration that’s invisible to the physical world. They’re happy that I’m dropping these portals from the other dimension to this dimension. Ironically, when I do journeys, I rarely see entities. I feel them, I hear them, but I never see them. I just see patterns and explosions of light and color and fractals. But I never see a being come through, with its eyes and its mouth, and start talking to me as another person. I remember once I was on a really strong journey, and feeling and hearing God, but I’m not seeing it because how can you make God into a person? And I said like, ‘God, can you just do me a favor? Can you just, like, make yourself small enough so that I can give you a hug? Like, can I give you a hug?’ And then I showed up, another me, and I gave myself a hug. Oh, shit. Yeah. Then I was like, ‘OK, gotcha. Loud and clear.’ This may trigger some people because it’s almost like saying ‘Oh, I’m God’ – but I think God’s everything and every person, including you and me and everyone else, but we just don’t know. We’re in amnesia mode.