Artist Mission Statement
In 1968 when I first designed and painted the LIGHT VW Bus, it was a painful year for America. The year before we had celebrated the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper turning many of us on to expanding our consciousness and creating a more meaningful state of existence. I was among many who began regular meditations and communal living and eating vegetarian. The world was changing for the better. Then came the summer of 1968 with horrific turns in Vietnam, followed by the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Student-led protest actions, draft card burnings, and clashes with the police began ramping up the anger. We sadly began to realize that our celebration of the “dawning of the Aquarian Age” had been premature.
This was my state of frustration when I was commissioned by my friend Bob Grimm to cover his VW van in symbols and turn it into a “magic bus.” My friend Bob Grimm and I were sharing the new understanding and shifts in consciousness brought on by a daily meditation habit, and we both knew that a rolling billboard of symbols would reach people with their messages without ever needing words. I decided to pour all my intention into the magical purpose of redirecting the consciousness of viewers away from the current administration’s constant drumbeat of war and suppression.
I chose symbols from the ancient mystery traditions, including the ouroboros or snake biting its tail, astrological symbols, Rosicrucian crosses and alphabets from Atlantis. Everything from the Egyptian Sphinx to the Lotus Flowers symbolizing the expansion of the soul is interlocked in intricate waves of vibrating energy to show we are all one and connected with the cosmic creator on a vibrational level. I was using my occult training to create a real magical talisman, an objectthat stores and radiates energy to create change.
In 2018, after several years of hope and change inspiring optimism, we find ourselves once again shocked at the regressive policies of the current administration, and their own constant drumbeat of rage and blaming the “others.” A corporate oligarchy has assumed near-complete control of the enlightened representative democracy designed by our U.S. ancestors (who were inspired by the Iroquois Indians). Americans are hypnotized to pursue selfish motivations first and be impressed by material glamour only. While there are many actions we can take as compassionate creative humans to correct this misdirection, an occult scientist will focus on the power of symbols to create lasting change on a subconscious level.
That’s why when John Wesley Chisholm of Arcadia Content in Halifax, Nova Scotia contacted me in 2016 with his idea that we should recreate the LIGHT Bus for today’s world, I jumped at the chance. Our goal was to finish it in time for the 50thanniversary of Woodstock, where it was first made famous in 1969 by the Rolling Stone, Life Magazine, and Associated Press photos taken of it. A lot of hard work and great expense has been poured into this effort (I had no idea vintage VW busses were so rare and expensive!), but the most important component has been the intentional will of the artist team assembled to help me recreate an exact duplicate of the LIGHT. The LIGHT Brigade studied up on every arcane symbol, and we poured our intentions into every brush stroke, with our hope that everyone glimpsing this bus will experience a shift in consciousness. We want to spark a revival of optimism for a humanity that understands itself as One People on One Planet. Read my friend Karl Schlotterbeck’s essay here, reflecting on how the light has dimmed for us spiritual seekers since 1968, but it has not died out.The military-industrial complex appears to have won, but they did not anticipate the power of the Inner Light when multiplied exponentially by the multitudes. Let’s turn that LIGHT back on again!
Those who have practiced meditation and developed spiritually know what LIGHT I’m talking about. Using your intuition to enter the fourth dimension where spiritual vision is open reveals the truth. In the future, politics will never be the same, because transparency is created by this state of inner peace, making it impossible to lie. These realms can be reached even today through the study of Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, meditation, and most importantly: service to others.
Symbols are assimilated into our consciousness quickly, even after just a fleeting glance as they speed by on the highway. Symbols act as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind, and our social disintegration is partially explained by our loss of meaningful myths and symbols in our culture. By recreating this magic talisman of the LIGHT Bus now, we can empower our nation and even our planet to elevate human consciousness towards One People on One Planet.
Robert Hieronimus, Ph.D. Brief Artist Bio
Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D. (“Dr. Bob”)is an artist, author, and radio talk show host from Baltimore where he has painted over 40 symbolic murals and dozens of painted Artcars. In the late 1960s he traveled with several rock and roll bands to share information about mysticism and to design posters and album covers. In 1969 instead of using his tickets to attend Woodstock, he finished the 2,700 square foot prophetic Apocalypse mural at the Johns Hopkins University, which led to Hieronimus being called “one of this country’s best muralists” by Forecast Magazine. Art historian and critic Alan Barnett noted, “Hieronimus has a talent for winning the cooperation of the establishment while he lives and works in the counter-culture.” Author of Occult AmericaMitch Horowitz said, “Hieronimus is the artist of our inner life as a nation. His artwork is the silence between the notes of the national anthem — the esoteric symbolism and ideals that undergird our country.”
In 1969 Hieronimus co-founded AUM, the first state-approved school of esoteric studies in the country, which granted certificates in the occult sciences, mystic arts and religious metaphysics. PBS documented his leadership in 1971 with a feature entitled “The Artist of Savitria”. His doctoral research on American symbolism has been used by the White House, State Department, and Department of the Interior, as well as being turned into two popular books, Founding Fathers, Secret Societiesand United Symbolism of America. He is also the leading authority on the Beatles Yellow Submarine, with two published books examining this classic film from the humanistic psychological perspective. He is seen regularly on the National Geographic, Discovery, and History channels and has also made appearances on BBC, Der Spiegel, Syfy, FOX, Canadian and German television. Together with his wife and partner, Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus, since 1988 he has continued teaching on his radio program, 21st Century Radio®, broadcasting live in the Baltimore/Washington market and online at 21stCenturyRadio.com.
Whatever you call it, just don’t call his art “psychedelic.” Unlike many other artists, Hieronimus seldom creates a work of art just for the sheer beauty of it. He sees every canvas, wall, or construction as an opportunity to teach, making many of his works so densely packed with symbolism that they require full books to describe them accurately. Psychedelic art is known for similar uses of patterns and bright colors, but Hieronimus’s “symbolic” style is carefully mapped out as a comprehensive teaching guide intended to inspire the viewer to look within themselves to find the divine spark that connects us all as one.