By Sharrel Boike – April 2008
We often find ourselves asking the question, “Is there any possibility that we can restore the ecosphere, resolve the conflicts and re-institute fundamental integrity, globally, before the consequences of our errors are irreversible (if they aren’t’ already)? Is there any hope for the human experiment and this planet?”
Good arguments are presented for the “yes” side and the “no” side of this conundrum. Plus, there are endless arguments for the wide range between yes and no. I have settled comfortably in the camp that says, “it doesn’t matter so much whether there is or is not any hope. What matters is that we choose to live our lives “as if there’s hope”. It’s a choice we can make solely on the principle that a life based on hope is the only one worth living. That alone is enough. And by making this choice, we cease to invest so much of our time in the struggle with the question. We just proceed “as if,” knowing there are forces at work that are entirely beyond our fathoming that could conceivably gather up all our efforts and usher in corrections in time.
The 3 stage earth image on the Home Page, “Regaining Cosmic Integrity”, was first exhibited at the 1987 PanAm Games. In preparation for that event, I translated all related texts into Spanish and Portuguese. I also translated them into the vernacular for easy reading. The vernacular translation of the title I chose is “The Seed of Hope” and I offered the “seed” (the concept/image) to those attending the games, asking them to take it home for their “gardens”. I offer it to you now, the reader, hoping it will help you relax into your creative flow toward integrity.
Here is my story.
In 1967, at age 20, I collapsed. The intensity of a traumatic childhood had exceeded my capacity to cope, and I experienced something I am still trying to understand fully. I call it a collapse because that word well describes my experience that day. A small event triggered it all. A cousin was condescending to me over something trivial. I must have been at quite an edge for such a small humiliation to have caused something so big to be set in motion. Here’s how I experienced the “collapse”: I panicked and ran to my room, throwing myself on the bed. I was experiencing alternating sensations of extreme hot and cold. Then I “saw” a vortex above me, and there was a sensation as if I was being pulled up into it. I seemed to be rising faster and faster until I reached the top. There I experienced a sudden flash of bright light that was so intense I was thrust back down the shaft of the vortex, landing back on my bed. The impact left me feeling as though I was shattered and the fragments of me had been hurled wide, beyond my own fathoming. This event is what I refer to as the collapse. It took seven years for me to fully regain the ability to function at a basic level, performing ordinary tasks required to keep a job, etc.
Throughout the traumatic years of my childhood and the seven years it took for me to return to basic functioning, I was “seeing” and “hearing” – visions and voices that those around me did not seem to see nor hear. These inner impressions were mostly nightmarish and frightened me. So, at age 27, I rallied my will to refuse to regard them any longer. I basically sent out word (inwardly) that I would no longer listen or give any attention to messages and images I was receiving. I shut down so that I could begin to build a life for myself, which was challenging enough even without these added intensities. This basically worked, I’m surprised to say.
There were two times, soon after the shutdown, when I did pay attention to inner impressions. Once, I received a “message” to drink pure water. Upon investigation, I discovered that the water purification system was broken in the cornfield in West Virginia in which I was living. The fields all around me were being sprayed with chemicals. That message was appreciated!
The second inner impression is the one this article is primarily about. In 1973 I was introduced to a form of meditation called the “meditation on the unanswerable question” and I was practicing this when I “saw” the earth poised in a starry sky. There was a structure, partially intact, surrounding the earth. The structure was composed of light bands forming triangles with eyes at their junctures. I was also “hearing” words that I scribbled down along with a crayon version of the image. I later condensed these words into six lines:
“I” becomes “We”
Must become “We” to continue
Who it is that “We” might be
We need not know
Only trust that it’s “We”
And prepare for the knowing.
The beauty and brilliance of this vision had a very powerful impact on me, though I had little understanding of its meaning. Within days the proverbial synchronous book fell open to a page on which I read a Native American injunction saying, “you must bring your vision before the people”. I took the injunction very much to heart and set out to create something that would allow others to see, in the outer world, what I had “seen” in the meditation.
I had no background in the arts whatsoever. So I approached those who did and asked them what they would suggest. Then I attempted each suggestion I was offered. I did this for fourteen years before the last screw was turned and the three lightboxes were whisked off to ‘Index’, the newly opened gallery in Central Station in Indianapolis. In year seven of the fourteen-year process I found in the back of Bucky Fuller’s book Synergistics the exact structure I had seen in the vision. Under the diagram was written, “four frequency icosahedron -symbolizes cosmic integrity”. It was that day that the piece acquired its title: “Regaining Cosmic Integrity,” and I began to understand it’s meaning at a deeper level.
After that followed a few years of increasingly active attempts: renting the Earth Ball from Indiana University to photograph it; building an icosahedron using the instructions in Fuller’s Dome book and photographing that; projecting a slide of the icosahedron onto the transparency which was then superimposed over the Earth Ball photo; etc. Nothing looked like the vision, and I was getting discouraged.
Then I had the good fortune to meet a computer wizard who told me about a new software package, which Indiana University had just ordered. This new program would make it possible to create the image electronically. This new information recharged me and I began anew.
It’s exquisite how grace works when we’re following our hearts. It charges us with a mission, catches us when we fall and pops out when we’re about to give up. May all of us who constitute “we” lean into trusting this capricious grace.
By now, I was 12 years into the project and feeling much more integrated in myself. The work of “bringing my vision before the people” required me to function well. And I was very excited that the appropriate technology had presented itself. I had no money and no understanding of money. I thought I needed $500 to produce what turned out to be an $8,000 triptych. I thought the grant writing would take two months and it actually required 18 months. The Indiana Arts Commission, for whom I had written the grant, would not fund me and I was devastated. On the day of the adjudication, I took the Greyhound bus to Indianapolis to observe the process. I carried with me a rather heavy box – the prototype of Regaining Cosmic Integrity – which I had just completed. It was a beautiful oak lightbox with a circular fluorescent bulb and an image, which was a reasonable facsimile of what was to be the final image. There was less chance than I had realized that the judges would view it, but I carried it with me, hoping.
It was a cold, blustery day in downtown Indy. The box I carried was set aside as soon as I arrived at the commissioners, never to be seen. And I sat like a ghost, not to be seen, not to be heard, within a stone’s throw of the proceedings. The commissioner who was to have studied and presented my grant was absent due to a death in the family. No one had read my proposal thoroughly. Those present flipped through the pages leaning on one elbow and then on another. Occasional comments were tossed out: “This sounds like something from the ’60s!” and “There’s something noble about this work” and “The proposal is very professional but who is this person?!”. My overall rating was too low to compete for the tiny drop in the bucket allotted for the state. I got my box and left, feeling angry, confused and determined.
The wind pressed hard against me and trash blew up in my steps. I felt an urgent need to talk to someone – but whom? I found my way to an ancient-looking Catholic Church and began knocking on doors until someone let me in out of the weather. I must have been quite a sight, so windblown and passionate, devastated and determined. I said I needed to talk to someone and was shown into a parlor to wait. In came a priest who listened with eyes swelling and receding through the numbness of his own psychic condition. He pretty much patted me on the hand and then vanished. I was back out in the wind.
I couldn’t hold back my tears at this point. Though in the busy streets of downtown Indy, I had considerable privacy – everyone was bracing against the wind and racing so. My tears were blown back into my hair as soon as they emerged. Then I experienced a shift in my inner posture and said out loud, “OK, I’m ready for the angels!”
And the next day, one came to me. I was vacuuming the church, where I was a caretaker when I saw a neighbor approaching me. She asked why I was so blue, and I told her about the adjudication the day before. She asked how much I needed. After working my way through the grant writing process, I knew precisely how much I needed, and I said “$4,627.11”. She said, “You can have it. But you take care of the $27.11.” I was ecstatic and ran upstairs to tell the baffled church secretaries. Later that week, my “angel” took me to her bank and asked the teller for 46 one-hundred-dollar bills. The teller was stunned and went to find a few men in black suits. When the bills were presented, my neighbor put them into a brown paper bag, and we walked them a few blocks to my bank and I was rolling.
The next step was to hire the team who would actually produce the piece and to begin exploring the media involved. Many modifications were required. For example, I decided to use nodes of light at the points where the light bands met, instead of eyes. Many people were uncomfortable with the eyes, and I believe the nodes of light communicate roughly the same thing. I also decided to use a soothing blue tone for the light bands instead of the prismatic effect I had seen in the vision.
My team was excellent. It was February of 1987 when I knew the vision would be “brought before the people”. It would actually be completed. This knowing began to fill me, and this feeling gained momentum until I could feel a celebration taking form within me. I thought the celebration was a personal one. But, as the time approached, people began handing me literature about the Harmonic Convergence. So I opened out my personal celebration and created one of the thousands of events that were celebrating the “I” becoming “We” in August of 1987.
Today “Regaining Cosmic Integrity” is displayed in the yoga room of the wellness center my husband and I own in rural southern Indiana. I sense that there is yet another chapter to come in this story.(Present note from Caterina: Oh, Sharrel, I wish you were here to see TheVisionHolders.org with your image, yes, now in it’s next chapter. What we talked about in 2008 wasn’t able to be completed, but this is. And oh, how the technology has grown from our early days. You wouldn’t believe it. May it’s the presence here honor all your dedication and devoted service in bringing it into being.)Perhaps this piece will help facilitate the collaborative think tank I am envisioning here on our land. The project is now to draft a multi-generational blueprint for the enactment of the regaining of this integrity. It’s a group vision we can hammer out here in our 40 acres of woods, with deep listening to each other.
When Covid-19 hit, Divine Guidance made it very clear to me that I needed to do “The Vision Holders” website project, I was excited about contacting Sharrel and saying, “The time is finally here now to combine “my” “Let There Be Light!” project and “her” “Regaining Cosmic Integrity” triple earth image project, at a whole new level.
I always felt a soul kinship with Sharrel when I first tracked her down after seeing her image on the cover of the Sedona Journal in December of 1994.
We were the same age. We were both divinely guided about the same time, to create a very similar idea: her with an image, me with the concept and specific information on critical mass. We both were driven by a Divine Energy that this needed to be out there and presented to the masses. My original intent in 2007-2008, of a book, “The Vision Holders”, that was focusing on people making a difference in San Antonio, TX, got put aside due to a family emergency on my part. Now, “The Vision Holders” was going to be started again, but globally and more encompassing of the earlier “Let There Be Light!” and a whole new section to help people move from healing to wholeness to empowerment. This time it would be using the internet and website as it’s platform. I knew she would have been very excited about “this next chapter”. Because I discovered she would have to tune into this from the other side of the veil.
To my sadness and dismay, when I googled her name, I discovered that she had died of ALS on December 8th, 2018, at age 71. Her obituary stated that her husband had preceded her in death. Her obituary said: “Sharrel lived her personal and professional life with grace and passion, and found her joy in bringing light and hope to others. She loved all of humanity unconditionally; even a stranger could tell just by catching her eye in passing. She loved you, whoever you were.” She was from Bloomington, Indiana. We never met in person, but I will always feel a heart connection to her. May this website honor her memory and dedication in always Shining Her Light, all the way to the end of this lifetime in physical form. Your Spirit is with this, Sharrel.