José Argüelles, born Joseph Anthony Arguelles (/ɑːrˈɡweɪ.ɪs/;
January 24, 1939 – March 23, 2011), was an American New Age
author and artist. He was the founder of Planet Art Network and the
Foundation for the
Law of Time. He held a Ph.D. in
Art History and
Aesthetics from the
University of Chicago
University of Chicago and taught at numerous
colleges, including Princeton University, the University of
California, Davis, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Evergreen
State College. As one of the originators of the
Earth Day concept (due
in part to the influence of astrologer Dane Rudhyar), Argüelles
founded the first
Whole Earth Festival
Whole Earth Festival in 1970, at Davis, California.
He is best known for his leading role in organizing the 1987 Harmonic
Convergence event, for inventing (with the assistance of his wife
Lloydine) the perpetual
Dreamspell calendar in 1992, and for the
central role that he played in the emergence of the 2012 phenomenon.
Towards the end of his life, Argüelles focused on issue of
consciousness, elaborating the concept of a noosphere (based on the
Teilhard de Chardin
Teilhard de Chardin and Vladimir Vernadsky) as a global work
of art. Specifically, he envisioned a "rainbow bridge" encircling the
1 Personal life
4 Spiritual Leader
Law of Time
7 Planet Art Network
Noosphere World Forum
12 External links
Argüelles' parents came from Europe to Mexico then moved to Minnesota
United States before his birth. His father was from
his mother was from Germany. José (born Joseph) was the twin brother
of the poet
Ivan Argüelles and the uncle of the linguist Alexander
José Argüelles married twice and was the father of two
children, Josh and Tara, by his first wife, writer and artist Miriam
Tarcov. His second wife was Lloydine Burri. After concluding his
teaching career in California, Argüelles lived in Boulder, Colorado,
Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Ashland, Oregon. In the year 1999
he met Stephanie South who became his biographer.
Argüelles' principal teacher and mentor was the unconventional
Tibetan Buddhist and former monk Chögyam Trungpa, with whom he
Naropa University (then the Naropa Institute) in the
Dane Rudhyar was also one of Argüelles' most
Argüelles cited several Native American and
New Age influences, among
Dan Katchongva and
Thomas Banyacya and Lakota
medicine man Arvol Looking Horse as well as part-
Cheyenne author Frank
Waters; part-Lakota, former Mormon,
Beat Generation poet Tony Shearer;
Anishinaabe spiritual leader Vincent La Duke (a.k.a. Sun Bear);
Chuluaqui Quodoushka founder Harley Reagan; Brooke "Medicine Eagle"
Edwards; and Diane Fisher (a.k.a. Dhyani Ywahoo).
Argüelles' significant intellectual influences included Theosophy and
the writings of
Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade.
Later in his life, Argüelles adopted the "Banner of Peace" from a
design created by the Russian painter, explorer, and mystic Nicholas
Roerich to accompany the adoption of the
Roerich Pact for protecting
cultural properties during wartime.
As a painter and visual artist, he provided illustrations for numerous
books, as well as mural paintings at different universities. However,
his scope as an artist included his education as an Art History
Professor, and his views on art as a "psychophysical aesthetic" can be
found in his doctoral dissertation Charles Henry and the Formation of
a Psychophysical Aesthetic (Chicago University Press, 1972). When
teaching as an untenured assistant professor at the University of
California, Davis, one of his final exams to his students was to
create "something they believed in" - this became a living art
event which eventually became the basis for the annual Whole Earth
Festival, still held today at the University of California, Davis.
After experimenting with
LSD in the mid-1960s, Argüelles produced a
series of psychedelic art paintings that Humphrey Osmond—who
originally coined the word "psychedelic"—named these "The Doors of
Perception" (after Aldous Huxley's 1954 book of the same name, itself
a title drawn from William Blake's early 19th-century work Milton a
Poem). In a 2002 interview, Argüelles says of his artwork, "as
fantastic as painting was, it was a limited medium in terms of
Argüelles viewed his role as a visionary, saying "My job as a
visionary is to envision the best possible outcome for humanity."
He dedicated much of his life to promoting an alternative calendar
based on a cycle of 13 months of 28 days each, which he believed would
help bring about world peace. He coined the slogan "Time is Art" for
the Planetary Art Network (PAN) slogan, suggesting that time is a
vehicle for our creative experience.
José Argüelles was the principal organizer of the Harmonic
Convergence event on August 16–17, 1987, said to have been the first
globally synchronized meditation event. It focused on dates that had
been identified by
Tony Shearer in his book Lord of the Dawn (1971), a
collection of poems in honor of the
Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl
(associated with the planet Venus) and describing major cycles of
time. Argüelles' The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology (1987), was
published in conjunction with the Harmonic Convergence. In it,
Argüelles described a numerological system combining elements taken
from the pre-Columbian
Maya calendar with the
I Ching and elements of
shamanism. These were interspersed with parallel concepts drawn from
modern sciences such as "genetic codes" and "galactic
convergences". The book popularized the concept of Hunab Ku,
associating the Colonial Maya concept of "One God" with an Aztec
design from a woven rug Argüelles had obtained in a marketplace in
Argüelles (who called himself Valum Votan), working together with his
wife Lloydine (a.k.a. Bolon Ik), produced a calendar and divination
system Dreamspell: The Journey of Timeship
Earth 2013 and a game/tool
Telektonon: The Talking Stone of Prophecy. The former, based on the
Mesoamerican Long Count calendar
Mesoamerican Long Count calendar with special emphasis on the 260-day
tzolk'in count, was the source of Argüelles' 13 Moon/28 Day Calendar.
This calendar begins on July 26 (heliacal rising of the star Sirius)
and runs for 364 days. The remaining date, July 25, is celebrated in
some quarters as the "Day out of Time/Peace through Culture
Festival". - celebrated in over 90 countries around the world.
Argüelles attributed the origins of the calendar to "Galactic Mayas,"
who he believed were ancient astronauts that had visited the ancient
Mayas and taught them elements of civilization. One of their leaders
was an individual he called Pacal Votan, known to Mayanists as K'inich
Janaab' Pakal, who was buried in an elaborate tomb at the site of
Palenque. (Telektonon was Argüelles' term for a stone speaking tube
in the pyramid where Pakal is entombed.)
Law of Time
In Time and the Technosphere (2002), Argüelles devises and promotes a
notion that he calls the "
Law of Time", in part framed by his
interpretations of how Maya calendrical mathematics functioned. In
this notional framework Argüelles claims to have identified a
"fundamental law" involving two timing frequencies: one he calls
"mechanised time" with a "12:60 frequency", and the other "natural
[time] codified by the Maya [that is] understood to be the frequency
13:20". To Argüelles, "the irregular 12-month [Gregorian]
calendar and artificial, mechanised 60-minute hour" is a construct
that artificially regulates human affairs, and is out-of-step with the
natural "synchronic order". He proposes the universal abandonment of
the Gregorian calendar and its replacement with a thirteen moon, 28
day calendar, in order to "get the human race back on course" by the
adoption of this calendar of perfect harmony so the human race could
straighten its mind out again."
Some critics claim[who?] Argüelles co-opts an ancient tradition by
recasting it in
New Age terms, but he explained that his tools and
calendar were not intended to be the same as the Maya calendar.
Argüelles' approach is actually a form of syncretism. Many of
Dreamspell's influences come from non-Maya sources, such as the
13-month/28-day calendar, a magic square devised by Benjamin Franklin,
the I Ching, numerology, and assorted mystical and
pseudoarchaeological works such as Erich von Däniken's Chariots of
the Gods? (1970), which emphasizes theories of ancient astronauts.
Argüelles' calendar is based on a different day-count than the
traditional Maya calendar. For example, in the traditional count
January 1, 2005 is 5 Muluk, while in the
Dreamspell it is 2 Etznab.
This is attributed to a change of 52 days in the count that Argüelles
made to accommodate a "Time Shift' in 1992. As mathematician Michael
"Since the 365 day Maya haab makes no provision for leap years, its
starting date in the
Gregorian Calendar advances by one day every four
years. The beginning of Argüelles' year is fixed to July 26. Thus his
count of days departs from the haab as it was known to Maya scribes
before the Spanish conquest. Argüelles claims that the Thirteen Moon
Calendar is synchronized with the calendar round. Clearly, it is
Argüelles' 13 Moon Calendar with a July 26 new year maintained the
same symmetrical cross-referencing of year bearers the ancient Maya
used. The first day of the year in both the 13 Moon Calendar and the
Haab always begins on one of only four glyphs, called year
bearers. In the Mayan calendar the first day of the year on the Haab
consistently corresponds with one of four glyphs derived from the
tzolk'in, called "year bearers." The year-bearer glyph from the
tzolk'in is used to identify the character of the 365-day year that
follows. In this way the tzolk'in and haab' are continuously
cross-patterned with each other in an ongoing matrix, but fully
synchronize only once in 52 years.
In defense Argüelles has stated that the 13 moon 28 day
synchronometer (calendar) is "correct and biologically accurate for
the whole planet." 
Planet Art Network
Argüelles co-founded the Planet Art Network (PAN) with Lloydine in
1983 as an autonomous, meta-political, worldwide peace organization
engaging in art and spirituality. Active in over 90 countries, PAN
Roerich Pact and has adopted its associated Banner of
Peace as a symbol for "Peace Through Culture".
The Planet Art Network operates as a network of self-organized
collectives, centralized by a shared focus of promoting the worldwide
adoption of Argüelles'
Dreamspell 13-Moon/28 day Calendar. The
network upholds the slogan "Time is Art", suggesting that time is a
vehicle for our creative experience, instead of the familiar saying
"Time is Money".
The British anthropologist
Will Black conducted research into Jose’s
Arguelles’ Planet Art Network for several years. In his book Beyond
the End of the World: 2012 and Apocalypse (2010), Black documents a
general loss of interest in
Dreamspell and in PAN in recent years.
Black points out that, as general interest in the 2012 phenomenon
increased as a result of the proximity of the supposed "end date," the
significance of PAN and the value placed on Arguelles’ ideas waned.
Although Argüelles and his
Dreamspell system were instrumental in
encouraging people to consider the meaning of 2012, further
investigation by individuals tended to provoke questioning of the
Noosphere World Forum
At the time of his death, he was the director of the
project of the Foundation's Galactic Research Institute, inclusive of
Noosphere World Forum, a project that involves creating a
dialogue that unifies a network of organizations working to promote a
positive shift of consciousness by 2012 with the vision of the whole
earth as a work of art.
Argüelles, José (1972). Mandala. Shambhala Publications.
Argüelles, José (1975). The Transformative Vision: Reflections on
the Nature and History of Human Expression. Shambhala
Argüelles, José (1987). The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology.
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. ISBN 0-939680-38-6.
Argüelles, José (1988).
Earth Ascending: An Illustrated Treatise on
Law Governing Whole Systems. Inner Traditions/Bear & Company.
ISBN 0-939680-45-9. (note - the 1st edition of this book
was published in 1984, prior to The Mayan Factor, by Shambhala
Argüelles, José (1989). Surfers of the Zuvuya: Tales of
Interdimensional Travel. Inner Traditions/Bear & Company.
Argüelles, José; Arguelles, Miriam (1995). Mandala. Chogyam Trungpa
(Foreword). Shambhala. ISBN 1-57062-120-9.
Argüelles, José (1996). The Arcturus Probe: Tales and Reports of an
Ongoing Investigation. Light Technology Publishing.
Argüelles, José (1996). The Call of Pacal Votan: Time is the Fourth
Dimension. Altea Publishing. ISBN 0-9524555-6-0.
Argüelles, Jose (2002). Time and the Technosphere: The
Law of Time in
Human Affairs. Inner Traditions/Bear & Company.
Argüelles, Jose (2011). Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage
in the Evolution of Human Consciousness. North Atlantic Books.
Articles and Anthologies
Argüelles, Jose (1995). GALACTIC HUMAN HANDBOOK: Entering the New
Time - Creating Planetary Groups, Part 2. Altea Publications.
ISBN 0-9524555-5-2. (Part 1 was written by Sheldan Nidle,
and a printing error resulted in some missing and duplicated pages in
Part 1 of some early editions.)
^ Fox, Margalit (April 2, 2011). "José Argüelles, New Ager Focused
on Time, Dies at 72". The New York Times.
^ "Valum Votan/José Arguelles Has Ascended".
http://www.lawoftime.org/. Retrieved 26 March 2011. External
link in publisher= (help)
^ Dreamspell: The Journey of Timeship
^ Argüelles, José (2011), Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next
Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness, New York: Evolver
^ a b c d South, Stephanie (2009) 2012: Biography of a Time Traveler -
the Journey of Jose Argüelles, Pompton Plains, NJ: New Page Books
^ Arguelles, Jose
Mandala 1972 (The psychedelic mandala-like paintings
of Jose Argüelles are reproduced on color plates in the back of the
^ Moynihan 2002
^ Hess 1993: 72
^ Mutch, Stella. "A Day Out of Time". Going Coastal Magazine. Archived
from the original on 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
^ Terminology and statements in quotation marks taken from 2002
interview with Argüelles, as transcribed in Moynihan (2002)
^ Moynihan (2002)
^ Feder 1990: 189; Hess 1993: 72–73
^ Quotation is from Finley (2002)
Anastas, Benjamin (2007-07-01). "The Final Days" (reproduced online).
The New York Times.
The New York Times
The New York Times Company. Retrieved
Barkun, Michael (2003). A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions
in Contemporary America. Berkeley: University of
ISBN 0-520-23805-2. OCLC 51305869.
Feder, Kenneth L. (1990). Frauds, myths, and mysteries: science and
pseudoscience in archaeology. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.
ISBN 0-87484-971-3. OCLC 20692716.
Finley, Michael (2002). "Jose Arguelles' Calendrical Dreams". The Real
Maya Prophecies: Astronomy in the Inscriptions and Codices. Maya
Astronomy. Archived from the original on 2009-05-23. Retrieved
Hess, David J. (1993). Science in the New Age: the paranormal, its
defenders and debunkers, and American culture. Madison: University of
Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-13820-8. OCLC 27811150.
Lamy, Philip (2001). "Ufology". In Brenda E. Brasher. Encyclopedia of
Fundamentalism. New York: Routledge. pp. 410–413.
ISBN 0-415-92244-5. OCLC 46792684.
Moynihan, Michael (November–December 2002). "
Visionary of the New
Time: Michael Moynihan Speaks With José Argüelles" (online
republication). New Dawn magazine. 75. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
Sitler, Robert K. (February 2006). "The 2012 Phenomenon New Age
Appropriation of an Ancient Mayan Calendar". Novo Religio. Berkeley:
California Press. 9 (3): 24–38.
doi:10.1525/nr.2006.9.3.024. OCLC 86912726.
South, Stephanie (March 2009). 2012: Biography of a Time Traveler, The
Journey of Jose Arguelles. New Jersey: New Page Books.
ISBN 978-1-60163-065-0. OCLC 2008054800.
Upton, Charles (2001). The System of Antichrist: Truth & Falsehood
Postmodernism & the New Age. Ghent, NY: Sophia Perennis.
ISBN 0-900588-30-6. OCLC 45799654.
York, Michael (1995). The Emerging Network: A Sociology of the New Age
and Neo-Pagan Movements. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
ISBN 0-8476-8000-2. OCLC 31604796.
Foundation for the
Law of Time
13 moon calendar
counterresponses to Argüelles' defense of his interpretation
Dreamspell from the Maya calendar
the Key to Dreamspell, another critical analysis refuting the claims
Planet Art Network
Video interview with Valum
YouTube by the Transcendent Nation
Foundation on the question of "how to save the world"
New Age movement
Age of Aquarius
Law of attraction
New Age communities
New Age music
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Max Freedom Long
Joshua David Stone
Neale Donald Walsch
Robert Anton Wilson
Fred Alan Wolf
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Ascended Master Teachings
Eight-circuit model of consciousness
Human Potential Movement
School of Economic Science
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