Friday, April 28, 2017

TAS- The Adventurous Spark

On my Facebook feed, I came across this awesome post by artist TAS. It is a trippy 360º virtual space made using 3D software:

by TAS

Unfortunately it is not on YouTube, & I have no way to embed it in this blog. I went on the artist's website & YouTube page to find some more examples of this immersive medium.

Here are some other psychedelic 360º videos, using the same effect:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Paul Micarelli- Graphic Designer Portfolio

The Monday after Easter last week, I was unfortunately laid off from my full-time graphic design position that I've had since I graduated college, over 15 years ago.

One of our main clients was bought out by a bigger company, and because of accounting shenanigans they have not paid for any jobs since January. All the projects that I've been working on have been for them, so my bosses can't pay me for my work. It's a perfect example of how investors or companies buy assets, don't manage them properly, and everyone down the line has to deal with the consequences.

Anyway, I have been trying to figure out a way forward, which is why my posting here has been sparse lately. I'm treating it as an opportunity to branch out, find new possibilities, and start things I've been wanting to do, but haven't had the time. I have some freelance work lined up, and I have an idea for a new business that I've really been wanting to get started. Once I get the logo and a website up & running, I'll share it here.

One thing I did after this happened was add a lot of content to my online portfolio. I use the Coroflot website, and it's a convenient way to show samples of my work:

If anyone who may happen to read this could use a freelance or full-time graphic artist, or knows someone who does, feel free to contact me through this website email: monkeybuddhapaul @ ...(just remove the spaces around the "@" when sending the email). Thanks!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lab Chimp Retirement

I think the use of animals for medical research is a very disturbing result of our collective quest for scientific discovery. Although many valuable insights have been found through animal experimentation, it just seems creepy to keep another living thing against it's will to basically torture it, regardless of what the benefits may be.

People sympathize with primates more than "lower" animals, since they are the closest in resemblance to our own species. However, any life form with a nervous system and sensory input is going to experience the same exact sensations that we do when it comes to pain, fear, or discomfort.

I don't know how anyone can not feel bad watching footage of animals in cages or being experimented on. Science should be a top priority in society, but not at the expense of our souls or sense of compassion. There are inevitably sociopaths and sadists in society, but that behavior should be discouraged, not sanctioned.

I saw this article awhile back about lab chimps in the U.S. being sent into retirement at sanctuaries.


It must be a great feeling for the apes to be let free from such confined & miserable circumstances into a natural environment.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Seed of Life - Color Wheel

I have a gallery of 3D rendered art that I created, with hi-res images that I'll continually add to.

 by Paul Micarelli

Here is another addition to the gallery, featuring 7 colored spheres arranged into the "Seed of Life" configuration.

Feel free to download any of the images in the album above, for use as wallpapers or backgrounds. If you share it, please give credit or a link.

I don't run any ads on this site, but I'd appreciate it if you check out my Cafepress shop. There are prints and products with this design available:

The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:

Usually this symbol is made using flat circles, and it is the basis for the larger "Flower of Life" pattern.

It's a beautiful design, even in 2D, but some interesting things happen when 3D spheres are used. I made the spheres transparent & luminous, so the intersections of the shapes are visible. The white middle sphere, surrounded by the 6 colored spheres, ends up delineating a hexagon in the center. The triangular areas around the white center, formed by the intersecting spaces, create a Star of David or hexagram.

This image also has some color theory within it. The 6 outside spheres are arranged in triads. One set of 3 alternating colors is Red, Green, & Blue. All colors of light can be derived from combinations of these "primary" colors. Combining them all in equal amounts results in the white light at the center of the design. RGB color is used for luminous media, like computer screens and other electronic devices that give off light.

Between each pair of these RGB primary colors is Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, each of which are formed by combining equal amounts of the two primary colors next to them. These colors, plus the black (K) in the background of the image, is the basis for CMYK color printing, used for pigments or inks. 

Here is a chart showing the inverse relationship of additive & subtractive color combinations:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

"Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi" Teaser

Yesterday, during the Star Wars Celebration 2017 event, the first teaser trailer for the next Star Wars movie, "The Last Jedi" was released. In this post, I've included some high resolution screenshots of my favorite moments from the video.

Yeah, I'm almost 40... but as a life-long fan, I can say this trailer got me excited like I was a kid again. As I was getting ready to show my fiance the video, she could tell I was giddy, even though I had watched it several times already! She grudgingly let introduce her to Star Wars when we started dating, but she has come to appreciate the depth of the stories & characters, and right away said that this one looks good.

Anyway, my favorite aspects to Star Wars have been the mystical and philosophical elements. Fortunately, it looks like this will be a central focus of "The Last Jedi", as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker trains Rey in the ways of The Force.

Even the captivating opening of the trailer, the shot of the natural world with Luke saying "Breathe.... just breathe....." is the essence of meditative technique in real life. The idea that one can find their spiritual center, through connecting deeply with the natural rhythm of your breath, is the foundation of all mindfulness meditation.

I absolutely love and was hoping for the idea of Luke teaching Rey the subtle aspects of the living & cosmic Force. The fictional construct of The Force is what helped open my eyes to the truth of "God" not as a personality or a deity with silly human qualities, but more as a "Tao"- an infinite life force & creative energy that flows through every atom and space throughout The Universe. George Lucas drew on many religious and mythological traditions to create a story that informs us about ourselves and our world. I'm glad this movie will mirror Yoda's training of Luke on the mysteries of The Force, as Rey unlocks her powers to their full potential.

There is a lot of speculation that Luke will train Rey in the path of a "grey" Force user. After hearing about the failure of the original Jedi Order, and seeing his own attempt at a new Jedi academy literally go down in flames, he may realize that it's time to forge a new path for Force users to follow.

This new path would not completely forbid human emotion such as love and passion, as the Jedi did, but control them, and focus them as tools for enhancing the self & the greater good. Luke walked the line between the Light & Dark paths in "Return of the Jedi," when he defeated the Sith Lord Darth Vader using anger & aggression, but then saved the soul of his father Anakin Skywalker through genuine compassion and love.

Luke hints at this new approach with his final line, "I only know one truth... it's time for the Jedi to end." He's not turning evil, but has realized that the dogmatic tradition of the Jedi order must be transformed into something new. I can't fully express how awesome I think this direction is, and I think the series is setting up a new world of Star Wars after Episode 9 and the completion of this trilogy.

To do so, it is simultaneously going back to the very origins of the Star Wars galaxy. After the destruction of his new Jedi order, Luke went into exile on the planet Ahch-To. This is the location of the first Jedi temple, and it appears from this trailer that Luke has found some ancient manuscripts and texts that document the origins of the Jedi, and perhaps some long-lost secrets of the Force. A drawing of the Jedi symbol is seen on a moldy, open page from an old book, and I can't wait to see what information is revealed by Luke after studying these millenia-old documents. He hints at The Force being "So much bigger" after Rey uses her Force vision to see "The Light... The Darkness... and The Balance".

On the flip side, we will also get to see the completion of Kylo Ren's training by the enigmatic Supreme Leader Snoke. It will be interesting to see the contrast between the Light Side & Dark Side training, and exactly how Snoke is familiar with The Force. In the trailer, we see Kylo's smashed helmet and his face, with the scar that he received from his lightsaber battle with Rey. I have read some leaks that he adopts a longer cape and a modified helmet in the style of his grandfather Darth Vader, but we don't see that here yet.

So, I think all this is absolutely great, and "The Last Jedi" looks to be the expansion of the lore and mysteries of The Force that I was hoping it to be.

I am a very critical skeptic and love to nitpick. Despite my love for the Star Wars saga, I've had plenty of criticisms about various details of the movies. Overall, though, these movies are a modern-day epic with characters, stories, and ideas that illuminate the deepest aspects of ourselves and our society. They are, in my opinion, the greatest works of fiction in human history, and "The Last Jedi" looks like it will add to the depth and richness that this series has provided. I will be anxiously awaiting more glimpses of the movie until it is released in December of this year!

Thursday, April 13, 2017


I have always had great interest in the many religions and myths of the world. Although I was raised as a Christian, I have studied all the major ( and many of the minor) belief systems throughout history.

The primordial factor that ties many of the organized religions and mythological stories together is the steady, mostly predictable motions of the celestial bodies. The Sun, the Moon, the stars, the planets, and the Milky Way were the ever-present natural forces that were studied and worshiped by our ancestors. The interplay of these cosmic entities were vital to the conception of time, needed for agriculture, migrations, and other types of planning.

I don't know with absolute certainty whether the historical Jesus actually lived. Regardless, the moral & spiritual teachings attributed to him are some of the most enlightened mankind has ever received. I do think that many of the stories and rituals associated with him have some origin in astrotheology and the motions of heavenly bodies, especially the Sun.

It is a well-established fact that the institution we know as The Catholic Church adapted the practices & beliefs of many "pagan" systems, in order to assimilate the indigenous populations of whatever regions The Roman Empire conquered. This would obviously have included Sun worship and any other nature-based religions of Europe and the surrounding areas.

There is a lot of fascinating information and connections available that tie together these various cosmic threads and their relation to religion- including the Sun's motions, the seasons, equinoxes, & solstices, the zodiac, precession & "The Great Year", and other celestial phenomena. The preeminent book on the subject is "Hamlet's Mill", and there are many YouTube videos explaining the mysteries of astrotheology.

Here are some I've watched recently:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dream Island Paradise

I practice basic techniques of dream yoga & recollection to enhance the hours that I'm asleep. I record some of my more vivid dreams, give myself cues as I fall asleep to remember any dreams, and give myself "reality checks" repeatedly during the day- so I also remember to do so while dreaming. This helps me remember my dream content and also helps me be more self-aware, and therefore more likely to become lucid during dream consciousness.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

One night, I had a dream where I was crawling through thick vegetation and underbrush. When I finally emerged from the overgrown jungle, there was a beautiful tropical beach that was truly a paradise to experience.

Soon after having this dream, I was browsing the blog Awakening Our Truth and saw this image, that looked exactly like the scene in my mind's eye!

“Island of Hidden Animals" by John Mason

The link to this image has been sitting on my desktop, so I'm finally posting it. I barely made out the name of the artist in the corner, John Mason, so I did a search and found many more fantastic scenes he has created.

Here is a link to his website:

Friday, April 07, 2017

Star Wars Art by Eli Hyder

On the subreddit /ImaginaryJedi I've seen a lot of great Star Wars art by Eli Hyder. Here's his Instagram page:


He has a very cool style, and I especially like his concepts for Luke Skywalker in the upcoming movie, "Episode VIII: The Last Jedi".

I think every Star Wars fan wants to see the ridiculously overpowered Jedi Master that we all know Luke should be.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, levitating while in meditation on the planet Ahch-To.

 Jedi Master Luke Skywalker levitating multiple lightsabers simultaneously.

Rey, with an awesome teal-colored, double-edged lightsaber, 
approaching the ancient Force tree on the planet Ahch-To.

 Sheev Palpatine as a young Sith Lord, before he becomes Emperor.
"I don't want to live as ordinary beings live."

A physically & psychologically damaged Darth Vader emerging from his bacta tank.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Vesica Pisces- Pastel Ocean Sunrise

I have a gallery of 3D rendered art that I created, with hi-res images that I'll continually add to.

by Paul Micarelli

Here is another addition to the gallery featuring the "vesica pisces"- a sacred geometry symbol created by two circles, whose edges touch each other's center points.

 "Vesica Pisces- Pastel Ocean Sunrise"
by Paul Micarelli

Floating on an endless expanse of sea, the crystal rings intersect to form the vesica pisces. A rising sun appears out of the water, aligned inside the symbolic womb-like space. It is a simple representation of the profound powers of creation, and the mysterious emergence of order out of chaos.

Feel free to download any of the images in the album above, for use as wallpapers or backgrounds. If you share it, please give credit or a link.

I don't run any ads on this site, but I'd appreciate it if you check out my Cafepress shop. There are prints and products with this design available:

The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:

Sunday, April 02, 2017

OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer

I recently posted this to the social media I created for The Tree of Life story, and I thought it was worth sharing here, too.

The Tree of Life Explorer is an interactive map of almost 2 million known species. It is a zoomable fractal journey through the interconnected branches of Life: