Richard Emmanuel: Bio

Richard Emmanuel, artist and activist, is the founder of the experimental space in Gloucester, MA called THE CHURCH.




The statement is inspired by what he found to be the only spiritual story on this planet that speaks of what is a self evident truth. The story comes from the aboriginal peoples of australia . Simply stated the story begins with birth from our mother’s womb. The womb represents the primal cave and from there begins a journey the aborigines call “the walk about.” the walk about is the concept of time in the context of both circular and linear perspectives. It is the way or path that humankind comes to know that the core energy of life is “the spirit within.”

Human being is experienced as a life cycle of four stages. The cycle mirrors the planetary earth seasons consisting of spring, summer, fall and winter. The four seasons in turn express the four phases of being human as in childhood, young adulthood, middle age and elder-hood. 

Amazingly, these seasons and life phases are what form the illusion of an experience we call “time and place.” it is through this procession of being in a journey that we form a consciousness of our self and a knowledge of what “is” the other. Through our contact with one another, we are challenged to form our own story. That story becomes self evident in the experience of the four phases of being human... Again, childhood, young adulthood, middle age and elder-hood. 

Richard’s childhood gestation period began in a place called lynn massachusetts. A city just outside the realm of the city of boston. Lynn’s story can be quickly explained in the rhym: lynn, lynn, the city of sin. . . You never come out the way you went in. 

The rhym speaks of everything that richard came to symbolically know as his childhood on the planet earth. It was an epiphany of understanding that he survived the crash landing as well as the first twelve grades of social programing. Fortunately lynn’s educational system, a classical education, was still intact. Upon graduation richard chose to enter the catholic university of america to get the “real story” as to the meaning of life. 

The first formative years of richard’s young adulthood took place in the nation’s capital of washington d.C. The place of the pontifical c.U.A. It was here richard would study the philosophy and theology of giordano bruno. The notable idea from bruno was cosmic pluralism for which bruno earned execution by burning to death on february 17th in the year of sixteen hundred. Back to the future, in boston at the marsh chaple experiment, a double blind experiment, was providing empirical support for the notion that psychedelic drugs can facilitate religious experiences. The word of the experiment spread at the catholic university that the magic of the roman catholic church was finally in the process of being exposed. 

Within all of the above richard embraced the view that consciousness, mind or soul, is the primordial feature of all things visible and invisible. This is what aboriginal people know. This knowledge is what technologically advanced cultures loose as they substitute their technical creations for their lost connection to their spirit within. 

Richard’s young adult journey brought him travel across the country to study in la la land where one wishes upon a star to dream the original dream as the disney land version of america. During travels between los angeles and san francisco richard encountered many friends on the walk about including the new friendship of an ancient soul named, alan watts. 

Strangely, before meeting watts in san francisco, richard had encountered knowledge of watts through university discussions groups at c.U.A. Watts’s book, “a joyous cosmology” is an explanation of watts’s overview of the timothy leary and the harvard psilocybin project of the early 60’s. Richard’s amazing friendship continued until alan watts death in 1973. 

There are overlaps of young adulthood that form connections and foundations for middle age. Richard founded an experimental church in 1968 that connected generational archetypes identified within each previous generation. It was a reflection of his encounter with alan watts. Alan did not stay for the elder-hood stage of his walk about. Richard’s assessment: alan was an old soul “who did that. . . Done that before.” 

The continuum of the experimental church has been “now” 50 years. Those years comprise richard’s middle age. They have been the sharing of the most meaningful spiritual experiences in what appears to be a world gone stupid. The events experienced and shared show a consistent pattern of human imbalance or the loss of understanding humankind's greatest creation. . . The creation of the god enigma . . . Enter stage left: elder-hood to walk center stage and deliver the meaning of “speculum humanae salvationis” 

The elder-hood is a time shared with persons who know “cycles.” they are true friends and explorers who addressed the concept of time as an imaginary crisis of both the circular and linear journey of the walk about. The actress, betty davis said it best: “growing old ain’t for sissies” . . . With this clue in mind, richard in his elder status has already begun a new journey. The essence of that journey is knowing that “time and tide wait for no man.” 

Each generation will inevitably walk to the center of the stage. Those who are awake know the same mystery and will share and deliver their not so familiar lines: “it is you . . . It’s the divine within” 

Should the lights go out and the stage goes black . . . Richard has a fallback position inspired from the words of winston churchill: “if you find your self in hell keep walking.” 

The aborigines know this and they call it the end of dream time. The world will come to know it as . . . “hell on earth.” 

Richard’s words “life is a trip . . . Keep going.” . . . For life is not what you have been told it is.

A childhood portrait of Richard painted by his mother, his first mentor.

A childhood portrait of Richard painted by his mother, his first mentor.