One People, One Planet, HON!

Permanent State

1969, record album cover and poster, pen and ink, 21¾” x 11¼”

The Apocalypse mural is the largest and most long-lasting and probably most prophetic piece in all of the Hieronimus catalogue. It can still be seen today, although regrettably it has deteriorated over the past 40 years, on the second floor of Levering Hall at Johns Hopkins University. This poster was created for the official opening of the finished mural in February of 1969. In the conservation-minded ethic of most artists, when creating this poster, Hieronimus transformed the design he originally created for an Elektra Records album cover that was never completed.

The spring and summer of 1968 was an adventurous one for Bob Hieronimus. It started when he was introduced to a bubblegum pop group called John Fred and His Playboy Band, whose number one Beatles parody song “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” had recently topped the charts. Desperately trying to shake their bubblegum image John Fred asked Hieronimus to design their next album cover for Elektra Records, and to fill it with the occult and esoteric symbols they admired in Hieronimus’s sketchbooks, believing this would make them more “hip.” When Hieronimus met with their agents and producers and showed them his draft for the front-back design for their new album called “The Permanent State,” they immediately wanted to know what he was doing wasting his talents on a one-hit wonder band. He was invited to focus on their bigger artists, and was quickly introduced to the Doors, Janis Joplin, and the extremely talented group called Earth Opera headed by Peter Rowan. The producers regaled Hieronimus with tales of Jim Morrison’s extrasensory ability to see through his fingers and other hype, believing that his occult, esoteric, and symbolic art was just what they needed to illustrate the era-defining albums produced by these trendsetters. What began as a summer of promise and excitement, however, soon became tiresome and disappointing for Hieronimus, as he grew to appreciate the unpleasant realities behind the scenes of rock and roll. After taking advantage of their many introductions to these bands and meeting the artists backstage and at their after hours clubs to discuss esoteric symbolism, he had to admit that most of them (with the exception of Jimi Hendrix and Peter Rowan) were less conscious of the spiritual worlds than he hoped. As an aside, in 2007, he was astonished to see in a book called An Illustrated Experience, based on Hendrix’s sketches and handwritten lyrics, that Hendrix had drawn versions of the eye in the triangle over the pyramid very soon after meeting Hieronimus at their favorite nightclub, The Scene. Hieronimus confirmed the dates of these drawings with Hendrix’s sister Janie, who compiled the book.

Knowing his destiny lay with the ancient wisdom teachings and in finding the appropriate audience and community in which to further his learning in this area, Hieronimus left New York and the rock and roll life with his design for “The Permanent State” album still his own (though the final album cover John Fred eventually used does look like it was modeled after Hieronimus’s style). He threw himself instead into the commission from the Office of the Chaplain to create a mural at Levering Hall. When he was finished six months later, he adapted the front and back of the original “Permanent State” album cover to create this poster for the opening of the mural.

The bottom half of the poster deals with more recent history, particularly that of the USA. The organizing symbol is that of a three-petaled flower, with the center petal topped by the face of a candidate gazing upward. Above the face is another lunar crescent whose energies pour into the human, with the eight symbols of Lemuria to the left and right. Lemuria was located in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and was destroyed through volcanic activity (fire) and flooding (water). The petal of the flower on the left is an “A” for Alpha (symbolic for beginning). The petal on the right is an Omega (the end). The middle petal is another golden lampstand.

The two leaves of the flower each bear an image from the Great Seal of the United States, meaning the flower is symbolic of the American civilization. America has planted the seed of self government, but sadly the seed has been (literally) genetically modified by the corporate powers whose purpose is to harvest greenbacks while spreading a smokescreen to elude responsibility for their selfish actions. The leaf on the left contains the front or obverse side of America’s Great Seal bearing the bald eagle, cloud, 13 stars, the motto E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), an olive branch, and 13 arrows. In the tip of this leaf is a six-pointed star. The leaf on the right contains the reverse of America’s Great Seal bearing an unfinished pyramid, the eye in a triangle, the motto Annuit Coeptis (God Favors Our Undertaking), and the motto Novus Ordo Seclorum (New Order of the Ages). The “new order” which our founders hoped would last for the ages was a system of representative government, or a Republic of, by, and for the people.

Connecting the two leaves to the flower is a stem composed of a dollar sign and the word “Coke.” The words “He Is Coming” act as a barrier filtering the energies rising into the petals, and are also seen in the stems of both leaves. The “He” referred to here is another Avatar or great teacher, which is not a masculine or feminine being as we understand it. The coming Avatar will teach a spiritual science long understood and practiced in the secret societies and will create a planet of Avatars to return us to a “golden age.” The word “Love” can also be seen in the middle of the dollar sign. At the bottom of the stem is the word “Chiquita” for the United Fruit Company (symbolic of corporate America’s most egregious abuses in the disregard for human rights in the banana republics).

Feeding our American flower is the soil below, which we have poisoned by allowing corporate America to trash the environment in favor of profit. In the center we see the word “Plenty,” a reminder of America’s focus on abundance. To the left are the initials “GM” for General Motors (symbolic of the combustible engines which are killing the very air we breathe). Above GM is the word “Coke” (symbolic of the non-food that is slowly poisoning our bodies). To the right of “Plenty” is the word “Yes” (symbolic of the blind acceptance that everything is OK and worth doing as long as it leads to “Plenty”), and above “Yes” is “Chiquita” for the United Fruit Company, known for repeatedly quashing independent governments in Central and South America in favor of profits for the few. Directly above “Plenty” are the words “Old Smoke” which stand for the smokescreen that protects these corporations and allows them to deal their deathly combinations, dividing our people and controlling the corporate media.

Filling out the background beneath the petals and the leaves are the same symbols that have described the destruction of the planet’s first great civilizations with a smattering of contemporary religious symbols. Together they warn us that we are entering the “final days,” which some would call the end of the world. It may be the end of the world as we presently know it, but it will also be the beginning of a new one.

The thing to do when faced with an impending apocalypse is to expand your consciousness through selfless service to others, through meditation (listening to the Deity within you), and through prayer (speaking to the Deity within you), and thereby co-create with nature a better, more sustainable planet. The final message is above the two leaves: the words “Pray” on the left, and “Talk to Him” on the right. New research into the power of selfless prayer has proven that it can bring about what we call miracles. What we call miracles, however, are in reality newly understood laws of the universe, many of which have been preserved through the ages by secret societies, but are only now being understood by scientific research.