All content and website design by
Edward Maesen
Mount Shasta, CA, USA.
edward.maesen@kagalakan.com
edward maesen portrait

Kagalakan

The name of my website, Kagalakan, is a Filipino word meaning ‘joy’, ‘excitement’, ‘rejoicing’.

Print Purchase

Limited edition prints of my art creations are for sale in my store on Etsy and some prints are available exclusively at the Saatchi Art Gallery.

My Outer Journey

After an international corporate career as physicist and software engineer I moved to Mount Shasta, a quiet mountain village in Northern California where I now provide healing services and facilitate spiritual retreats.
Coming from an artistic family, throughout my life I have found balance and a creative outlet in music, drawing, watercolor painting and photography. Since 2012 I have placed most of my artistic focus on photography and digital manipulations thereof. In my photography I look for the beauty, wonder and awe of nature and the human form. My art in general reflects a spiritual worldview, a notion of being one, an expression of an omnipresent consciousness. For my musical expressions I use instruments like didgeridoo and drum, and the most magical instrument of all: the voice.
My life is a demonstration of living in tune with —and following direction of— an inner Knowing.

I regularly post on steemit .

My Inner Journey

I'm gratefull for the opportunities I've had in my life to learn, to experience and to re-awaken the memory of who I really am. In recent years, people have occasionally asked me to write a book about my life since I seem to personify a rare balance of left and right brain development; in lieu of that, here follows a short chronological overview of my life's inner journey:
↪ In my teens I had an awareness of the multi-dimensionality of my being. In hindsight I now realize this, but at the time I just felt like I had different views on my reality: as the child that I was to my perceived reality in 3D, and higher dimensionally as an older man guiding the child, and as a non-judgemental, objective observer.
↪ In the early 1990's I found inner and outer balance through intense practice of Shaolin Kempo martial arts; three evenings and one morning each week for several years. In the same period I was studying Physics at Eindhoven University and joined a watercolor painting class. People were generally baffled to hear about these different sides of me.
↪ In my mid-twenties I started a deeper search for the meaning of life.
↪ I was introduced to a lecture about Reiki, took a workshop the next weekend, and started participating in healing sessions with a local group of Reiki practioners. I regularly received comments that my hands were the most energetic of the group and that I placed them in exactly the right spot. I soon realized the constraints of this system, and stopped using the symbols and particular Reiki methods. Instead, I simply got empty and let my intuition guide my hands. My results were just as strong —if not stronger— as when I was following the Reiki guidelines.
↪ In the mid 1990's I participated in several consciousness exploring workshops in the Netherlands and the USA. We traveled through space and time and experienced the effect of ecstatic body postures. This expanded my perception of reality and opened my inner senses. I feel this laid the foundation for my later explorations.
↪ I practiced buddhist meditations very early in the morning before I went to my regular day job as physics engineer for Philipps Electronics. In addition I took lightbody meditation workshops and studied and practiced several healing modalities such as Soul Fusion, the Christopher Method and Butterfly Massage.
Edward in Nepal In 1995 I made a trip to Nepal, including a mostly solitary week-long hike through Langtang National Park in the Himalayas (view photos). I was struck by the beauty and spiritual light shining through the eyes of the Nepalese people and was inspired by their ceremonial slow pace of living. Returning quite sick from my trek through the Himalayas I spend a few days in a monastery in Kathmandu, sleeping above one of the large gathering rooms where most of the day I could hear the monks chanting and praying. After attending a few core buddhist teaching sessions I realized that their dualistic teachings and belief were not my path.
↪ I took didgeridoo playing lessons; I had a really difficult time trying to get a sound out of the practice instruments that were supplied by my teacher. Then after a few lessons I had an opportunity to check out a collection of authentic didgeridoos for sale, had a dream about a didge, recognized the one from the dream among the collection, bought that didge, and on arrival home could play it, circular breathing and all.
↪ In the mid-late 1990's I travelled through the south of France, following the path of the Black Madonna as she appeared in the local churches, and in the north to Chartres and Versailles, taking in the Christed energy still present there.
↪ Late 1996 I followed the voice of my heart, quit my job and moved to the USA. In the early years there I provided healing services.
Mayan fire ceremony in Guatemala In 2002 I had the fortunate opportunity to join the second group of foreigners that were allowed and invited to join Mayan New Year's fire ceremonies and celebrations in Guatemala (and Honduras) over a three week period (view photos). I learned about the Mayan calendar from the lineage of time keepers, and their mixed feelings about the dreamspell calendar by José Argüelles so popular in the West at that time. I was invited to join in sacred toad ceremonies but felt no desire then (or ever before or since) to take any hallucinogenic substances. My own natural experiences are transformative enough and I know they provide an opening and consciousness expansion in a gentle time-appropriate way.
Abd'el Hakim Awyan In 2004 I went on a guided tour to Egypt, visiting different pyramids on and around the Giza plateau (view photos). I had a transformative experience in the granite box (the so called "sarcophagus") in the Great Pyramid when I was lucky enough to lay there for a little while with nobody else around. I met Mr Hakim (Abd'el Hakim Awyan - see photo) a mystical wisdom-keeper who came from a long lineage of wisdom keepers. He told fascinating stories about the pyramids, anti-gravity devices that are currently on display in the Cairo museum, and his journeys through the hidden pathways below the plateau. I had the opportunity to visit many of the lesser known pyramids in the surrounding area.
↪ The early years of 2000 were relatively quiet, I was consumed mostly by my daytime job as principal software developer for eBay. In my weekends I became more active with my photography.
↪;Louis In March 2014 my beloved companion-in-dog-disguise “Louis” died, while visiting Mount Shasta. The next three days I witnessed his transition; a life-changing experience. I had never considered living in Mount Shasta, but three months later I felt a strong call, I went again on a long weekend, found and bought a house that same weekend, and within a week I moved to this powerfull location. I worked one more year remotely for eBay, but finaly quit my job in 2015, to dedicate my life assisting people in their spiritual awakening.
↪ For those of you sensitive to energies, I've compared living in Mount Shasta to being impacted by the full moon energies, tenfold. All emotions are intensified greatly, and what was burried deep inside will surface.
↪ ... and the journey continues and deepens...

Web Design Showcase

This website is a showcase of my web design activities and philosophy, arrived at after working many years as a software engineer and architect, and having written a full-fletched javascript library that followed all the traditional “best practices”. I have learned and concluded that abstractions oftentimes do more harm than good, and that a simple, systematic and well-organized approach is the best way to go:
↪ It “avoids hype”: the UI design is meant to be classic and steers away from the latest trends and fads. Yet it has all functionality that can be expected from a modern website:
↪ Each main section is a “Single Page Application”. For the Photography and Art sections, the browser dynamically generates and displays image catalogs and images; all displayed on the same html page but each with unique bookmarkable URLs.
↪ It is “data driven”: updating or adding image or audio files is simply a matter of updating a meta-data file (in json format).
↪ It is “responsive”: scaling from mobile to desktop dimensions.
↪ It is “adaptive”: depending on javascript capabilities advanced functionality becomes available.
↪ It is served over a “secure connection” (“https”): to protect the website's integrity and user's privacy and security; and to improve performance on mobile devices.
↪ Its JavaScript code is “minimalistic”: written without any third party libraries or framework.
↪ All JavaScript code is “action-oriented” instead of “object-oriented” or “functional”, allowing for a minimal and easily maintainable codebase.
↪ All code is “organized by content matter” rather than following an abstract “separation of concerns” approach, again allowing for a minimal and easily maintainable codebase.
Throughout my software architect career I've worked for multi-national companies where the idea was that in order to write maintainable code, it was best to use (proprietary or open-source) libraries and frameworks, and to follow a strict “separation of concerns” pattern. Over the years those libraries and frameworks have become more and more complex and abstract. Their complexity and abstraction combined with the separation of concerns approach actually have become a maintenance problem: developers know only a small percentage of a framework's functionality, can barely find all the fragmented code pieces, and often write poorly maintainable code due to their lack of understanding.
Case in point: An earlier version of this website was written using popular libraries Backbone, Dust, jQuery, Underscore and RequireJs. It had the same functionality but required ten times more JavaScript code than the current version, due to the size of those libraries, and the extra boilerplate code that is required to deal with their abstractions.
To put it in perspective: the full JavaScript code base of this current website is just half the size of the before-mentioned Backbone library.