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The Respiratory Structure

My thought flow is organized into eight chapters, which will become my buckets for collecting ideas and sources for the outline. I have also grouped these chapters into a conceptual framework of four sections containing two chapters each. This framework helps me be intentional with each section, and will help guide the writing process in an organic way.

These eight chapters come from specific needs, either conceptual or categorical, and feel like a natural way of organizing the content of this book. I’ll describe the reasoning and content behind each chapter below.

The conceptual framework came to me while studying Kabbalah,1 which organizes ideas into associative patterns, just like metapattern. In Ron Feldman’s work with Kabbalah, he breaks the notion of “breath” out into four moments: empty lungs, inhale, full lungs, and exhale. Each of these four moments has rich associations within Jewish mysticism, and for me, rich connections to my past artwork. I’ve combined these four moments of breath with their respective mystical connotations and the four branches of my Yggdrasil series to form an embodied, emotional framework for organizing these chapters.

FULL LUNGS

Associations: Feeling / Emotion – Branch Two (process / spiritual journey / direct experience) – “You Are Loved” – Personal Self and Emotional Energy – Formation – Water – Genitals – Something from Something.

  • This is the section for personal narrative and emotional story.

I: The Respiratory Process

  • Introduction. Discuss the respiratory process as a model (dualism in balance). Intro to the writing style and the structure of the book as a whole. Discuss the metapattern analogy chain as a model for thinking about these concepts. State my thesis. State the manifesto. Have a chapter-by-chapter summary.

II: Queer Vision

  • Provide the emotional and personal narrative that grounds the content of this book into my own hero’s journey. Light on theory, heavy on emotion and personality. This will be many people’s way into the dense philosophy. Tie into my art and the void drawing. End with the potentiality of queer vision as a political force.

EXHALE

Associations: Sensation / Vitality – Branch Three (the play of meaning / change / multiplicity) – “It Is Perfect” – Biological Energy and Physical Body – Making / Doing / Action – Earth – Anus / Feet – Completion.

  • This is the respiratory process of Being & Death, focusing mainly on Death in order to bring back balance to the system.

III: Being

  • A discussion of language, identity, and selves. Intro to the fundamentals of semiotics and psychoanalysis. The cognitive neuroscience of the self and the ego-tunnel. Negative difference. Separateness. Categories. Taxonomy. The space for lack is opened up via desire. Lack presents us with death as the only out… or so the story goes.

IV: Death

  • An exploration of literal death and ego-death metonymies. Sex, drugs, and the void; doing what death does. Boundlessness and continuity. Non-self experiences. Limit-experience. The Void. Rhizomatic thinking. The Real. The unspeakable. The unconscious and the collective unconscious. Dive deep into the cave. Change the cultural story of death by enunciating its importance in respiration.

EMPTY LUNGS

Associations: Intuition / Uniqueness – Branch One (inspiration / Truth / line of connection between realms) – “I Am Holy” – The Spirit / Oneness / Truth – Nearness – Spiritual Essence – Fire – Transcendental Field of Light – Head – Nothingness.

  • This is the section for spiritual models, looking at overarching myths and metanarratives, tracing a path from Being through Death to Both, and yet Neither. Our human journey through metapattern.

V: Both, and yet Neither

  • Present the map of this concept. First talk about non-duality through science: ganglion cell fatigue, superposition, wave-particle duality. Look at models for non-duality, such as chiasm and the rhizome. Werewolves and minotaurs. Immanence and transcendence combined. Queer vision returns. Hegelian dialectics. Apotheosis. The heart sutra. End with the non-duality of non-duality.

VI: The Hero’s Journey

  • Tie the last three theoretical chapters together into a mythological narrative. The phenomenological project. Get into Jung and the collective unconscious, talk about God and Universal Mind. Explore self / non-self and get into the Void Mandala and the C/U Interface. And of course Campbell, and tie it into the story of the human’s journey.

INHALE

Associations: Thinking / Knowing – Branch Four (agency / meaning creation / preservation) – “All Is Clear” – Transpersonal Self / Higher Mind Consciousness – Creation – Mental Intellect – Air – Lungs / Heart – Something from Nothing.

  • This is the practical section that brings the whole book together. Talk specifically about strategies for practicing these theories (individuation, intimacy, meditation) and about why we’re doing this (caretaking).

VII: Practicing Love

  • Pull back from the theory and come to understand how we might be able to get here on our journey via practice: meditation, Brene Brown and shame / intimacy work, Scott Peck and love as attention and spiritual growth. The harmony of actions and values. Making art. Presence. Being a body in nature.

VIII: The Caretaker

  • Conclusion. Changing the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Recap the thesis and manifesto. Returning full circle through BayN to the self and ego’s return as Caretaker. Get political and ecological, as well as personal – what we can do to enact change.

Footnotes:

1. [I took a Kabbalah class with Ron Feldman at Burning Man, and then read his introductory book The Fundamentals of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah. On pages 78-79 he organizes conceptual associations into four sections, one for each of the four letters in God’s name. I was most struck by the inclusion of a “breath” association, since my work has so much to do with respiration. Breaking out breath into four moments revealed a new framework of conceptual association for my chapters, which felt incredibly organic and in concert with much of my past artwork.]

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