Comments 8

1: The Respiratory Process

I’m excited to present you with the outline for chapter 1 of Being & Death. Please read it over and let me know your thoughts! If you missed the last post, you can read outline comment guidelines and my overall purpose statement here.


I: The Respiratory Process

Chapter purpose: To introduce the reader to the main themes, style, and content of this book. Main themes are: metaphors for balance and the power of story. Main styles are: conceptual metaphor and rings of analogy. Main content: this book is about realizing a new understanding of the life/death binary through understanding the consciousness/unconscious binary, focusing on balance.

Main take-away: “This book is about returning balance to things.”


1) “I Breathe” – Section purpose: to understand duality not in antagonism but in balance via the metaphor of breath.

  • A story about breath
    • Start off with a personal story about public speaking and the importance of breathing.
  • Respiration as a model for balance
    • Present the idea of duality not in antagonism, but in balance. Do this by presenting breath as a model.
  • Conceptual metaphors
    • Intro to the way our brains use conceptual metaphor for inferential reasoning. Our breath model is one such metaphor, providing rich conceptual inference.
  • The respiratory process
    • A short overview on what this book is about, how it’ll do it, and what it all means, specifically focusing on my purpose: mapping the C/U Interface to life/death, which provides the reader with a rich, new understanding of death, and allows the logic of individuation (psychological harmony) to be applied to the world process.
    • Overview of the Void Mandala, and how it relates.
    • Intro to BayN, what it means, and what we can do with it.

2) “The Story We Tell Ourselves about Ourselves” – Section purpose: to understand that humans are creatures of story who enact the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. To change our actions requires first changing this story.

  • No end in sight for violence?
    • The West’s cultural story of good vs. evil. Splitting God into two warring parts (God vs. Devil) is the very splitting apart of ourselves. This is the opposite of our breath metaphor. It’s a war metaphor. Conquering and fear of death.
    • Intro the idea of “as within, so without.” That we are psychologically at war with ourselves leads to us theologically splitting God into two parts at war with himself. The story and the psychological background feed each other in a feedback loop.
  • Enacting our story
    • Overview of the idea of “we enact the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, so in order to enact change, we must first change our story” from Ishmael
  • The ideological power of story
    • A look at myth (via Barthes) and its power to naturalize meaning (ideology and hegemony). The importance of this process, but also the threat. Two Freud stories to articulate its misuse. Campbell’s “power of myth” to show its good use.
    • Thus, myth must be understood and constantly re-written so we can understand and re-write ourselves (feedback loop).
  • Writing a new story
    • Telling ourselves a new story about death, via our new conceptual model of balance of C/U, will be the first step in exiting the war metaphor so that we may enact a new vision and practice of being human. We must simultaneously heal our story and heal our selves to heal the world.
  • Pragmatic Models
    • Discuss the creative enterprise of philosophy, semiotics, and conceptual models. Philosophy’s purpose is to make our lives better. Talk pragmatism. This is not just a story, but a map for action. Maps are needed since the Real is hazy.

3) “Speaking the Unspeakable” – Section purpose: to understand that our lived reality is just a limited model of a vast and unspeakable Real. Thus, the only way to talk about the unspeakable is through metaphor and analogy. This book’s form will mirror that thesis.

  • The problem with reality
    • Intro to the Phenomenal Self Model, and how our perceived reality is just a model. All “objective” standpoints are just stable models, never “the Real.”
  • Truthing, or: a book about voids
    • Overview of the way philosophy and science will be handled in this book – as a model of reality with certain utility. No more metanarratives, only local truths. The creative nature of this book with many access points, circulating around a central void.
  • The unspeakable
    • A foray into the unspeakable nature of the Real, and our affective experiences with the unknown.
  • Metaphor and metonymy
    • Intro into these two linguistic categories, and how they provide two angles to approach this problem.
  • The analogical chain of Metapattern
    • The structure of this book: a chain of analogies encircling the void. Through negative difference, we can “speak” that which can’t be spoken.
  • The dance
    • Tie the analogical chain to the void mandala. Form is content in this book.

4) “Bird by Bird” – Section purpose: to give a traditional introduction and overview of the book that you’re about to read.

  • One bird at a time
    • Tackling any big project requires one step at a time.
    • A recap of the thesis of this book, and the most general outline of this book’s argument / narrative.
  • Overview of Being & Death
    • A chapter-by-chapter summary of this book.


  1. Pingback: 2: Queer Vision | Live The Questions

  2. Pingback: 3: Being | Live The Questions

  3. Pingback: 4: Death | Live The Questions

  4. Pingback: 5: Both, and yet Neither | Live The Questions

  5. Pingback: 6: The Hero’s Journey | Live The Questions

  6. Pingback: 7: Practicing Love | Live The Questions

  7. Pingback: 8: The Caretaker | Live The Questions

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