I’m excited to present you with the outline for chapter 6 of Being & Death. Please read it over and let me know your thoughts! If you missed the opening post, you can read the outline comment guidelines and my overall purpose statement here.
I: The Respiratory Process
Chapter 1’s outline can be found here.
II: Queer Vision
Chapter 2’s outline can be found here.
Chapter 3’s outline can be found here.
Chapter 4’s outline can be found here.
V: Both, and yet Neither
Chapter 5’s outline can be found here.
VI: The Hero’s Journey
Chapter purpose: To weave the past three chapters of this book into a mythological narrative – the hero’s journey. Understanding our journey in symbolic terms helps us understand the complexity of our lived experience, and gives us strength, meaning, and motivation. This chapter proposes that the same way in which the “hero’s journey” is just a metaphor for finding individual wholeness and balance, so too is individual wholeness a microcosm for creating wholeness and balance in the world. Notions of “God” and the “collective unconscious” are explored as reservoirs for this sense of balance and wholeness.
Main take-away: “The ideas in this book form a hero’s journey, where finding balance between consciousness and the unconscious brings a return of balance to the very cycle of being and death.”
1) “MYTH IS A MAP” – Section purpose: to introduce this chapter by looking at the way myth is a metaphorical mapping that allows us to better understand our internal world by interacting with external symbols.
- The power of myth
- My dream of tunnels. From the X-Files (occult) to art (unconscious) – my engagements with the unknown. Dreams of abysses and space travel, and why we explore. Jung’s “active imagination” as myth at work.
- An intro to myth and its cultural significance. The meaning and power of myth and rite (reconcile the C with the U, return respiration to the system).
- The power to reason
- Combining Campbell with Lakoff: myth as a metaphorical mapping to the Real of life, which then gives us inferential reasoning power via story.
- The model of computers used for brain inference.
- Why I make art – making my internal world external.
- As within, so without
- A look at the feedback loop of “as within, so without” and its relation to myth and “the story we tell ourselves.”
- Intro/summary of the chapter to come, re: the hero’s journey and the journey of this book as the process of individuation, the model of God/CU and the capacity to surrender, the Void Mandala explored and the dance of spirit.
2) “THERE AND BACK AGAIN” – Section purpose: to introduce the work of Joseph Campbell and the ‘hero’s journey’ as a map of personal individuation, which is the process of finding personal wholeness.
- Campbell’s condensation of mythical structure into the “monomyth”; describe the plot of the monomyth.
- The hero’s journey
- The monomyth applied to the human psyche (as an inferential reasoning device) per the journey of the individual to find wholeness and balance (C/U respiration).
3) “THE PATH” – Section purpose: to show how this very book is also a mapping of the ‘hero’s journey’, and thus it’s own guide to wholeness.
- From Being, to Death, to our return as the Caretaker
- B&D mapped onto the hero’s journey.
- You must find your self to lose it, then to have it reborn.
- Re-cap the history of the Void Mandala diagram here.
- When we return from our journey with the BayN-vision, we become the hero, which I’m naming “the Caretaker”.
- B&D mapped onto the hero’s journey.
- The evolution of an ethical vision
- A look at Merleau-Ponty’s “phenomenological project,” which is a mythological narrative that takes us from pre-Mirror stage (Unconscious, Death, Leaver, animal) to Symbolic (Conscious, Being, Taker, man) to finally Chiasm (God, BayN, Caretaker). The ethical vision our journey gives us.
4) “BECOMING WHO YOU ARE” – Section purpose: a deeper dive into the Jungian process of individuation, and what it means for the individual to find balance and wholeness through the union of opposites.
- The persona and the shadow
- A look at the sociable content we push forward to form our “persona” and the shameful content we repress to form our “shadow” and the split-self that develops.
- An exploration of the Jungian process of individuation, the Transcendent Function, and the union of opposites in respiration to form a complete shape.
- The hero’s journey = the process of individuation.
- From the self to the Self
- The power of love and the path from ego to Self.
- Individuation creates a full self, which then (and only then) can merge with the Self that is the CU/God.
5) “LEARNING TO SURRENDER” – Section purpose: to explore the role of the ‘collective unconscious’ or ‘God’ in the process of individuation, and discover how self-wholeness leads to God-wholeness.
- The collective unconscious
- First introduce the CU as the “proper name for a pattern.” It’s not a mystical “Thing” but rather a symbol given for a process or a pattern in the world of experience.
- Dive into the definition of the CU via Jung and archetype. The CU is the “fullness of the Void” par excellence.
- The threshold of consciousness, the unconscious, and the CU as rhizome, where awareness is surrender.
- The Self is the collective unconscious
- A deeper look at the end of individuation as a merge with the Self. Link the Upanishad’s “Self” with the CU via Jung.
- God is the collective unconscious
- Begin with “God is dead; long live God!” The death of the old one-sided God gives way for the BayN of God. Revisit “proper name for a pattern.” Discuss “two sides of a circle touching.” God is the ‘self’ of the universe.
- Talk Scott Peck and God as the CU.
- Also explore Universal Mind, Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Absolute Idea, etc. as naming this same space.
- Surrender to grace
- An exploration of the idea of “grace.” Grace is the aid of the CU (Self, God) in conscious life.
- Awareness as a way to surrender to grace.
- Surrender to inspiration
- An exploration of inspiration via “daemons and geniuses” in the “Your elusive creative genius” TED talk.
- Inspiration are moments of the CU’s contact with the C.
- The whole point of inspiration and grace are to aid in the process of becoming whole, merging C with U.
6) “THE VOID MANDALA” – Section purpose: to return to the central symbol of this book, the ‘Void Mandala’, and explore it as the microcosm of everything talked about in this book.
- The function of a mandala
- Define the function of a “mandala” via spiritual practice and as a Jungian individuation aid.
- The Void Mandala is the symbol containing all the patterns of ideas in this book.
- The many uses of the Void Mandala
- C/U Interface
- Inward/outward respiratory process
- The Void Mandala = ontology
- Metaphorical mapping and inference quickly recapped.
- Badiou and “math = ontology” explained.
- Mapping unconscious mappings, re: Evental theory and Individuation. Math just describes the way the C/U Interface operates. Thus, the C/U Interface = ontology.
- Form is content: the analogical chain (method) is the C/U Interface (content).
7) “HEALING THE WORLD” – Section purpose: to conclude this chapter by recapping the central thesis that personal wholeness leads to world wholeness. Then opening the door to the next chapter.
- Mental health is world health
- Re-cap of the main purpose of this book, now that we fully understand all the terms. Our old story viewed death as the enemy of life, and pitted one side against the other. By understanding life as consciousness and death as the unconscious, we can come to a better understanding of each of these terms. More importantly, we can apply the logic of individuation and the hero’s journey, which posits that mental health = harmony between the C/U, to the world’s health, which I claim will come from harmony between life/death.
- The work of love
- Conclusion: every idea in this book has been a step in our human journey. All the ideas in this book form the Void Mandala, which is both our ontological relation, and the very myth of our becoming. The point of all this is to become who you are, heal yourself, and thus heal the world (God).
- End with an opening to the “practice” (individuation and embodied materiality) and then the return of the Caretaker.