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8: The Caretaker

The final chapter outline is ready!

I’m excited to present you with the outline for chapter 8 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.


III: Being

Chapter 3’s outline can be found here.

IV: Death

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 6’s outline can be found here.


VII: Practicing Love

Chapter 7’s outline can be found here.

VIII: The Caretaker

Chapter purpose: To conclude this book by summarizing everything explored thus far, and re-presenting the power of story. This journey has been circular, returning us back to where we began, but with a new perspective. This new perspective is the return of the ego as the ‘caretaker of balance’ within the individual. The same way in which this journey brought us back full circle to the ego as ‘the caretaker of the individual’, so too does the individual come back full circle as ‘the caretaker of the world’. It is the wager of this book that these two processes form a tight circuit: that we are at war with the world to the extent that we are at war with ourselves, and similarly, that world balance can only be found via finding personal balance. The proper name for this ‘agent of balance’ is ‘The Caretaker’, one with incredible responsibility, but also with deep privilege. That ‘one’ is quite literally the destiny of each of us.

Main take-away: “The individual who has come to understand life and death in respiration is able to be the caretaker of balance in the world.”


1) “WHAT WE CAN BECOME” – Section purpose: to explore how the ego functions best as a caretaker, and how it can return in our individual lives as the agent of balance.

  • Egos gone awry
    • A look at the role of the ego in the body-system via two stories, one about grapes and one about sunscreen. The ego so quickly goes from a caretaker (it’s purpose) to a hyper-active conqueror. Great caretaker, but horrible leader.
  • Born again selves
    • The ego of Being must die the same way in which the old gods must die. “The king is dead; long live the king!” It must go through ego-death to then be “born again” as a new type of ego, a new type of self. This second-round ego-self is the Caretaker.
    • The same way in which this second round ego takes care of the body, so does the second round individual (hero) take care of the world.
  • Enacting change
    • “We are our deep, driving desire.” So, make that desire the desire to be the Caretaker. The importance of first changing our story, then enacting that change.
    • Intro/summary of the chapter to come, re: the power of story, Leavers, Takers, and Caretakers, the entire hero’s journey from Being to Death through BayN back again to see the ego/self re-born as the Caretaker of life’s respiration. This can only be done through the practices of love, individuation, etc. The Caretaker is most simply defined as the individual who has found balance, and can thus return balance to the world process. The Caretaker takes care of balance.

2) “THE STORY OF OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD” – Section purpose: to look at the power of story and our place in the world via an overview of Ishmael, then positing a new term not used in that book: Caretaker.

  • Tending the garden
    • Imagine if our founding Biblical story had told a different story? What if the Bible said, “This is God. I made trees in my image. Trees are thus gods. You, humans, have the sacred role of being the gardener and caretaker to these trees, my avatars on earth.” Would history be different?
  • Leavers and Takers
    • An overview of Ishmael, re: the story of Leavers and Takers. Summarize the book and its main ideas, re: being captive to a story, enacting the story we tell ourselves, Leavers and Takers explained, the story of man as end of creation, the conquering mentality, the desire to kill God, and the Garden of Eden myth re-visited.
  • Caretakers
    • Discuss the ideas from our Ishmael The Open event, mainly the evolution from Leaver to Taker to a 3rd state, which I call “Caretaker.” The goal isn’t backwards movement, but hero’s journey full circle to greater awareness. Define what I mean by “Caretaker”, namely: the BayN of Leaver/Taker.

3) “OUR JOURNEY TOGETHER” – Section purpose: to summarize in classic ‘conclusion’ terms the entire book you just read.

  • Looking back on Being & Death
    • A chapter-by-chapter summary / re-cap of the main points of this book, and the purpose of each.

4) “YOU ARE THE HERO” – Section purpose: to draw together the journey of this book as the hero’s journey, not just for some abstract hero, but specifically for you. This is your journey, and your return to the world after this journey is the very evolution of consciousness.

  • Be the hero of your self
    • Re-cap of individuation and harmony (respiration) of the individual. Doing this makes your ego into the Caretaker of you, thus turning your self into the Self.
    • Map this onto Dance of Spirit
  • Communicate the message of the Void
    • The Caretaker is the embodiment of the respiratory process as it is understood from the standpoint of BayN. Inward is the God experience, outward is the Caretaking. Stand in the void and speak in the light.
  • Be the hero of the world
    • Individuation as the Hero’s Journey – when you return you are the hero of the world. Your return as the Caretaker.
    • Campbell re: hero as world redeemer, destroyer of the unsustainable status quo.
  • The evolution of awareness
    • From the ego to the Self, mapped to the life of a human. The BayN of C/U, life/death, individual/God, to create one vastly evolved Caretaker awareness. The respiration of individuation and interdependence.

5) “MAPPING A NEW WAY TO LIVE” – Section purpose: to summarize and enunciate the main purpose of this book: by bringing balance to yourself, you can bring balance to the world.

  • Learning to see
    • A re-cap of conceptual metaphor and mappings.
    • The whole point of philosophy is to re-learn how to look at the world, and how to live better. Revisit the intertwining of emotion and vision.
    • The analogical chain is the void mandala. The void mandala is the C/U interface as it is mapped onto being/death.
  • You are at war with the world to the extent that you are at war with yourself
    • Re-visit now with deeper understanding the purpose of this book: returning balance to life by finding a new story on death. This new story on death is found by mapping the C/U interface onto the being/death process. Doing this teaches us what life is, what death means, and the interplay between the two (BayN). Understanding “yourself” as the BayN of these two spheres. The BayN gap ‘that is in you more than yourself’ is God. This knowledge is the boon you bring back from your journey. You have evolved from ego to Caretaker, allowing you to evolve the world from battleground to God.
    • Jung re: growing up past the point of being bewitched by the C. Once we grow up, conquest will cease to be the dream.

6) “THE CARETAKER’S RESPONSIBILITY” – Section purpose: to leave the reader with an open door and a call to action.

  • From privilege to responsibility
    • Intro re: Spider-Man. A look at privilege through the light of social responsibility. Just as the privileged in our society have a social responsibility to the all, so do all humans (as beings privileged with consciousness) have a responsibility to the world.
  • You are called to action
    • This book in one sentence: Caretaking is the goal, value/action harmony is the path, BayN/God is the vision, and love is the battery.
    • Final departure re: call to action via personal (Jung/Campbell), political (Badiou), ecological (Lakoff), and spiritual (Peck). “The spiritually evolved are called to serve the world, and in their love they answer the call.”

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