The Void Mandala is a symbol for the respiration of “life & death”, “consciousness & the unconscious”, “self & non-self”, and “the individual & God”. Breathing with this mandala lets our life become a constant practice of maintaining balance through exploration – with each journey (there and back again) we move further and further into the spiritual dimension.
This chapter explores our conscious experience of life through language, which, in its broadest sense, is a system of symbols set in opposition to one-another – the realm of duality.
Hybrid identity, like Korean-American, provides a window through the “self” via the hyphen. This parallax gap reveals the unspeakable qualities of our lived experience as always already existing outside of taxonomy.
Who am I? What am I talking about when I say “I”? What is a “self”? Who, in fact, is even asking these questions?
Truth, as Badiou defines it, is the decision to be true to the unknown, and to have the fidelity to bring that unknown to fruition in the world. Truth thus brings each moment a little closer in touch with the infinite. Truth is a constant becoming.
Why do we explore? Perhaps it is because space affects us: the hadal depths of the ocean cut trenches into our curiosity, and the distant reaches of the universe beckon with constellations of desire. More than just a search for unknown facts, humans explore new spaces to experience the unknown as such.
My thought flow is organized into eight chapters, which are grouped 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. The conceptual framework came to me while studying Kabbalah, which organizes ideas into associative patterns, just like metapattern. Ron Feldman 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.