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 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.
The concept ‘Both, and yet Neither’ means a thing and its opposite are not contradictions, but rather superpositions.
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.
Matthew Barney’s work is fascinated by the void-space where duality collapses into paradoxical indistinction, and all opposites merge. His work imagines the perverse and horrifying aspects of this undifferentiated space, while “Being & Death” examines this space in a spiritually positive light.
Dive deep in your introspection, reach your unspeakable core, and then, “Make art there.” The struggle to communicate the incommunicable is what makes us most human.
How do we speak about the unspeakable? This is the foundational question of Being & Death. The search for an answer leads to the structure of this book: chains of analogy forming a circle around the unknown, gesturing toward the unspeakable through the negative space of allegory.