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?
The first event of The Open! Using Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael” as our jumping-off point, we discussed topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness, to the teleology of biological life, to the fuzziness of boundaries between conceptual categories. The great achievement of the book, we decided, was its ability to engender strong, polarizing reactions.