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.
This book is about returning balance to the individual and to the world.
The same way in which mental health for individuals comes from finding a balanced harmony between consciousness and the unconscious, so too will world health come from a balanced harmony between life and death.
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.
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.
Before writing can begin, all of the ideas and source material must solidify into a coherent structure. The outlining and planning process is the bedrock of the book-to-come, and is quite possibly the most important aspect of writing.