The individual who has come to understand life and death in respiration is able to be the caretaker of balance in the world.
The conceptual work of this book was merely preparation for the task; the real work of finding balance requires constant practice.
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 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.
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.
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.