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.
Selves exist, but they are virtual. Non-self exists, and it is actual. Both, however, are completely real.
This book is about the distinctly human journey all people must make psychologically in order to become the heroes of their own story. The hero’s journey, and myth in general, is about making external our internal lives so that we can understand and shape them better. If the individual can find wholeness, then she will be able to bring wholeness to the entire world.
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.
This schematic organizes the key concepts in this book into a coherent structure. I call this schematic the “Dance of Spirit,” which is a detailed version of the inward / outward respiratory process as it is manifested in our lives.
“Being & Death” explores the dialectic of self and non-self in respiration. This spiritual philosophy book unfolds in real time on the internet while it is written. Join me in re-writing the story we tell ourselves about ourselves.