“I don’t know how to describe this to you, except that I was deep in my despair; I had gone through game, after game, after game, first being a professor at Harvard, then being a psychedelic spokesman, and still people were constantly looking into my eyes, like “do you know?” Just that subtle little look, and I was constantly looking into their eyes— “Do you know? And there we were, “Do you?” “Do you?” “Maybe he…” “Do you…?” And there was always that feeling that everybody was very close and we all knew we knew, but nobody quite knew. I don’t know how to describe it, other than that.”
- Baba Ram Dass
The Union of Duality is a visual interpretation of the Yin and Yang, which expresses the idea that all things exist entwined together as coincidental opposites. This principle is a concept in ancient Chinese philosophy that dates back to the third century BCE. Transcending through 2,300 years, this symbol still remains as the foundation to many philosophies.
By centering on the single point of a mirror, it is a representation of the perfect reflection that the Yin and Yang symbolizes. The harmony in this clear perception leads to an enlightening sense of equanimity. It is dually important to note, this mirror is not one place. The mirror is not even a mirror, but only a physical symbol of the understanding it represents. This ‘mirror understanding’ is not found by going to a destination, following a paved path or meeting a certain person, but is within us all along only being reflected by the environment around us. This is nothing one can slow down or rush, for it always happens in the perfect moment.
The symbols chosen to express this concept consist of a combination of both personal and common emblems that are most associated with as being separate from one another. By doing this, the personal connection I have to this project remains intact while also connecting to an audience outside of my Self. The video is shown through black and white to further connect with the representation of the yin and yang and the contrasting perspective of separation that many people look out into the world with. I shot this during a bright time of day in order to intensify the difference of the light and shadows that are being caught through the forest.
Although the following is my personal and original intention that drove the creation of this project, it is not what the viewer should look for or gain from. This is simply an insight to what I uniquely experienced in this body that has ultimately allowed the freeing perspective I now view the universe with.
This project represents the personal transformation from living through the perception of separation to becoming united with all things that I have experienced. Duality came from my perspective as feeling victimized by experiences that felt imposed on me by others through overpowering assault and force. I lived life through this lens for nine years, suffering with varying forms of mental illness.
Then, through innumerable sleepless nights and dark days that felt they would go on indefinitely, I felt a light rising within me. As soon as I felt it and went to grab it before it left, it was gone again. I felt like a rabbit chasing a carrot on a string. This continued to happen again, again, and again, until I realized what I was searching for in the carrot was nothing tangible. The peace of unity I was seeking greeted me when I stopped grasping for it. I came to the understanding that everything is a reflection in direct connection to my Self. I was washed over with a pure feeling of wholeness that expelled all the past traumas I identified with. This experience is nothing frail words of language can penetrate, but only understood through direct experience. This feeling had been in the workings for several years without my conscious knowing, and I had gotten to a point in my spiritual path where this was finally realized. This path wasn’t something I had to jump onto, but only to realize my whole life was the path all along. I was approached with a feeling of ‘this is it’, and I have followed that feeling ever since. Where the path takes one is indescribable with words, and this project is the best form I can express it into at this moment.
Due to this realization of cosmic union, I learned all of the suffering I had been through was a necessary stepping-stone on the path heading towards that pure reflection of peace and understanding. This project is to serve as a reminder to ‘others’ and my Self that what has and will be experienced leads closer to the mirror of perfect unity; a reminder that all that is happening is an unfolding process towards Self-freedom.