TRANSMIGRATION OF RUIN
THE MENTAL MAPS
I felt naîve as I found the complex reality I briefly touch on in the project page, my impulse was to push it away, and yet, I felt responsible to share with others the giant hole I found in the fabric of society, without any idea about how to patch it.  After years of slowly unlearning cultural and religious teachings that began with my Catholic upbringing and school days, the project became a way of breaking everything apart, searching for the original teachings, a way of trying to see the other as my brother or sister, as myself.

I proceeded to pick and assemble images from the internet, connected to the subject of the missions in diverse ways, some just glimmered, some had clear meaning, and others made me feel ambivalent, even sometimes alarmed, with their content. How could it be any other way?
Soon, the exercise became fascinating, a portrait of contemporary culture, with all its complexity and

St. Paul, Issenheim altar (detail) by Mathias Grünewald. See video furhter down.

contradiction, started emerging, in complete disarray, and I just allowed the pieces to fall where they may.

Then it all started weaving itself into a coherent "disonance" that turned into the mental maps I present.

It is important to mention the role of the Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, a project developed by Aby Warburg (1866-1929) and Gertrud Bing, German historians of Jewish origin. Their interest in Western classical culture, took them to devise a procedure for exploration and presentation of systems of relationships, not always obvious, through image association techniques. The result is a vast amount of multi image panels displaying relationships meaningful to them, deeply personal, heuristic and non-linear —not universal truths.
This freedom of association Warburg explored, inspired
me because it allowed for creativity to play a central role,
in which a series of seemingly disparate images is assembled and used to create a kind of overwhelm or swarm of associations, which, I say, can potentially push the mind into the deeper unconscious.

I believe this apparent cacophony, can help the viewer to establish a bit of distance from them due to their apparent disparity, and experience how each may have a trigger effect of internal programs that, in turn, generate emotions and memories. It is interesting to note, probably none of these events associated with the images, was experienced in person by the viewer, but are recreated from historic information (always narrated by the winner) or from family accounts of events amongst others.
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The maps are meant to be looked at from the "witness" point of view, without judgement or necessarily connecting dots, but just recognizing the content the images bring with them, as if looking at a paradox.
It is an invitation to look at things through the heart not the mind, possibly providing insights to the "idea forming" moment in the process of thought I refer to in the project page.

An intrinsic component of being human, is what Carl Jung calls the "shadow". He suggests that, as children grow older, the parts that displease the parents, like anger or selfishness, are rejected. Paraphrasing Robert Bly, we disown them, and are placed in a bag, for the purpose of keeping the love of the parents. As this process repeats with teachers, spouses, bosses and others that represents the paternal/maternal roles in our lives, our energy dwindles and our identity grows incomplete. There are different bags we carry, our family bag contains material sensitive to our ancestry and siblings, each country has one conforming to accepted national canons, as does each racial group, and so on... as our cultural circle changes, so do the contents in the bag. [1]
Jung, Bly and others, suggest that if these traits not owned and accepted, eventually re-emerge through the unconscious, demanding their recognition and resolution; they are components of a single non-dual process we have to learn to resolve internally.
In other words, what takes place and manifests in our life, particularly what we don't like, may have a 'prodigal son' attribute to it, knocking at our door asking for acceptance.

Life has its ways to bring our attention where it is needed. There was a time in my life, in which I felt arrogant and self centered. It was fascinating, and painful, to go from one humbling event to another, until I heard the message: be still and listen. It became clear I needed to become sensitive to the lives and experiences of others, to look beyond my self-righteousness and appreciate the life I have been given.
Furthermore, I understood that recognizing and acknowledging the relationship between my thoughts, and events in my life, was needed to heal.
The idea of seeing illness (physical, mental, social) as a portal, is not uncommon amongst holistic healers, sickness can provide the conditions to get insights into the meaning of its presence in our life, be it through a dream, a vision, an intuitive feeling, etcetera.

I believe individuals are to society what cells are to tissue, if we could explore the contents of our minds as contributions to what we experience, both, at the personal and the societal level, we could possibly realize they may not be disconnected.

Video briefly describes an approach about the process of healing, propossed by David Levi Strauss:  Between Dog & Wolf: Essays on Art & Politics.

MAP ASSEMBLAGES
Click on images to enlarge, double click to maximize
Audio for viewing maps ☊, click below.
             Resonance 432 Hz, Germán Herrera, 2021, 9 min.
These maps represent arenas in my mind, identified thematically. The first two refer to my beliefs about the nature of reality, next comes my vision, a priori, of Saint Francis of Assisi and the missions, followed by two more views about Fray Junipero Serra and the painful experience of members of Native American descendants.
Next come several iterations of the "shadow" mentioned above, as I understand it, and supported by the history I have been taught.

[1] *Bly, Robert. A little book on the human shadow, 1988. Harper San Francisco. P.17
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THE TOOL
So, by now I realize I carry this stuff inside, wherever I go. ¿And what is this 'stuff'?
Memories, history, thought forms, but most importanty feelings and beliefsAll of these operate vastly at the subconscious level.

I did not have to go far to see this, it happens in my own home, when dealing with my family... with the simplest, every day stuff. Going into these patterns was painful and seemed inevitable every time I would find myself in the vortex of feeling and thinking, and feeling and thinking, more of the same. It would take me, sometimes days to come out and feel neutral again. The connection I mentioned in the Maps above,  between my inner and outer world, was clear.

So the question: How do I change this? How do I change
At this point it was evident I needed help to continue, and it came from a book called A Course in Miracles —a teaching device that addresses universal spiritual themes I have been following for some time.
For those interested in learning more about how it came about, please go here.

For the purpose of this project, I will limit myself to to briefly mention why it has been so effective as a way of becoming conscious of the contents of my mind, my beliefs, and to see the connection with the world we  live in. It is a manual, designed to undo the way we think and process information, and to create a radically new form of comprehending this mechanism.
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

GO TO CHANGE
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