By Donna Carey, LAc, Co-Creator of Acutonics®
The initial inspiration for the sculpture Inner Field I: The Joining that was created last year at the Mothership was to recycle excess crossbars, feet, and extending rods from old gong stands into what would represent a hexagram of the I Ching as thrown randomly from yarrow sticks (steel). Other supporting materials would add dimensionality and conceptualize the original ideogram and gua.
Initially, I felt drawn to work with the concept of water, and its importance now and in the very near future, and so decided on double water hexagram. Joanie Soliani arrived to help with the conceptualization and preparations of the sculpture, and so we opened I Ching books and both times the books opened to hexagram 8, Bi: Union, the gua being water above, earth below, and the ancient ideogram for Bi is two persons standing close together. It also means neighborhood, and symbolizes a close bond of people within a community. Clearly, we needed to scrap the initial thought and go with the intention that presented itself.
We also wanted to represent the connection between the genetic code, and the I Ching, and so the 8 gave us fuel for the 8 original cells, the trigrams, the codons, and the 64 possibilities, which represent infinite harmonics with the intention of community, joining and union. Away we went, Joanie nipping slices of steel, all of us learning how to weld from Master Max, wood burning, collecting and conceptualizing how all these pieces will fit together and become unified. As we worked the sculpture got larger and larger, higher and higher, as weld after weld was made. Meanwhile, we thought about the deep intention of the hexagram presented to us and the deeper meaning of the bonds and resonance of people within a community, and the power they have to create something new, new codes, new ethics, new hope, and most importantly the loving and caring that is intrinsic to a heart-based community. Nothing is more deleterious than successive conflicts or more beneficial then harmonious relationships between people.
The tricky part of union and holding together with others and community is that we must hold together our own inner truth. This means not being complicit when we see and feel things happening that are just plain unethical or wrong. The more we adhere to proper principles, the more it becomes habit, and we become more and more faithful and committed to that inner truth. Another element of holding together is that we resist the constant emotional assaults that come from the voices outside and inside. We have to be resolute and hypervigilant against the effects of fear, anger, doubt and despair, on our physical body, spirit, soul, and psyche. Strength of character and holding hope and understanding in our hearts is another key to creating great union.
The final element is a bodhisattva type lens. If we see the vision of union, harmony, justice, it is possible for others to partake in this union. Understand that this grouping, one of essential natures belonging together is critical. The desire for community is a deeply felt imperative by not just humans, but all sentient beings. So it is a shared responsibility to create a family to those in need.
Holding together to laws that regulate the initial impulse that is born is the key—the energy of our humanity and the joining of yin and yang essences.
Joanie had to leave but we kept on with the project. Learning so much throughout the assembly. Twenty-foot-long pieces of steel, articulation points, structural integrity issues at the joints, artistic interpretations, positioning, correspondences. While Max and I worked on raising the sculpture, burying and cementing the main structural elements, Ellen got to the task of wrapping the steel strips around the skeleton of our structure. We all joined in and pretty soon we had a genetic code. I worked on the ideographic piece with hacksaws and grinders. Max collected giant boulders to ground the piece and Ellen wound in copper. Out here in the high desert mountains you do not want a 20-foot sculpture of metal in monsoon season when we experience mucho lightening. We wove 1000 feet of copper wire into the sculpture to integrate and create unity within the materials. We were working with steel which is mostly made of iron, carbon, and sometimes other metals thrown in, which relates to Mars, and copper which relates to Venus. Functionally the copper was wound into the sculpture and attached to buried rods for electrical grounding.
The sculpture itself has become a community of elements, dialectics, a testimony to staying away from acquired conditioning. We learned to be attentive, to allow the uneasy to show itself and to remain open to what presents itself. There was a natural flow into a flawless undamaged integral pattern with nature, the original stem cell. It stands tall a critical reminder that we each unite our humanity with heaven and earth, to hold together in community and to be guided by the higher law that informs us.