1: Prologue, or the myth behind the making

Is Do Be

Is Do Be began as a vocation to practice psychotherapy in my youth. Over the years, this vocation would be transformed and reinterpreted many times over under the pressures of internal and external forces. This is the story of those transformations.

As a young man, I wandered through tomes of philosophy and psychology found within my father’s library seeking the secrets of the universe within and without myself. Through this process I discovered the works of Carl Gustav Jung, which awakened me to the vocation of therapy. This, in turn, led me to pursue the field of psychology when I arrived at university.

However, my vocation was not to be fulfilled as student of psychology. To my chagrin and astonishment, I quickly discovered that a degree in psychology - the study of human being - required proficiency in statistics. “How can I come to understand and heal another human being by abstracting their humanity away into a numeric average?” I wondered. Not receiving a satisfying answer to this question, I changed course to pursue philosophy in the hope that it still held a place for the human being.

My therapeutic disposition and good fortune acquainted me with a professor of existential psychology who introduced me to the works of R.D. Laing, Martin Heidegger, and other students of human existence. From here, I dove deep into the work of Heidegger in particular, eventually pursuing graduate studies at Boston College, known for its phenomenologically and existentially inclined philosophy department.

During my graduate studies, I deepened my knowledge of Heidegger, phenomenology more broadly, and the philosophical antecedants of both. I also became acquainted with the theoretical writings of Paul Klee, which struck me as distinctively “phenomenological” in nature. In Klee I found a man who was at once an artist and thinker, craftsman and philosopher. This discovery sparked the notion that art itself may be a way both of knowing the world and of knowing oneself.

From that point on, Is Do Be began to grow into its own as a distinct project seeking the reconciliation of the human being with him or herself and nature through creative practice. Though Is Do Be has only recently been formulated this way, its germ and genesis lie in those teenage hours spent poring over the volumes I found in my father’s library.

My hope and aim is to cultivate this seed planted long ago that it bear fruits of fulfillment and self-transformation for others.