In this age of transformation
My head is merely a cocoon
And whatever I am today
I'm sure to be unrecognizable
To myself (and others) all too soon
|Illustration by Christine Shields|
The theme of transformation has long preoccupied me, originating with my fascination and deep love for Zhuang Zhou and classical Chinese culture. At first, the possibility of transformation seemed palpable but remained out of reach, at least for me personally, as you can read in this poem here: https://lampoetry.blogspot.com/2010/07/ode-to-guanyin.html
But we live in an age of transformation. Ours is an era in which transformations of the most radical sort (including those of mind, body and spirit) have now become routine, not just for those who have been initiated into the arcane arts of transformation. The power of transformation is in the air we breathe and water we drink - it has become a commonplace present literally everywhere we look.
For that reason I've finally decided to privately publish this essay called Proteus Unbound. I wrote this a few years ago and tried to find a publisher for it, which proved to be a pointless task, given that it attempts to formulate a theory of transformation not based on our present-day technological prowess but rather rooted in the theories of transformation that were developed and fundamental to classical Chinese civilization more than a millennium ago. We are much too besotted with the technological powers of our civilization to realize we don't have a clue about the underlying nature of the transformations we have wrought. These concepts may strike us as pre-modern, mystical and absurd but they are more germane than ever given our current incapacity to contend with the increasingly rapid pace of transformational change that characterizes our present day reality.
(please remember to include Proteus Unbound in the subject line of your email)