“Eternal is the Golden Flower only, which grows out of inner liberation from all bondage to things. Those who reach this stage transpose their ego; they are no longer limited to the monad, but penetrate the magic circle of the polar duality of all phenomena and returns to the undivided One, Tao.”
Richard Wilhelm & Carl Jung - Secret of the Golden Flower
The flower is, in its essence, the most appropriate symbol to represent the fleeting yet beautifully ephemeral nature of life. A single flower may never be seen during its life cycle by another living being. Yet, its existence and beauty depict a deep philosophical belief system embodied by sentient society since Homosapien’s rise to planetary consciousness.
The nature of the flower seen through a state of deep concentration provides a guide for understanding the state of the Golden Flower within each of us. Abstracted, the flower becomes a purified tool for liberation from inner bondage.
This collection comprises a series of flower photographs captured across 12 countries by Dr. Benton Banner between 2017-2022 selected to represent the Taoist concept of the “Golden Flower” as investigated by Carl Jung. Using contemporary video post-production technologies, the photographs are abstracted through a purification process, using displacement maps, mirroring the Taoist concept of Pu or The Uncarved Block. A generative system was created to expand the process across the 265 photograph selections created specifically for ntent.art collectors.
As outlined in “The Secret of the Golden Flower,” translated by Richard Wilhelm with commentary by Carl Jung, the Golden Flower is a stage of ego transmutation where the actor within reality returns from duality back to undivided One, or Tao.
The flowers in the photographs act as a metaphor for the process of reaching this said state in both a literal and figurative sense. The flower's life cycle is to exist in duality from seed in the earth, to flower in bloom, and reintegrating into the earth as one in death.
Pu is the Taoist concept of the uncarved block or the stripping away of experiences, to exist in a pure, unaltered form.
“From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times… When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block”
Benjamin Hoff - The Tao of Pooh
Abstraction of the flowers, through displacement maps and pixel by pixel manipulation, was used in process to strip away any meaning that may be attributed to our individual experience around how we view and define flowers within our world view and lived experiences. Allowing for the creation of a visual device that, when looped infinitely into itself, can act as a mental tool for understanding and practicing the path of the Golden Flower and Pu. From a place of concentrated internal focus we create a contemporary Mandala in digital form.
Collective evolution has come, at least partly, through the ease of access to information. Think printing press, internet, web3. The proprietary technology designed and developed by Dr. Benton Banner and .jiwa, ntent.io, allows for the generative scaling of Dr.banner’s artistic process. Providing larger supply and an optional path of internal evolution for collectors seeking a deeper relationship with their reality.
Photo (Golden Flower) + Abstraction (Pu) = Output (Mandala)
Output * Generative System = Collection