Ignorance to Insight: From the Innocent Butterfly's Birth to the Discovery of the Enlightenment Flower

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Material goods and worldly objects are directly opposite of nature and life, but they coexist. Maturing is a process in which one breaks free of narrow-mindedness and ignorance, moving on to pursue higher goals of knowledge and enlightenment. Random observation: the balance in this construction is skewed to the right unfortunately.

The innocent and naive soul, represented by a butterfly, breaks out of the icy, rocky egg of unknowingness into life. However, it is dragged down by the beauty of material wealth, which causes a lifeless existence burdened by ignorance, symbolized by a question mark, and love for wordly jewels. Life's questions and confusions are also reflected in the question mark. Once the soul realizes that there are yet questions to be answered and goals to reach outside of material wealth, it breaks free of its worldly metal chains instinctually. The broken ring also shows that social and mental restrictions decrease as time goes by. Controversial ideas, especially regarding traditional but ignorant assumptions, become more accepted with the passage of time. In addition, as one ages, conventional roles and conformital pressures decrease. The lizard reflects instinct. Although it is small and seemingly insignificant, it plays a role in the ecosystem and is adept at climbing and managing the rocky terrain of life. It finally reaches the magnificent abalone shell. Shells are the remnants of dead creatures. Thus, inside the shell, the soul learns accommodates the remnants of past historical events and information. With the power of knowledge, it grows just as sea creatures grow in their shells, and it evolves into a greater, stronger being—a dog. Somebody wrote, "Why is there an upside down dog...eating money?" The dog is actually not eating the money, as the fork is pointed away from its mouth. To show its worthiness, the dog is actually relinquishing material wealth back to the ground and moving on from greed. The dog, which has learned many tricks and is a guard dog of knowledge and truth, now has access to the blossom of knowledge, insight, and understanding. By breaking free of ignorance and materialism, one can ascend to the field of knowledge, slowly gaining more experience and pieces of information until the wisdom builds up to enlightenment.

Starting with the butterfly to the lizard to the dog, passing over the dead skeleton, the animal progressively becomes more complex and capable of thinking.

As I was pondering how to put the objects together in the construction, the ring was still intact. However, when I adjusted the ring's finger-wrapping part, the piece of metal detached from the plastic "gemstone" and broke in two. I then realized that the gemstone slightly resembled the red flower, which was hanging from the ceiling of the shoebox as a sort of representation of heaven. So I put the two red objects opposite to each other, as if they were glaring at each other. It was the beauty of nature versus the beauty of gold and shiny processed objects. This theme of nature-appreciation versus materialism was a foundation of my construction.

Additionally, I was looking for a pretty rock to put in my collection of objects. I came across some bits of geode that I deemed were pretty but relatively valueless compared to my other rocks. But behold, as I was fiddling with the geode pieces, they connected! They were part of the same original ball of rock and I had never known! It felt like solving a three-dimensional puzzle. The broken geode reminded me of an egg, which was how I used it in the construction.

The concept of the construction reminded me of Death of the Miser, which depicted Death approaching the miser as demons tempted him with material wealth and an angel pointed him towards the cross by the window. The skeleton under the question mark represents the dead miser burdened by his love of gold and unable to see past it to find religious salvation. Conversely, the flower, with its association with color, light, and prosperity, represents where the miser would be if he listened to the angel and separated the material from the spiritual world.


This song is five minutes long.
Jardins Sous la Pluie by Claude Debussy begins softly yet quickly, reflecting the turmoil baby steps of life. A soft, twinkling major section reflects the wonderment of a human in sight of gold and precious gems. A subsequent harsh, minor section reflects the pain of materialism. The lizard’s climbing and faltering is reflected in a passage that ascends in pitch, drops, and ascends again, while the mysteriously soft passage that crescendos calls towards the mysterious transformation in the shell. A forte final battle between the dog and the guarding fork is ended by a final quick and loud burst of ascending notes, symbolizing the large and colorful bloom of insight. "Jardins sous la pluie" means "gardens in the rain," which parallels the nourishment of water that plants and life need to grow.