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Vanessa Cabrales

Thesis Abstract

Una Criatura Learning to Do: An Autoethnographic Study of Meaning Making Towards Integration


As I sit in meditation, I notice: My mind is constantly fluttering. THIS idea and THAT idea, so IMPORTANT, HEAR ME NOW. Bombarded with all sorts of information, I inquire “what do I find meaningful?” to regain coherence. I asked myself this frequently throughout the research process. I continuously arrived at the present moment, marveling at sensitivities unlocked in my body urging me towards those gems I call ancientist futurism and spherical epistemology. Ancientist futurism is a way of being, feeling, and perception taking into account centuries before and centuries from now experienced through present observation. Spherical epistemology supports this as it is a way of knowing in which one imagines themselves at the center of the sphere, where points of information such as timelines are imagined as equal distance from the observer. This surfaced to my knowing by listening to the earth elements, observing my creative work, and appreciating my body – my body which feels so numinous – a flickering skin encapsulating my ideas – imaginative ideas offering an intellectual aesthetic map pointing towards an ephemeral, soulful, and integrated experience of timelessness – an evolutionary goal of the human species. Sometimes I offer myself visual art, words, music, and meditation pointing towards this immortality. This is an evocative word, meant to remind us, all of this – “this” experience – is riddled with unknowns and intriguing possibilities. I lingered here. We are criaturas – Spanish for “creature.” I am a criatura being, doing, observing: ideas sprout, designs take structural forms, and tests of personal agency visit daily. This autoethnography reflects a few months of journeying, noticing how meaning making influences self-authorship and design. I lived in intimacy with my imagination attempting written translation of felt inexplicables. Here, I connect personal experiences and creative processes to wider social and cultural meaning. I immerse myself in the tail or the head of this autoethnographic ouroboros as coexisting worlds twinkle a curious eye at us, as I build bridges through the mystery, black holes with clockwise and counterclockwise motions – bridges into a multidimensionality accessed through Love. This is a work of psychic, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual integration.


M.A. Program

Graduation Date

01 May 2019


Clinton, Washington


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