About this project
Advance reviews of the book
"With humor and with insight and poignancy, Jean-Pierre Weill's book can be visited over and over again, on good days and bad days. The Well of Being is a beautifully rendered reminder of what is important."-Ram Dass
International teacher and author of Be Here Now
"Jean-Pierre Weill speaks straight to the heart in a voice at once profound and provocative. Weill's creative genius shines - as writer, artist and thinker. Everyone should read this book - it's a mind changer."
author of international best seller, Emotional Intelligence
"The drawings are sublime - in their form, in their vision, in their wit, in their sly and yet overt allusions, in their understatement, in their expressiveness, in their beauty, in their use of emblems. It's as if Steinberg had mated with Tenniel, with Borges as shadchan! What shall we call this unique volume, this Invention? This landscape of the human psyche? It is a rapturous amazement. I think it is a Psalm."
Winner of the PENN/Nabokov Award
"An enchanted philosophical journey, The Well of Being distills a new way to think about our relationships and what it means to come home to ourselves."
Founder of Call of the Shofar
"A beautifully crafted, uplifting meditation on the inner, personal dimensions of hope."
From the author
The Well of Being, my first book, took a few turns before I found its purpose. I began by creating a pictorial catalog of my self-doubts, my confusions and longings and victimhood. Seeking a fuller, more truthful description, I included my moments of spontaneity, contentment, and joy. The images effectively formed two piles; one that expressed feelings of well-being, and one illustrating our alienation from it. The book took further shape; it became a tale for those who long for well-being - a well-being that is only dimly remembered and scarcely believed in.
Using images to tell the story the narrative guides the reader to discover that well-being is grounded in self-acceptance, and that more often than not we lose it on the road to adulthood. Yet, it may be recovered.
Through illustrations and a minimalist text, we learn that thoughts acquired in childhood are what estrange us from ourselves. They are thoughts that we're not smart enough, talented enough, good enough, or thin enough. They're patterns of thinking which tell us who we are and how our world works. They put us in a corner.
These patterns lead us to look at the world as through the distorted windows of a bus we don't know we're on. Through its smudged windows, we look upon a world where joy depends on circumstances, on what happens outside of us.
We organize our circumstances so that they reinforce stories we picked up along the way and carry within us.
They are stories about who we think we should be.
Or think we are.
There's a simple path through the thicket of these habitual thoughts. It's one that promises renewed clarity and gratitude for being alive.
Thanks to the Kickstarter community for generously supporting my project. To my son, Emmanuel, for creating the video and formatting; to Bira, my nephew, for lending his voice and sound; to Margaret Osburn, for editorial assistance; to Saul Steinberg, for showing me how imagery approaches written language.
What you get
Risks and challenges
I have written and illustrated a book which requires a quality production. While I'm using a printer that has been carefully vetted, issues can arise during production that could impact the book's publication schedule. So far, production samples have met expectations. I'm committed to keeping you informed through the production and shipping schedule, and of any delays. If the book is produced as I intend it, it will be creating for shared experiences and for visiting repeatedly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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