Something , Out of Nothing

Most of us have learned to live in hope that we will one day realize our utopian ideals. We live in pursuit of what we want, or at least what we have come to think that we want. This, it seems is perpetuated by the sense of inadequacy inherent in the conditioned identity that has become so conventional and that we have become so attached to. In general humans seem to be compulsively focused not in finding acceptance and satisfaction in what we are but what we might become and there seldom seems to be fulfillment found in the outcome. Rodney Smith writes that “the thought of “I” is entrenched within the conditioning of our species and needs our patience in order to uproot it.” Seeing the false ideas that our life is built upon has led to a dismantling of the self for me and in turn to a sense of loss and nothingness which has lingered for quite some time. Part of this seeing has involved the realization that something of my authentic essence has been blocked in this assumed identity and simultaneously a sense of grief as a result of the falling away of this somewhat superficial, fragmented, however, familiar identity.
Reading Adam Phillips book “Missing Out, In Praise of the Unlived Life” has helped me to conceptualize the collapse of the attachment to a superficial self and the created world that is part of it. In that there is an experience of death of self. The existentialists described the realization of nothingness, as that which is left when the ego dies and refers to this experience as “nihilism”. It is true that, there is at the heart of the structured conceptual reality and sense of self that we have come to be so familiar and attached to, “nothing”. The self provides meaning however shallow it may be and the loss of that meaning requires some adjustment, especially since it is the conventional, most common way of human consciousness. But ultimately there is “something” of what we truly are beyond that, of what we have originated from and are inseparable from and that we are “more of” than the superficial creations of our thoughts. It is something of a wisdom that has existed that has been a guidance before the human ability to know and it is more than the fixed and arbitrary sense of meaning. The concept I use to refer to it is “being” is something that we can realign ourselves with via the direct experience of awareness. Rodney SmiTh suggests that wise view is the reorganization of perception. It allows life to be seen in its natural alignment.

2 thoughts on “Something , Out of Nothing

  1. I think it is the falseness of that ego structure – that self – which provides the sense of nothingness. Any movement towards honesty threatens it with non-existence, but it is only it’s current identity that would be lost – it’s shape and not its substance. They say that “everybody wants to get to Heaven but nobody wants to die.” Authenticity and wholeness can only be achieved through the death of the unauthentic and divided self, but that death is a rebirth. The analogy of “coming out of the closet” is too useful to be restricted only to the matter of sexuality. Our false self feels safe, like hiding in a closet. We fear that, if we leave the safety of the closet, we will lose everything. But what we find on the outside is the real world which is far more exciting and meaningful than we were capable of remembering. What is out there is not nothingness. The essence of meaning lies in relationship, but a real relationship with those around us requires honesty, a real rather than a false self. We can’t communicate meaningfully from within our cupboards. Our wider and deeper self is the one we find through honest communication with others. I often find that, when I talk about things we don’t normally talk about, it turns out that another person feels similarly but didn’t want to be the first to admit it.


    1. Right on. I relate wholly. I guess we have to be ready to experience these things that we talk of if we want to “be” in an authntic way. There is a part of all of us that is real however lost we may be. I dont think that we can realize the mystery and wonder of life in our hiding state. For me it is that direct experience as opposed to any attachment to theological or philosophical concepts. They just seem to get in the way.


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