Emptiness: Oblivion or Power?

An Interesting Dilemma . . .

Emptiness

For me there’s an interesting dilemma with meditation. The dilemma is about an emptiness of mind and that of being a useful participant in life. 

Let’s just say, the aim of successful meditation, is emptiness, to the point of having no thoughts of imagined futures, or remembered pasts. There are also no thoughts involving opinions or judgements of anyone or anything. To reach such a point, and have such a mind, would involve a process of constant awareness. One would need to go through a process of being aware of the ‘nature’ of one’s thoughts, and over a period of time, addressing and eliminating anything that isn’t simply an observation of the present moment. The question now is whether this state of mind, is a form of peace, or complete oblivion.

A true emptiness is to be fully aware of the influence of your beliefs. They form your opinions, judgements, personality, and expectations

True emptiness, is to be fully aware of the influence of uncontrolled thoughts, that are allowed to freely drift from past to present to future. Emptiness is brought about through awareness.  

Let’s say that this emptiness has created the ultimate observer, and observing life, creates several positive outcomes: Pleasure, Fascination and Wonder. As an empty, non-judgemental observer, (and the importance of being non-judgemental can’t be overstressed) you would be in a unique position. And the question still remains: Is this emptiness useful peace or a wasted oblivion?

We could compare this state of mind to that sought by Buddhists. When we consider how Buddhist monks life out their lives, we could say, that their participation, is that of the empty observers I speak of. A further dilemma, as I see it here, is how the religion of Buddhism actually restricts the development of mankind. In fact, we could say that all religion restricts our development, insofar as magical beliefs – those that have no grounding in fact – keep mankind in a form of childhood. Religious beliefs are simply childish. 

In conclusion, I feel the answer is to take out any kind of judgement entirely (including that last one). In other words, whatever it is you want to be: Scientists, Buddhist, Empty Observer or People Trafficker, it’s your choice. One thing the empty observer has, that must be of great value to humanity, is the ability to view us objectively. The observer can say: “I see that you live your lives unaware of how you create your own distress.”  

Learn to Meditate it’s a useful addition. 

8 thoughts on “Emptiness: Oblivion or Power?

  1. Interesting post but I think you have missed the real point of emptiness. Emptiness is not nothing or nothingness. We could perhaps say no-thing ness.
    Emptiness is best described in the following way. We falsely ascribe true and full independence and permanence to all things or objects that we come in contact with or perceive. Things do not have any true existence in and of themselves, they are completely dependent on a myriad of other conditions and other things for their own existence. This misperception is responsible for our feeling of separation from others and the source of our disappointment when things get old sick change or die. Is a flower real or truly existent? No not in the sense that we think since the flower cannot exist without the sun water and soil to name a few. This idea of interdependence is close to the idea of oneness. So things are real and do exist just not how we wish or think that they do.

    So think about this a little and notice how it has nothing to do with oblivion.

    QP

    Like

    1. I have experienced this kind of intellectualization before and discount it.

      If you read my post again you will notice I use the words . . . “emptiness of mind.” I also state . . . “We could compare this state of mind to that sought by Buddhists.” A comparison drawn from what Buddhists seek through meditation only.

      In order to make meditation available to the majority, I feel it’s important to simplify something, that makes very little sense, when described in the way you have. In this respect, I have no interest in Buddhism or aggrandising it through making it seem complicated, and difficult to understand.

      From my scant understandings of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), would have avoided confusing such a simple philosophy. Man, ever since the days of the Buddha, have looked to place themselves in a position of superiority over others, through intellectualizing something made simple. Very unfortunate.

      In the context of Buddhism, my post on emptiness, deliberately bears little connection.

      My post on emptiness relates to how the majority can improve their mental health, with the use of meditation skills, without the confusion of antiquated belief systems.

      Thank you for your thoughts and giving me the opportunity to clarify my position.
      https://schoolofmind.care/2019/10/29/religion/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you but I am not confused and this this intellectualization is more than 2000 years old and a product of Adhyatma Vidya or the real science of mind. Emptiness simply means that things are empty of any real and true existence in and of themselves. We misunderstand this and our ego illusion continues to develop and that’s the problem.
        That’s simple enough.

        Meditation is the greatest gift one can ever give to oneself. Anything we can do to support and teach this ancient wisdom is a good thing. Enjoy your efforts in your wonderful blog I find your writing to be very interesting.

        QP

        Like

      2. Round and round the little fish went

        Consider how life is for the goldfish. The environment he lives in is fairly small and constrained, and yet, it’s all he knows. The goldfish is unable to experience what lies beyond his bowl. He knows there’s something else out there; a distorted world of strange shapes and patterns. He can push up against the glass and try very hard to reach this other world, but no matter how hard he tries, entry is forbidden. 

        Can we help?

        We might want to lift him out of the bowl. We scoop him up with our hands and say: “Look at what else there is!” But as soon as we do, he starts to die. His gills are unable to extract the oxygen from the air and his convex eyes are unable to see. Perhaps, in the hope that they might evolve, we could take many generations of fish out of the bowl for short periods only. Their gills and eyes adapting to the air; their fins becoming more like hands and feet.

        Of course I’m partly talking about Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. The fish that’s able to survive for the longest, outside of its normal environment, gets to pass on these survivalist skills. Skills that potentially develop into their very makeup; their genes.

        What if we can’t wait for millions of years?

        For this goldfish experiment of ours to work, without millions of years of evolution, we could build an apparatus. This device would enable the goldfish to see and explore the outside world. We could place lenses over his eyes to help him see, we could develop a way to pump oxygen directly into his veins. We could oil his skin so it doesn’t dry out. What then of his brain? Would it not be the case, that his brain would also need some kind of development, to help him fully appreciate his new found world. 

        We would of course need to fully understand how to relate to this fish; to understand how he thinks

        Yes, a form of translation would be needed; methods of communication would need to be developed, and ways of connecting with his perceptions, required. Once we have all of this in place, it might be possible to help our little fish, see beyond, the bowl.

        Most, if not all of us, are living in our own restrictive fishbowl 

        The range of our perception has been adapted to fit our environment. We’re unable to fully appreciate how beautifully minimalist this is. During the millions of years it took for us to reach the stage we have, certain things have been lost, or have evolved in their use. Our gills have become lungs and our fins have become hands. We’ve adapted further have we not? We can now travel back to the water. In order to achieve this we take small pieces of our current environment down with us in the form of SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus). So what of us escaping our environment in other ways? Well, we’ve now further proven our cleverness, by surviving for short periods of time in space. So what about escaping the fishbowl of our thinking.

        The expression ‘fishbowl-thinking’ describes how we’re trapped within the environs determined by our beliefs

        Our thought experiment helped our goldfish. We skipped millions of years of evolution through creating an imaginary scenario, and then developed a suitable apparatus, for escape. So in this respect, how extraordinary it is that in reality, we have reversed the processes of evolution, inflicted upon us, by creating SCUBA. In reality we have returned to the sea. 

        In order for us to escape the environs created by our beliefs we must also use tools

        We cannot escape fishbowl-thinking with the same kind of thinking that created it. In other words, we must seek to escape the expectations defined, by our beliefs. We don’t know what we don’t know and can’t believe what we don’t yet believe. As such, we must suspend logical thinking, if we are to escape the environs of our beliefs. The first step toward achieving this, is to suspend our normal, restrictive, thinking.

        At the beginning of the GOLD Counselling Method, a light trance, is induced. 

        Like

      3. As I was swimming around the goldfish bowl of your head I noticed the chip on your shoulder and pointed it out to you. You were offended and got all puffed up, it’s really cute.

        There is no need to reinvent the wheel like you have. You are just repackaging and recycling some ancient wisdom so you can resell what is already for free.

        In a Buddhist meditation a light inward reflective state of mind is induced. On might describe this as partly but not limited to a trancelike state of mind.

        Like

      4. Let’s say you wanted someone dead. That’s right, your mind is made up, and the only resolution to the issue is murder.

        Oh yes, the ‘red mist’ has descended, and in our private thoughts we harbour murderous intentions. Thankfully these kind of thoughts rarely take the step from fantasy to reality. They’re usually very fleeting; not sustained enough to cause us, or the recipient of our thoughts, any harm at all.

        So, hypothetically speaking, let’s say, on this occasion, the red mist hasn’t dissipated, and you’ve decided on murder. After some further thought you’ve also decided on the means: Poison. Yes indeed, poison is the weapon of choice.

        There are many, many ways to take a life; dozens of ways we can inflict harm on another human being, and yet, poison has been chosen. Before we actually carry out our murderous intentions though, let’s just take a moment to examine exactly why this method.

        It could simply be down to convenience, ease of use, or, as is most likely, it’s the delay before it takes effect that’s important. This time delay gives you, the perpetrator, time to escape after the trap has been laid. A bomb with a time delay would have the same effect, but this of course, would be extremely indiscriminate. Okay, if you’re a terrorist with indiscriminate killing, in mind. Our intention though, is to just kill one or two people.

        “Also, let’s think about the nature of poison, and how it does its job. Once administered, what exactly are we thinking, and what does this say about us?”

        In other words, what is the psychology, behind our choice of weapon? Everything we say and do to others is a clear indication of our true nature. If we stuck a knife in someone, for example, it’s potentially our anger that’s driven such a violent act. We’re more likely to be young and angry when using a knife.

        The use of poison would suggest a more scheming, calmer, use of planning. Sure, anger may be at the seat of the driving, and yet we’re not so clouded by it, that we blindly lash out. We’re planning and scheming. We don’t want to get found out. We don’t want the weapon to be traced back to us in any way. Or if we do, it’s deliberate, and doubt can be cast on whether its origin, can really be authenticated.

        “Perhaps we want to instil doubt and fear at the same time. The long game may be our intention. Disruption, of entire countries, might be our long term goal. We understand how to divide and conquer”

        All things said, calculated acts of murder, are committed by those whose brains are unable to see peaceful paths. Revenge is driven by an inability to control emotions. We’re stuck with angry feelings that we believe can only be resolved through re-inflicting the hurt and harm we feel we’ve suffered.

        When our power and control is threatened we commit murder. If someone is seen to have sold us out, so to speak, we must seek revenge or lose face. Those who give our secrets away are seen as traitors who must be destroyed. History is full of people who’ve been murdered simply because they’ve told the truth; revealed secrets. The secrets we all have. The lies we all hide behind.

        “Words can be used as poison”

        There are numerous cases of domestic abuse, where someone has taken their own life, as a result of being ground down, through years of verbal abuse from a partner. Tell someone they’re worthless, useless or hopeless for long enough, and eventually, they’ll believe it. Imagine the damage words of this nature do to the self-esteem of children. Either directly or when in earshot of parents arguing.

        Poison has to be the most cruel and calculating way anyone can take another’s life. Those who use poison, be it through words or chemicals, are the worst kind of human. The worst kind, because this poison, is only an extension of what already exist within themselves: Hatred, cowardice and fear. Frightened, scheming cowards, use poison. We must be very wary.  Wary and aware of what does not exist within the mind of the poisoner too.

        Like

      5. Yes words are definitely poison, you know that to be true because you have mastered the art yourself. Words are also a tool of the ego, a multitude of words, big words, and big ideas are a clear indication of a big ego. You are a good perhaps even a great person many of us are but because of that nobody should die for any reason poison or otherwise, but how do we kill our egos? What is the poison that is the most effective for this sometimes egregious task?

        Like

      6. A short time ago I caught an interview with Alison Moyet where she stated her intention to own nothing. She expressed how people might assume she was on “some kind of meltdown.” Her feelings on the subject of ownership were also picked up on by The Guardian: “I really don’t want to own things. It just drags you down” she said.

        When someone of note talks of such things it always seems to grab my attention 

        In contrast to Alison Moyet, who wishes to own nothing, we have the likes of Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, to name but a few, who seem to want to own everything. Richard Branson, for example, now owns two of the Virgin Islands (Necker and Mosquito) and has a portfolio that can only be matched by the Gods. Indeed, many perceive such heights of success and stature, as something that can only be achieved by Gods. Branson is of course human and a seemingly nice one at that. His philanthropy makes for interesting reading.

        Horses for courses

        We are what we are and it could be said there’s as much a need for the entrepreneur as there is for the minimalist. Interestingly enough, one of the reasons for Branson’s success, is the paradox of the fearless approach he, and many other fellow entrepreneurs have, toward money. In the early days he had a pathological driving to reinvest everything. The driving wasn’t so much to own large sums of money but to use money in a way that increased his status and power. We could say much of this is down to the size of a person’s ego and their humongous competitive spirit.

        We’re all looking to prove something

        Both Alison Moyet and Richard Branson are seeking to prove something to others. How successful Moyet can be at owning nothing is something she must prove to both herself and others. Thinking that owning stuff drags you down is surely a belief. Owning stuff drags you down when the belief is there’s some kind of attachment to it. If Branson had been emotionally attached to money (or things) there would have been no growth. Hoarders are the kind of people who believe their possessions define them and have some kind of power. When we believe possessions have power then of course those very possessions begin to have power over us. They begin to own us! I very much doubt Branson has such a belief system. In fact my feelings, are that it’s very much about power and competition, with this individual. You would have to read his book to understand why I’ve come to such a conclusion.

        Personally

        On one level I’m still seeking to deal with the belief that a competitive spirit is something quite ugly. I find it repulsive to watch competitive sportsmen and women. The reason for this may well lie in a repressed competitive spirit of my own. I’ve no doubt been taught that competitiveness is wrong or perhaps even sinful (religion in childhood). It also relates to a dislike of being beaten by those with a stronger competitive spirit than my own. It’s as if mine was stunted in childhood. Underdeveloped if you like. The answer to this underdevelopment could be to simply give up and adopt beliefs that fit with a non-competitive nature. In other words, rather than seeking to change something that’s seen as a limitation, we can justify being a meek underachiever, through adopting, or embracing, past lessons in religious beliefs. 

        Never confuse calm and gentle with weakness

        If we want success and riches, a need for healthy competition, is paramount. There can be nothing ugly about a competitive spirit when it’s directed in such a way that it benefits humanity in general. 

        Let me explain. We can easily see competitiveness between world leaders, yet this is often something rather twisted, and dark. World leaders who chose to suppress (or conquer) the people they lead, as a means of empowering themselves, or to be seen as powerful by the rest of the world, are employing a very twisted logic indeed. At the root of this logic lies fear. When we understand the sensible, loving way, to use human competitiveness, we have a wonderful formula, for success. All of us can benefit when love is the driving force. 

        Own as much as you want just remain unattached

        An emotional attachment to other humans is fundamental to our health and wellbeing. Love for others reflects a love of ourselves. When we empower others we do this to ourselves. By contrast, emotional attachments to money or inanimate objects, is certainly only ever going to be a one way street. It is impossible to empower ourselves through loving a collection of crystal vases for example. We would remain extremely shallow and of little practical use to others.

        So there we have it, once again it’s clear to see, when the force of love is at the base of all that we do, success is guaranteed. And at the same time retaining a healthy ego.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.