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NOTHINGNESS

Whilst our attention is often drawn to substance, it may be interesting to explore the nothingness in-between.

In fact the known substances in our universe are thought to take up a minuscule amount of space. Most of our universe is considered to be full of nothing. Scientists claim the particles found in the whole human race would fit into to the size of an apple. The rest is empty space or nothingness.

Yet, how do we encounter nothingness in our lives? Is it that blank canvas, clean sheet of writing paper or silence? When we want to express ourselves to what extent do the spaces in-between make it interesting?

I sometimes wonder whether we have a fear of nothing. Does the dark, emptiness seem disturbing? Do we fill our lives with distractions to avoid the nothingness? What would happen if we spent some time everyday just doing nothing? Is it possible that out of those periods of nothingness we might reach a state where we can be open to something new and different, rather like having that blank canvass or clean sheet in front of us?

If nothingness held no fear for us, would our lives be different? Could we exercise more choice over what we want to do and put more attention to the things that really serve us best? What would happen if we threw out the to do lists, diaries and planners for a while? How might we feel if we started a day from the point of nothing and then let our own impulses guide us? Could it be that by slowing down and acting out of joy, we would find it easier to leave those loving imprints on everything we do?

More than that, what would happen if at certain times in our lives we deconstructed ourselves down to nothing? How would we be if we shed our identity, sense of self and ego? What new possibilities could open up for us? What kind of rebirth would be possible if every now and again we released ourselves from all that we hold dear, and embraced the possibility that we might essentially be nothing? Could it be that most of what we think is real, is a self-created illusion, and that when we strip the illusions out there is nothing left?

Would we feel freer if we could discard our labels, past stories, excuses, justifications, assumptions, patterns of behaviour, strategies and putting on an act? Could we experience new creative impulses out of nothing? Might this open us up to wonderful new insights, discoveries and revelations?

It seems that at a time when life is more hectic, busy, full and demanding and when the times that we are relaxing are filled with entertainment in the form of the internet, TV and modern communication, the art of doing nothing may be melting away in the heat and drama of life.

Perhaps exploring nothingness can help us embrace change, personal transformation and growth. It may be that through an appreciation of nothingness we begin to sense everything else differently.

Copyright Simon Brown, London, 2011