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September 21st, 2012

Emptiness.-- Ivan M. Granger.

Why do so many eastern traditions, most especially Buddhism, emphasize emptiness or nirvana? As a teenager I used to wrestle with this question: How could void ever be a goal? It seems so bleak, such a stark negative.

It took a lot of exploration along various pathways before this idea of "emptiness" finally had real meaning for me. The emptiness described is not an absolute vacuum, not a gray lifeless no-place. It is empty only in the sense that it is "thingless," free from the countless categories of mental objects and fixed definitions. Everything is still there, but it is fluid, no longer disconnected. This "emptiness" is in fact filled, filled with life! It is a great primal pool of potential and expansive awareness. What it is empty of is that most central of things which defines our reality: the little self, the ego. It is empty of the ego's endless stories about itself. It is empty of the ego's filtration of reality. There is no "I" in this emptiness ("You are momentarily disappearing."). Without that "I," there is finally seeing, but without a fixed point of perception. Without that "I," there is Being, but not separate beings.

Finally free from the small self's constant coloring of perception, things are simply as they are ("Know this: / what arrives here cannot / be other than itself...").  Ivan M. Granger. (part of a commentary on Andrew Colliver's "Nocturne")

Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World

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