How to Explore Voidness and Live Beyond It

Edited by George AP, Carolyn Barratt, Me, Myself, & I, Flickety and 7 others

Article EditDiscuss

"Voidness" is a complex object of study in philosophy because while it is a fundamental system of thought, it has been used by many philosophers and metaphysicians on various levels, utilizing many different terms. To gain a firm understanding of it, ideally it should be handled fearlessly by anyone who looks for truth, as well as by those seeking to explore humanity and what constitutes the individual, in order to discover who and what these concepts constitute. Here are some ways to explore voidness and to live through it.

1. 1
Consider a bold theory for starters, namely that voidness or emptiness occurs because it is in-between what is "there" to us. What we normally consider as "us" or "me" is an accumulated collective of memories, knowledge, habits, culture and beliefs (etc.) but the foundation for all of our consciousness is without a "True" or predetermined meaning, theme, or background, and remains only an assumption made by our individual brains.

or feelings." anything that remains would be meaningless. Yet even as a baby. you could not consider what is left behind because it is no longer within the realm of mundane human understanding and ideas. crows recognize human faces and communicate this to other crows. each of them impermanent and often acting individually. then consider the knowledge and experience that has created all the layers that makes you as a person say "this is me and mine". Just as animals react to similar things that we do (such as reacting to hunger. or inhuman. animals can also plan and remember (elephants have exceptional memory for places. gorillas can learn to communicate using human methods. predators maintain hunting grounds. Note the . In essence. If you were to remove all your memories. habits and all the things you identify as you. etc). there are countless psychological processes and interactions that result in a "you" that was there before you were born. the identity of a person is dependent on a large variety of internal and external factors. or to being confronted by an attacker).o o Consider seeing the world for the first time. or without our direct awareness and if these individual processes were put aside there is no remainder. 2. to you. If you were to take away all these aspects of "you. 2 Examine other living things. or temperature. This philosophy may seem concerning because it requires us to re-examine and re-evaluate many of the cultural and personal ideas and attachments we have.

Words are just like programming code. but then dogs bark and howl. and how little difference there is between us all. birds twitter and squawk and there is a wide range of animal body language such as baring teeth. 3 Consider non-living things. Consider that other animals have similar characteristics and functional abilities based in the genetic coding responsible for our hardware. 3. but body language is far more deeply ingrained. until nothing remains. how connected we are in our daily patterns and motivations. alltogetherhuman foundation recognized. etc. tensing and "puffing up" which some animals (including humans) use to seem bigger and stronger. or even the world? Probe your own response to this question. Is there purpose in stones. as underneath your assertions are a great many assumptions about the nature of the world and reality. . o We could pinpoint language as a unique trait.similarities between human beings and their animal cousins. The concept of Void-ness would remind you that each assumption must be examined and its own arbitrary. water. like firmware to language's software.

. All these things change. "I am the wisest. is there evidence or not of some plan or a great mover of those stars and planets.o o Socrates is possibly best known for the paraphrased quote. never settling on a single "Answer. Consider how the planets are racing though space around the Sun or other stars. because only I know that I know nothing. but each reciprocally answering the other. as opposed to physics? Try to consider a weighted average between your experience and the views of others in this regard. Consider the scale of the universe from its galaxies and stars down to the tiny bacteria. are impermanent and are independently in motion. It is not one answer or the other. atoms and subatomic particles." Mastering this is key to understanding the Void. If you keep expanding this perspective to take the stars into account and any planets they may have." There is a hidden meaning to this paradox in that it is not a paradox at all.

4 Look for evidence of a beginning which shows the mark of a scheduled plan. but then it might also be possible for the forces of physics to start it and keep it going without assistance. because part of the question was without basis in what is actually occurring.4. o It might be possible that the universe was purposefully set in motion and left to its own devices. If it were possible to set things in motion such as starting a spinning top and then letting it go. void of plan or controller. Each option has demonstrable evidence in the eyes of individual observers. impermanent. is acting as it must. desire or preferences. Voidness in practice requires a person to put aside these questions in order to prevent bias or selective observation and that a person without opinion. It is a consistent variation between two main philosophies. either (a) One option is that some entity set all of reality in motion or (b) Another option is that physics. observe that things are simply as they are. changing and dynamic responding to cause and effect and that a true singular beginning is simply not evident but is a result of continuous change. much like a spinning top. however in this instance it is important to be aware when the observation and . are there any demonstrable patterns that evidence where they are intended to end up? Voidness by nature puts into stark contrast that many of these "design" or "plan" questions may never be resolved. every particle/wave.

and so forth. 5 Work out what your feelings are in relation to the idea of void. but always looking for a pattern or demonstrable evidence to support your theories. as "A jungle of views. that everything came from nothing. they would not be able to have both. While many tried to juggle and cut their way through them to find the facts for themselves. a tangle of views". Philosophy therefore is about the scientific process of observation and analysis in relation to personal experiences and should not be about reaching absolute certainty. there is only this reality which is as it is. or life and the terrestrial animals of Earth. but at the same time accept that while there is many interpretations of life and the universe. The concepts of the words "absolute certainty" are themselves neither absolute. 5. or searching for an answer to a question tied to a belief structure. the Buddha realised it was necessary to abandon those which did not match what was real.o interpretation of such evidence is selective and/or relative. While the laws of physics can be highly transcendental and enlightening. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing". try to find out what and why. Therefore a person must observe it as it is. The Buddha. Try to find out which approach you consider most apt. Your own evaluations matter in your search for the truth. Einstein proved. As it has been aptly said. who spoke much on the subject. either by studying the vast universe and physics. it is the rare minority who go down that path as it is not self-empowering. . as well as the views of others. but it is wise to not depend on any one view for exploring your mind and the world. If a person was to continue to hold on to a firm set belief or hypothesis during their search for the facts. not a trivial level. nor inclining towards power or debate. as well as how it influences your perception of all other things in life. to his own satisfaction at least. such as whether you find the idea of voidness scary. a person intent on researching this subject must not only consider both options to a deep level. without bias or shaping. nor certain. or strange. comforting. described the varying and opposing philosophies of his day (many of which are mainstream today). even if it was an enchanting or self-empowering philosophy. If you feel anything at all. due to the universal nature of impermanence and change.

See if that changes anything. it might be because you're handling a new idea. . but that's a good thing – allow yourself to be stretched intellectually. 6 Look where new emotions point you. You might find that if you feel uncomfortable.6. Then ask yourself whether those feelings influence what you believe to be the nature of existence.

o If you find the idea is liberating. Consider in what way you will move beyond the voidness to continue engaging with the world by letting go of "socially constructed" thoughts and feelings and looking beyond them. then look outside into the world. 7. . Stay mindful of the ideas you are looking for. scary in its implications. 7 See how you can use your thinking and experiences to improve your life and make the world a better place. see if their patterns repeat with any significance in reality. or want to see if your conclusions can be tested.

Good luck and have fun! . you are free to make your own. Potentially living with information that is all second hand as we have made no discoveries or insights of our own. dignity. and what results in stress. but we get to choose how to live. 8 Finally. healthy and peaceful life.8. and honor in thinking for oneself and to co-exist in harmony with one's environment. It is important to remember that by avoiding making our own path in order to follow another's interpretation or opinions. illness and strife. remember above all this: In a world void of pre-determined meaning. we never develop deeply as human beings and life remains without depth. We have no choice about dying at some point. There can be power. The knowledge gained by exploring Voidness is knowing what promotes a happy.

it is no longer peaceful or empty. drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Nothing "needs" or "deserves" anything. mysteries don't need explaining. There are no authorities in place to will such a concept. or at least. you've lost it" or the moment you need to fill peaceful emptiness. suggests that these thoughts of relation with the void to ourselves will result in "primordial anxiety."  One major Existentialist Philosopher. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty. waiting to be explored. Taoism and Buddhism both have much to say on the void. EditThings You'll Need . — In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup.  Bruce Lee once said.EditTips  Be brave . or where they may lead you.  To paraphrase from Taoism "The moment you try to define the Tao. none that we can demonstrate the existence of. My friend. Heidegger. even if the path looks difficult or contradictory.Don't be afraid of any new thoughts or ideas.  The most important point of the article is that the "Void" or "Emptiness" doesn't need filling." a sense that other realities and horizons of possibility exist alongside our already-known sphere of understanding.  The desire to find an answer stems from our ability to ask the question. "Emptiness is the starting point.

Goethe. Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" may also prove useful. Gadamer. .  Reference texts of philosophers and writers who have discussed continental existential philosophy. Try Socrates. and Camus for starters. Heidegger. Nietzsche. or voidness.. Derrida.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful