Empty Square Boxes

Friday, 15 July 2011

An empty page.  An empty Word document.  An empty square Blogger box. Sometimes those things look so scary they fling me off into doing something else.  But I've barely written anything in two weeks, and so this morning the empty square Blogger box looks possible.  It looks like a big white swimming pool with a whole lot of white-type words in it.

Except now it's not.  Empty, that is.  It's now got a paragraph full of 62 words in it.  Except of course that now it hasn't got a paragraph with 62 words in it, because in talking to you about the number of words contained in this blog post, I am getting myself into a corner.  And so I shall now break out of that corner by informing you that this blog post, in its entirety, contains 161 words (which is up to and including the last word I have just typed here right now here this one right now.)

Okay, now that's sorted.  I've written almost 200 words.  Some people write 200-word posts and say something in them.  And then there's mine :)

Perhaps empty square Blogger boxes only look scary in proportion to the amount of scary that's going on out in the world.  I think there's a lot of scary going on out in the world.

I had a very honest conversation with the health food shop lady yesterday.  She came and asked me what I was looking for just as my partner was pointing out what I was looking for (ye olde St John's Wort, an extra crutch to help me through the latest winterly funk seeing some spiritual God conceptions I've crutched on in the past, according to Mr Marx, just don't seem to be working for me any more.  And who knows?  Maybe he's right.  I just don't know.  I miss the comfort of sitting in the happy-to-not-be-able-to-define-the-ineffable-but-think-it's-still-there.  I do still think it's still there, I suppose, in some fashion, but I know even less than I did a few years ago.  Which wasn't really all that much).

I wasn't the only one feeling this way, the health food shop lady said (depressed, that is.  I didn't talk to her about any God stuff because we don't do that here in this country.)  Seems a lot of people have been coming in to this lady's shop try to find some kind of bottled remedy to stop impaling themselves on sharp objects.  It seems, she said, that so many of us are feeling as if the very ground underneath our feet is trembling.

Which in some parts of the world it is.

Our entire conversation was filled from start to finish basically with how shite everything feels at the moment.  And this coming from people living in one of the richest countries on earth, some of the most privileged people on the planet.  And yet still, even for us - perhaps even more so for us in some respects because we have the time and the privilege to sit and ponder how shite and trembly everything is.  We are not starving, our standard of living is unbelievably high, we have health food shops full of worterly potions, supermarkets full of food, clothing stores full of blankets and fleece.  We are the privileged ones who feel the full force of modern ennui where we're full of stuff and yet our culture is empty as all fuck.

It was a really quite edifying sort of a conversation in the end.  Perhaps because it made me feel a bit better somehow, knowing that lots of other people are struggling through this weird, fucked-up trip called life.  There are so many people who have their niche, and they're happy within their niche, and it gives them meaning and solace and comfort and then they try to tell other people about their niche, and how meaningful and comforting it is for them.  I miss that feeling.  I'm not sure what I think/believe/feel about spiritual stuff any more.

I want there to be a capital G God.  I want there to be a benevolent force in the universe that is looking out for us.  I miss that space, because when you believe that is true, pathways open up to you which do not when you do not know anymore if you believe that that is true.

But maybe there are myriad pathways.  Sometimes, part of being on the pathway is not knowing where the fuck you are.  Good things come out of Where the Fuck Am I? Lane, after all.  What I find difficult, though, and which some others just don't seem to find difficult (and which makes me wonder if I have childish conceptions that need putting away) is that I have a psychological want, or maybe even need, for that road to feel like it's leading somewhere.  And right now, I just don't know whether that's not into a brick wall, or laying down childish conceptions, or into a glorious golden age, or into a death with nothing that comes after it.

I want something to come after it.


  1. I don't think it's ever in to a brick wall. It might seem like it at times, but the wall moves, or morphs, or something.

    I took some huge loads of donations to a thrift store the other day...albeit mostly stuff my packrat son had accumulated, but still...and while I'm happy that Goodwill (the thrift store) provides all these jobs, and allows people to buy things for cheap (which I have done many times), and it's very "green" in that things are being reused instead of put into the ground...it's a sorry indicator of our commercialized society that we have so much stuff to GIVE AWAY in exchange for a tax deduction. Sigh. Where the hell does all this stuff come from?

    Well, it comes from my house and the neighbors house and all the other people who have been fooled into believing we need more better stuff in vast quantities. It makes me angry at myself whenever I take donations...in some way at least...that I even have stuff to give away. What's wrong with me?

    Anyhow, that's what I was thinking about.

  2. What if we're all unique expressions of that benevolent force, but we've just forgotten that we are? That would account for the brick wall feeling. But it's a brick wall of our own making, and it can be demolished, one brick at a time. If you look in the right places, there are actually gaping holes, where light's getting through and where the wall's becoming unstable.

    SJW is good stuff, and it got me through a very rough time:)

  3. lots of thought provoking stuff here Sue
    been trying to cobble a post about some of this stuff, but finding the words has been impossible

    the fact that you found 851 (!?!) is astonishing

    Erin, are you for real ... you get a tax deduction for giving old goods to the thrift stores!?! In Australia we have to actually give money to a charity to qualify for a tax deduction

  4. I liked your stream of consciousness style. Sometimes I think we have to be (and God wants us to be) our own benevolent force - our own best warrior, as a friend of mine likes to put it.

  5. Erin - I agree the brick wall moves or morphs. Absolutely. It always takes me by surprise.

    I totally understand your anger about having so much stuff. We're really drowning in it all, and it's just not worth the space. Not even the physical space but the mental space. Or at least, that's the way I feel about that, I totally understand where you're coming from.

    Harry - I dunno. I sometimes share your optimism, at other times I don't. I mean, how do we know that all of these mystical ponderings aren't just inventions out of our own minds, thought projections that make particularly pretty patterns. Look at the religions and different mindsets and paradigms of the world, how different they are, but so many are convinced their way is right, that there is something real about them beyond what's going on in their own heads. Maybe we're just projecting. But then again - maybe we're not ;)

    Kel - haha, 851, yeah. It's amazing how that little blank Blogger box begins filling up once you put words into it. That's always a delight, that feeling, when you're making something up out of nothing, isn't it :)

    Emma - thank you for those words, "out own benevolent force, best warrior." I like that very much and need to hear those sorts of things at the moment. Your words stuck in my head all day (except I had somehow translated them down to "benevolent warrior". A very nice term, thank you :)

    Thanks for your responses y'all to this self-indulgent twaddle :)

  6. Sue, we're all projecting our inner 'reality' onto the world. Except when we're not:) It's possible simply to drop my imagined story about how things are and to see things for what they really are, in their simple, inexpressible beauty, beyond all words, philosophy, belief systems and the like. Just drop all interpretations and see reality 'naked'. It's because humanity has lived for so long in this dream state that things are so awry. It's a waking dream, or nightmare, which the human mind has conjured up as a reaction to what it imagines to be reality.

    When used as a tool, the mind is stupendous, and can sort out any everyday problem thrown at it, but when it tries to sort out the 'big' things it's like an amoeba trying to figure out relativity. The mind just isn't set up for such stuff. Go with the heart, with intuition, which needs no words. Truth is there.

    Oh, and there's nothing self-indulgent about what you've written, but very honest questioning. Twaddle it ain't:)

  7. @Kel, in a word, yes. Mostly. It's a small tax deduction, but it's helpful.

  8. Harry - I guess this isn't really what I was talking about so much. I know what you're saying, being in love with isness as you are. I know some of what it feels like to live in that space - it's a beautiful thang. Where all the good stuff lives.

    I guess what I'm really wondering (which is not answerable) is what is beyond. I want there to be life that goes on after this. I just do. Whether it does or doesn't is another story.

    I know your place is isness and (thankfully) that is beyond belief systems and suchnesses. But just out of interest, what's your personal take on what happens after we die? Do you think we are ultimately a giant pimple on an alien's arse, or it all ends, or we all go on? I know no one can definitely answer this (though we all believe in something, even if it's nothing). Just interested in what you think :)

  9. I love the way you put things, Sue!

    My take? We are the Universe, Life, Love, Joy, Peace, Truth, Source, God, whatever, expressing itself in infinite, glorious forms, in order to experience itself in ever more glorious ways. And that can't 'cease', but simply finds new ways of expressing and experiencing itself. This physical form is recycled, enriching the whole system, but we are not that. Oh dear... words start becoming meaningless here!:D

    Here goes, anyway... I am neither my body nor my mind, as shown by the fact that I am aware of both of them. Who am I then? I am the no-thingness, the silence, the emptiness from which all form and experience spring. Therefore death is actually meaningless, when viewed as an 'end'. It is simply a reorganising of life, an evolving, a becoming. Nothing can be destroyed, only the physical form changes.

    And if that isn't totally meaningless, I don't know what is!:)

    I think I'll go lie down now, and return to the Emptiness, or rather 'have a nap';)

    (Thinks... I hope she doesn't ask me any more questions like that...)

  10. Haha, okay, sorry, I won't ask you any more questions like that (maybe). You did well in your answering, sorry to drag you screaming out of the Emptiness into such a small contraption as your own mind :)

    You answered well, actually. Thanks for that.

  11. No bother really, Sue:) I enjoy the challenge of putting the inexpressible into words, while knowing that all words, beliefs etc are only pointers to reality. I'm glad you took something from what I said.

    One fella who says this in a very approachable, warm and amusing way is Adyashanti at adyashanti.org, if you're interested. He cracks me up, and keeps me 'grounded':)

    Small Contraption gearing up for another excursion into the Relative. Checks brakes...


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