There's been a lot of nothing about lately.
I alluded to it in my last post, as it's been, well, something I've been doing more and more of recently. It came more fully to my attention that I need more of it too, when my regular respite stay was cancelled (no room at the inn, as it were) because I sort of save up a lot of my required nothingness time unconsciously for these respite weeks. I felt really deflated and frustrated when I got the call the morning I was due to go in. All the same, I do a fair bit of nothing anyway. Proper nothing, I mean.
Then fellow blogger (and noteworthy wordSmith) edwarddebozo says lobbed in a timely and well-wrought post on his increased taste for nothing, and just yesterday I was moved to reply to a 'question of the week' about "what you wish to do before you die" on a geeky in-crowdy web-memey site I lurk about from time to time with a post about how I want nothing. And crikey, it seemed to strike a bit of a chord over there in b3tavia. Indeed, a moment of nothing meaning something. Seinfeld, anyone?
The term they use in contemporary Ho'oponopono circles (as set forth by Ihaleakala Hew Len building on the work of his teacher Morrnah Simeona) is "setting the mind back to Zero", and that's a pretty good description of this nothing of which I speak, I reckon. With this comes a sort of freedom from rampaging emotions - the sort driven by our habitual self-talk and fearful memories - but it would be wrong to think of this state as emotionless. This is because the emotions that I do experience in the increasingly frequent but still relatively rare Zero moments I can sustain longer than a few tens of seconds are able to course through me untrammelled and untrammelling, regardless of their flavour, simply because I have no thought to attach to them. I can't even really name them now for you.
I suspect it's the sort of pre-nirvana state Gautama Buddha was on about with the freedom from desire stuff. Thinking about it, this is even more key a concept than freedom from suffering, because in my experience at least to date the biggest component of my suffering is the desire to be free from it. When I'm Zero'ed out there can still be pain or discomfort, but it's just there, it's no problem at all. It's very cool.
"But what's the point of life without the highs and lows of emotion - power and passion - isn't this just another egotistical way of trying to control life?" I hear someone ask.
My answer is simply "No."
I can see how this would work, faking it as it were, and I was sceptical of the concepts when I found them formalised in modern ho'oponopono too, yet they just sat so naturally and well with me. It's where all this 'cleaning' talk comes from. I'm not proselytizing, and I'm not proactively seeking to do healing work either these days - such work as I need to do seems to have a way of finding me anyway, which is lovely. But I'm wondering if you see what I mean, if you know what a Zero moment is like? Sure you do, you remember.
Recently I've discovered sort of a new level of awareness with this stuff, and I have more than anything else my illness to thank for it. You might have read some of the ongoing Things I Want Right Now series here, about my food cravings. These are waning somewhat btw, but have not fully abated. Other losses though, are mounting. Actually mounting is entirely the wrong word; losses can't mount, there is nothing to pile up after all. Let's imagine an anti-pile of losses. A complete opposite of mounting up. Which is not digging a hole, wiseacre. Lose that thought right now :-) The loss of abilities is slightly different from the loss of desires, in that the former tends to lead (via grief, usually) to the latter. For example the loss of my ability to physically ride a motorbike brought me back to my long-held dreams of long-distance riding, eventual reconciliation with the near certitude of it's future impossibility, and subsequent release of that desire, with all the 'memories' and habitual thought patterns around it. And when I have such a moment of realising that I have just 'let go' (for want of a less New Age term) of such a desire, in floods a wonderful moment of.....nothing. Zero. It gives me this awareness of myself as a being existing throughout time - connected to past and future as well as now, like standing in a room where now is here, past is over there, future there, and paradoxically the room is also me. Oneness with all. That stuff. And it infects (well, cleanses) all sorts of other memories and thought patterns which I never would have thought had anything to do with long-distance motorcycling for me.
Did that make any sense to anyone else? Best I can do right now.
I suppose to follow the analogy of we people being only separated from Oneness with the Divine (I'm not bothering with disclaimers for language now, just insert your favourite signifiers OK?) by the baggage of egotistical desires, fears and layers of behavioural and thought patterns accreted over time, then the more of it we clean away, the closer we may feel to this Oneness.
I used to worry that there was Nothing. Zero. Turns out I was right, but Nothing is nothing to worry about. Zero is awesome. It's just exactly like here, but better. And weirdly, you seem to get more done. Go figure!