Friday, June 01, 2007

Emptiness & Nothingness

Coca Cola
Originally uploaded by Frames-of-Mind.
People confuse emptiness and nothingness. The two are often (and erroneously, in BPG’s opinion) used interchangeably in Eastern philosophy. And this gives things like meditation bad press – because who, after all, wants to achieve nothingness?

A good way to reveal the difference is by comparing it to your email inbox. Our inboxes are all way too full. (people are even talking about “Email Bankruptcy” these days – a public declaration that you owe too many emails and can never recover from your debt.)

The Nothingness approach would say “Delete the Inbox. Yeah, the whole goddam thing.”

OK, so problem solved. No more email. Which might be useful if you’re gonna go live in a cave the rest of your life, but not so if you’re still a participant.

The Empty approach says “Empty the Inbox”. There’s different ways to do this usually encompassed by the 4 D’s (Do it, Delegate it, Defer it or Dump it). One way or the other, at the end of the process you’ve got this shiny, beautiful empty email box. Ever had an empty email Inbox? Try it sometime it gives you a very warm tingly feeling. And, more than that, you will be way more efficient on that particular day.

The point is that with Emptiness, you’ve still got the container, the sacred vessel. Nothingness throws out the container with the bathwater.

And so it is with meditation. You don’t Delete your mind. You spring clean it, work through all the shit that’s in it. Ultimately out of respect for it. And once you’ve got an empty mind, you can see with clarity the new “emails” that arrive in it. You can see which messages are important, and which should be dumped on the spot. You get a lot more done. A lot quicker. And a lot more efficiently.

Now all you need to do is switch to Gmail, and you’ll be an efficiency factory on steroids.


  1. i empty my inbox, my outbox (sent items), my blog (instantaneously as i create the next post), my comment:z, my, my handwritten journal (since 9th grade) is about to be thrown in some random bonfire, & so on and so forth.

    am i better off than the packrat who hangs on to everything and backs up their hard drive 8 times a day to tape, dvd, optical disk, google.disk, memory stick:z and on and on and so it goes?


    don't get attached do being not attached! oscillate without paying attention to frequency and change like the wind remaining aware that any definition you may have of yourself, any label, is TEMPORARY.

    so stop trying to find yourself i tell myself and just experience what you are moment to moment trying to be more mindfool of eggsactly what that is.

    like for example right now i am not assholy, but next comment, be prepared!-)

    form is emptyness
    and emptyness is form
    i am z0tl
    so fuck you all!

  2. Anonymous02 June, 2007

    Hey bpguy!
    It's been a Long time since I've commented here. You've changed your name/format since my last time here.

    I just saw a post of yours at The Icarus Project from 2005!

    There is way too much email, too many addresses we all have, and too much worthless crap being sent around.

    Did you happen to see the full blue moon yesterday/today? Incredibly big & yellow orange. A communion of the universe in the sky.

    form is emptyness
    and emptyness is form
    I am not z0tl
    so fuck you too

  3. Anonymous02 June, 2007

    In Out Shake it All About
    You do the Hokey C(P)okey
    That is what it is All About

  4. what michelle no you see bpg @TIP and missed me, dam! said teh Beaver.

  5. Great explanation of emptiness.

    Isn't it odd how you always end up finding yourself in the last place you look? :-)


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