Explorations: A Miracle of Nothingness

By Clarence R. Pedersen

Clarence PedersenTell me please--what do I do when all the games have been played? When all the songs have been sung? When all the books have been written and all the books have been read? What do I do when I have done all this and I have done all that? When dialogue becomes monologue and the monologue slowly disappears into the mists of the Great Silence? What do I do if the omnipresent “why” of existence does not answer my question?

Am I empty then? Or is it that “my cup runneth over”? Or what? And why?

Is there perhaps an informed but unformed reality that lingers a fraction of a micromoment beyond my consciousness? Perhaps a reality that needs expression as it clamors silently for validation? Surely it needs substance.

No! Not so! It needs nothing! I--I am the one doing the needing, the longing, the aching. Reality is my rock. And I am comforted by my belief that, in spite of its nothingness, it is there. But of course this is only a belief. It is not an experience. Still I smile in inner contentment and gratitude when I believe that I feel its touch; when I feel its blessing.

But define it for me, please. What is this whose touch I cannot return? With whom I cannot discuss? And thus I can easily refute it. Yet I cannot refuse it. Whether I call it a dream, or a fantasy, or a moment of wishful thinking—still I cannot refuse it. Why is this? What is this I cannot refuse? Except when it interferes with my daily tasks or pleasures--my outreach to the world. (I am endlessly busy reaching.)

Yet even then I don’t refuse it. I am simply unaware of it. It passes me by like a comet in a distant galaxy. Not noticeable. It is beyond my Umwelt--my capacity of awareness. I am oblivious to it.

It cannot be proven. Nor can it be denied. It is as enigmatic as eternity. As senseless as spacelessness. It is nonsense.

And so I leave it in the closet of my consciousness—with the door tightly closed—in pure darkness (where the light is brightest). And every now and then, in a rare unbusied moment, I glance sureptitiously at my closet door, wondering, “Could this be where my answer is hiding? And if so--why?”

But I have misplaced the key, and there is nobody to help me find it. But then perhaps there is nothing to find. A miracle of nothingness. Who knows?

One day, when my mind was empty, I discovered to my surprise that the closet door was never locked, and so I peeked inside and was engulfed with total tenderness. And it was really, really hard not to smile. And feel blessed.

It all fades away quickly of course. Fades from my enquiring and acquiring mind. My mind--the inquisitor.

I ask myself, “Will it return? This powerful, all knowing nothingness?” But that’s the wrong question. It never went anyplace. How can it return? Go! Open the door again!


Clarence Pedersen is currently the president of the Theosophical Book Gift Institute. He is the former Publications Manager for the Theosophical Publishing House and in the 1970s served six years on the Board of Directors of the American Section.


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