My Socratic Oath:
Perpetual confusion is perhaps the most honest state of being.
I have none of the answers,
and all of the questions!
The Pursuit of Happiness
Human beings have largely fallen into the paradigm trap of chasing after an object which once possessed, they are firmly convinced, will make them perfectly content and happy. This object may be a house, a car, a large sum of money in their savings account, or even the possession of another human being. However, if this object is ever possessed by its seeker, there remains as yet no happiness or contentment in the seeker. There is only a feeling of emptiness and a vague value of dissatisfaction.
This is due to the fact that happiness and contentment are of purely internal sources. The external conditions may contribute (or take away) to our quality of happiness, but only so in a more temporary fashion. Permanent happiness is a state of mind — and in truth, is also not permanent, in the sense that no human being is immortal, and no planet or star or place of being will continue to last for the duration of the infinite and eternal universe.
Ambition and attachment to striving is a form of suffering (the grand dukkha!) and the only consolement in this form of suffering is hope — the hope that our goal will be obtained through our dedications and efforts. This hope is comforting and may bring us some brief, exciting happiness. Yet once our goal is obtained, we will find there is no happiness to be found or sustained. The next step is to continue to paradigm — we invent ourselves a new goal and refresh our ambitions and step once more upon our rightful treadmill — the pursuit of happiness.
We may consider that happiness is not a thing to pursue, to chase or capture. Happiness is not a prisoner on the run. Perhaps happiness is already existent and within all of us. It is only upon the will of the seeker to stop seeking and to breathe and smile and realize that they are alive.
Indeed to realize, simply and yet profoundly, that they are and that all is alive.
To Worship Nothing
To worship the Void, the Nothing, the no thing which paralyzes the rational mind and is perhaps undeserving of titles with capitalized first letters — to worship such a conceptual non-conception would have the same result as the worship of Christ, Allah, Zeus or any of the other thousands of Gods created in Man’s image. These things too are non-existent.
Pious thoughts and prayers and service go unheard except by the ears of their practitioners. In reality, these things are less than an echo into the black void of the unknown. These practitioners, with the exception of brick walls, are busy talking to themselves. This might be considered a strange, yet milder case of holy schizophrenia. At least if one were to worship Nothingness, it would be more honest.
Black Coffee & The Nothing
A steaming cup of black coffee may be considered an active symbol of the Void, the Nothingness which circumvents all and is within all (for example, an atom is said to be 99% empty space). Thus when we consume the bountiful black of freshly brewed coffee, we may feel closer to oneness, the Tao, the Void, the Thing which is no thing at all and has no rightful name.
A cup of the holy sacrament to Nothingness is in my delighted hands this morning as I walk the streets, observing the rising of the sun and the flow of our Sisyphean civilization. The day passes swiftly, each hour but a dreamy moment and now it is high noon. Society has reached fever pitch in its eternal locomotion and I have my second fresh cup of coffee once more in my hands. The bright sun is shining down upon my head, into my cup, and I can see our beloved star’s brightness upon the surface of the black. I down the cup and feel as if I were drinking the sun. The heat in my throat and stomach confirms the notion. I feel powerful, alive, and creative. The energy is dire and tingling at the fingertips. I sit down to write about Black Coffee and Nothingness.
When I drink this earthly gift, this mind-expanding sacrament, I feel as if I were closer to a oneness with nothing, which is inherent in everything.