The definition of a vacuum is true empty space – an environment with nothing in it.
It is the attempt to create a nothingness within the all pervasive somethingness of the universe.
Nothing cannot exist in nature because nature immediately fills that nothing with something. Trying to separate out from everything creates a state so profoundly unstable that it immediately disappears.
And this has profound implications for us and what we want.
Let’s start with the fact that the separate human self is essentially a vacuum.
‘That sounds a bit insulting Clare’ you might say ‘Are you calling me empty space? Are you saying I’m needy? Unstable? That I can’t exist?’
Yes. I’m afraid so. That is what I’m saying. It’s the same for me. It is the same for all of us.
When we try to separate ourself we create a state so empty, fragile, unstable and impossible that it has to immediately disappear.
This is because the self is everything it experiences. The self is other people, the world, nature, its environment. It cannot exist as a separate entity.
Any attempt to separate it is essentially the attempt to create a stable vacuum in nature. Impossible. Doomed. The state of separation is so intolerable, so unachievable that it must obliterate itself.
When a vacuum is created in a laboratory it collapses instantly. Anything around it is pulled in because empty space cannot exist.
It is the same with a self that believes it is separate. Anything will be pulled in – pills, drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, work, exercise, food, possessions, money, houses, people, approval – to make that intolerable, impossible idea of separation disappear.
Now what? And how does this relate to what I want? How will it get me that new car and a date and a pay rise?
Well perhaps now we can consider that when we live from the idea of a separate self, our life is an attempt to do the impossible – stabilise and secure a vacuum.
We go in search of what we believe will distinguish us, separate us, give meaning to this separate self. Yet this separate self is by nature unachievable, it is inherently unstable, instantly collapsing.
Every idea of who we are is created from transient, ever changing thought that appears and disappears. Everything we think about who we are can instantly with a single thought be turned into the opposite and be believed as just as true.
Like a vacuum, the nature of the separate self is instability. And this instability cannot allow itself.
Which brings us to the only distinction that ever makes a difference in our life:
Do you want what you want in order to stabilise the vacuum? To try to stabilise and secure a separate self? To numb the intolerable pain of believing yourself cut off from everything you perceive around you?
Or do you want what you want from the knowledge that you are everything already? That the solution to all insecurity is in the realisation of no separation, of the impossibility of a vacuum?
It matters that we see this distinction.
One is a lifetime of unfulfilled searching and seeking, of insatiable needs and desires, of intolerable insecurity and instability that has to be numbed and obliterated with whatever means we have. Every time we believe in that illusory separation, the imaginary void has to be filled and there is not enough money, drugs, alcohol, approval, food, cars, dates in the universe to ever do that because there is no void in the first place.
The other is instant, right now, in the moment peace. It is the utter relief from the quest. It is the sheer bliss of reality.
In our moments of clarity and absorption and merging and flow, there is no thought of separation, there is not even a hint of it. We enter the arena and we are the field, the spectators, the ref, the ball. We sit down to write and we are the unknown from where the ideas emerge, we are the keyboard, the words. We get up to dance and we are the floor, the music, our partner. We play with our child and we are the game, the laughter, the other small human in front of us. We go to the shop and we are the money, the assistant, the goods we are buying.
From this place everything is possible, there is nothing to resist, there are no divisions, no beginning and end, no barriers and boundaries.
From this place of not needing anything we have everything, do everything.
There is no void to fill. There is nothing to secure or seek. There is no need.
There is nothing for nature to abhor.
There is no vacuum.
Never was. Never will be.