Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Tao of Dark Sages - Chapter 3, Part 11

The Tao of Dark Sages
by Scott Bradley

If I may change the subject a little? You speak of fullness when you are empty. Can you explain what this fullness is and how you can be both full and empty at the same time and where this fullness comes from?

I’ll try. And that should cover that topic!


I have told you that you must be empty in order to be full. Only an empty cup can be filled. Now, let me ask you all rhetorically, would it be possible for a cup to be empty of air but full of water? Or empty of water, but full of air? I think that you would agree with me that yes, these things are quite possible. Now the question is, of what are we to be empty and of what might we be filled? Who can tell me of what we must be empty?

Of false-knowledge and belief.

Yes, and we can call these things ‘content’. They are objects upon which our mind focuses and dwells. And why do we need to be empty of content?

Because that which we seek has no content?

An excellent answer. Yes. Because that with which we would have communion lies beyond all knowing. A mind fixed on content cannot be open to that which has no content. It is an altogether different kind of knowing that experiences the Unknown. We learn to exercise this intuitive knowing only when we are free from contentful, objectifying knowing.

“A foot only touches a small part of the earth, yet people can walk far into the unknown”, Chuang-tzu tells us. That still, small voice of intuition can only be heard when the clamor of ideas is put to rest. Then, how wonderfully far we can go!

But there is more. I was not using hyperbole when I said that you must totter at the edge of the abyss in dire peril of despair. I am glad we discussed not-knowing who I am because this reality seems more than any other to thrust us to the very edge of the abyss and over.

What is this abyss? The Void. Nothingness. One of the dark sages, Mark-tzu, once asked me what I was standing on when I said I was standing at the edge of the abyss. Seeing the answer I realized such a profound emptiness that there was nothing left but to be full. Can anyone tell me what I was standing on?


Right you are! Nothing! I was standing on Nothingness! When you have truly experienced that you do not even know who you are you will find even the edge of the abyss crumble beneath your feet. You will find yourself free-falling through nothingness with no hold anywhere, nothing to grasp, nothing to which to cling. And it is only then that you can learn to fly.

If you're interested in reading more from this series by Scott Bradley, go here.

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