Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Vastness

Yeldarb Ttocs


I speak a lot about vastness; what is it? I have no idea. No idea could contain or in any way define it. There is nothing particularly unusual about this; there are lots of similar words in our vocabulary — infinity, eternity, omnipresence. These words seem to logically and conceptually suggest themselves, yet they remain inconceivable.

Of late I have been writing 'vastness' instead of 'The Vastness', or even 'Vastness'. It's curious how these little distinctions seem to make a difference. 'The' identifies a specific something; but since I really don't know what (or if?) it is, that hardly seems appropriate. The capitalization of terms is generally intended to convey some kind of absoluteness, an almost religio-mystical aura. What, for instance, is the difference between 'truth' and 'Truth' (not to mention 'TRUTH')?

None of this means we cannot use these grammatical subtleties; only, if we wish to remain honest about what it is exactly we are intending to convey, we need to be aware of their effect. The same applies to the words themselves, of course. If, in representing the interface between myself and Reality (yes, "R"), for instance, I use the word 'grace', honesty would seem to demand I explain what exactly I mean by a Reality that can bestow it. Unless we are politicians or religious advocates, it would seem, intellectual honesty is a necessary virtue. Suggestion and innuendo are often intellectually dishonest.

Now that that particular rabbit has disappeared down its hole, I return to 'vastness'. Vastness ("v") is first and foremost a subjective experience. It might be argued (by those more able than I) that everything is. 'The Vastness' is the Totality, Dao...you know, that nonsense. Vastness ("v") is the other side of 'me', the emptiness in my guts. It is also 'me', just as it 'is' all that 'is', of course, but it is a great deal 'more' than this.

The neat thing about vastness as experienced in emptiness is that we don't have to go far to find it. Nor do we have to import it; it is always right here in us. Indeed, it is 'us'. There is really no need to attempt to define it, therefore. Nor do we need to add the definitive article ’the’ and capitalize it — it is our existential experience, not cosmic Truth.

To roam in the Vastness is really just to experience ourselves — what does Truth have to do with it?

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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