Jiddu Krishnamurti says:
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
I am created to practice becoming “no thing”…
So I may become “all things”.
I am not meant to be violent.
What does all this mean, exactly?
One of the ideas from Lao Tzu in his Tao Te Ching just bobbed up in my heart to share with you: this particular verse is so encouraging, as it reminds us to “empty ourselves” so we may be continually filled anew.
Here is the whole (short!) Verse #11:
“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.”
(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)
There is so much more to contemplate here, but I will grab onto that last line:
“Usefulness from what is not there.”
As Jiddu Krishnamurti points out above, our beliefs can definitely get in the way of our ability to be of true help in our world.
We can only effect change when we empty ourselves:
Cleaning out unhelpful beliefs
Ceasing negative judgements (of ourselves, as well as others)
Releasing attachments (“it should be THIS way” not that way”)
Just imagine how we would be seeing the world if we did not carry around this “violent” clutter with which we fill our heart and soul vessels!
We would be able to see more clearly.
Think more clearly.
Respond in ways that we were previously unaware were accessible to us.
The door to our world opens ever wider…
And we can then walk forward to bring this idea…this open “empty” Presence to all beings.
We can only be filled…
If we are first “empty”.
Easy to say.
Harder to do.
If I can accomplish it just once?
I have readied myself for the next moment.
And then I am then completely open to repeat that emptying again…
If I am finding such freedom in my soul just contemplating this sequence…
…then what joy and peace will there be when I actually ACT upon it?
Each thing that comes our way is the perfect “trigger” to remind us to empty:
Stuck in traffic
The never-ending pile of laundry
The pouring rain when I wanted to go for a walk
Our irritation, sadness, disappointment are signs that we are too full, reminding us we need to empty.
We all know that near-bursting feeling that rises up and wants to take control when we’re overwhelmed.
That’s our vessel that is asking to be emptied.
And we know what happens if we don’t:
The overflow can cause some serious flooding…and often lots of regrets later.
We also have the flip side, where we are filled with happiness:
We’re being praised for an accomplishment
We are so proud to watch our child succeed after hard work
We are overwhelmed by a beautiful sunset that stops us in our tracks
Or we’re intensely grateful for an understanding friend who truly listens to us.
These “fill” us in a positive way.
But if we cling to them too long, they will prevent us from being present for what is happening next:
We miss the next “now”.
We are not created to hold…
But to let go.
Over and over.
For if, moment by moment, we decide to develop our Habit of Empty…
We will always find that we have a created the perfect space…
To be deeply present…
So Love may reside within our heart and mind.
And even more, perhaps?
Emptying to be filled again…is simply what Love IS…
And what Love was intended to be all along.
As our friends the Beatles so simply put it:
“All you need is Love”!
This is living The Habit of Empty!