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Column: Inside ~ Outside

Ann Barczay Sloan


by Ann Barczay Sloan

If you really think about it... it's quite astonishing how much there is to think about when attempting to grasp that state called Emptiness — Emptiness? What's the big deal? Why on earth should I care about a big fat Nothingness?


Emptiness... an instant outside Time

Stillnes . Satisfaction . Joy . Peace

Well, here's the deal — Even if we are only swept up into it for an instant outside Time, EMPTINESS manifests itself as clarity, simplicity, absence of craving, absence of struggle: Stillness. Satisfaction. Joy. Peace.

We experience it, within our own selves, as a "no-thing" zero state: the matrix of unlimited possibility, wherein "everything" seems totally possible — I had just the briefest glimpse of this within a lucid dream (see my previous article).

The Real Thing – or Nothing at All?

Although I've yet to reach that state of Emptiness... I think it's still worth investigating, discussing - even if only from the outside.

It's like wanting to talk (or think) about delightful experiences like sampling gourmet chocolates, or a sunny day at the beach - even if I can't/don't have "the real thing" this very moment!

Answers vs. Questions

In taking on the role of "reporter" on my Inner Space excursions, I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert — Experts presumably have lots of answers, and that's not where I am at.

Instead, I see myself as an "explorer" — Explorers assuredly have lots of questions. So if you like, I will be happy to furnish you with a collection of "interesting" questions. I personally think it's better to have a few good solid questions to work with, rather than plenty of phony answers!

From personal experience, I can assert that explorers/adventurers are often frightened – at times even terrified. It goes with the territory, that Great Unknown. For me, there is no room for pretense at times like these (no point in trying to act cool, or maintain a stiff upper lip): terror is difficult to mask.

So here is a key question...

Is Emptiness per se frightening? Terrifying? Does it need to be, ever?

OR is Emptiness in Truth as blissful as in the dream I recounted in my previous article?

OR is it both blissful and dreadful, depending on:

  • how much of "everything" I am willing to let go of (for my freedom/liberation)


  • how desperately I keep clinging on to "stuff" I swear I can't let go?

And Now – More Questions

More points for us all to ponder – about the importance of "inner housecleaning", "letting go", and "emptiness":

  • An uncomfortable thought: Is there still "old stuff" of mine lingering on, masquerading as Emptiness?

  • How will I know (clearly, without illusion) when I have achieved complete/real/true Emptiness?

  • Are there higher grades of Emptiness to be experienced... as we evolve to higher levels of our consciousness?

  • Is Emptiness something that can be sustained over linear time? – i.e. Can one remain in Emptiness "forever" while still living on this planet?

  • How is it possible for us to grow and progress in our lives if we continually dwell in the clear, desireless, struggle-free state of Emptiness?

At the End of this Little Journey…

One more question (that I find most intriguing)...

If Emptiness is infinitely more vast than we are, are there some ways in which Emptiness can "serve" us? Or perhaps we are the ones who must serve IT ???

Now that we've taken this bit of an inner explorer's journey, what are your thoughts?

Has anything been gained by talking about inner spaces from an intellectual / theoretical point of view?

Was there any pleasure to be taken, anything of value to be learned?

Did the questions we've examined spur your curiosity onward to evoke your own answers?


Next time:
Please join me next time as we delve into the apparent opposite of Emptiness: The Fullness — There is more to it than you may think!

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