Thursday, December 01, 2005


"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1: 1-3)
How's this for synchronicity?

While I was working on the piece about beliefs yesterday, I coughed a couple of times. A man beside me offered me a sweet which he said would help relieve my throat. I knew he meant well but I told him I was quite alright. He insisted I have the sweet but I thanked him and declined his offer. As I see it, accepting the sweet would have been making a something out of nothing. In thought I dismissed the cough as nothing and it became nothing.

Aren't we fond of making something out of nothing? You sneeze and you hear someone either say "Bless you!" or ask

"Are you coming down with something?"
"No, I am quite alright, it is nothing."
"How can you be alright when you are sneezing?"
"I assure you, I'm alright, thank you."

When I make something out of nothing I'm bound to dream up reasons why I've accepted the "something experience." Maybe the experience makes me stronger; or it is there to test me; or I'm supposed to learn something from it. It is nothing, I tell you, NOTHING!

A while back when I was crossing a road I said hello to a fellow pedestrian. He asked me if I wanted a cigarette. I thanked him but declined. I saw a warning on the case: "SMOKING KILLS."

"I see you're not paying any attention to the warning then?"
"That's because it means 'smoking kills other people.'"

That made me giggle. That's one way to dismiss a something into nothing.

Recently I watched a film-documentary, Touching the Void, based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson. It is about when Joe and Simon were climbing the Siula Grande mountain in Peru. They were using the technique where they were attached to one another by a rope. While they were descending, Joe fell and broke his leg. Simon didn't give up but tried to help Joe by lowering him level by level. At one point, Joe plunged deeper than expected and he was dangling in space. His weight was putting a lot of pressure on the rope. Simon didn't know whether Joe was still alive. He held on as long as he could then he made the decision to cut the rope. Joe fell but landed on a ledge. The rest of the story is about how Joe manages to crawl his way back to base camp. The documentary also gets Simon's perspective: how he felt such remorse about his friend, though he knew he had made the right decision. There was also their friend, Richard's perspective, who had been left at base camp.

Joe said though he had a religious upbringing, he doesn't believe in God. He believes that when you die there is just nothing. He said during the experience, he felt there were two parts of him involved. There was the part that had the general overview of what was required of him that guided him as a "voice" and kept him going. There was the part that was busy day-dreaming.

I believe Joe experienced the mountain according to his world view; and his "guide" navigated him in a physical way. I don't suppose Joe was open to being rescued by angels. If he was going to survive, he was either going to do it himself or be rescued by his friend. As far as he knew, his friend had cut him loose so he was on his own.

Joe said that while he was trying to survive without food and water for several days, he felt as if he was being stripped of everything he thought he was. He felt like he was nothing.

I found this interesting that though Joe was navigating the mountain in his own way, he still felt the nothingness; the void. It is this void that the scriptures talk about. God is without form and void. Everything exists within the void; put another way, things pop out of the void. As I am typing this piece, words are coming out of the void.

The void is what you make it. If you're like Joe who sees the world as material, then it is. Whatever beliefs you have so will your experiences be. No matter what our beliefs or perception, all forms are innately null and void.

If you don't know by now, I'll say it again one more time - I AM A TREKKIE i.e. a fan of Star Trek. There is a species in the series called the Vulcans who are very logical. The Vulcans have a technique called mind-meld where a Vulcan can either share his thoughts and experiences with someone or wipe out an individual's experience.

Consider this. We can all mind-meld with God. God, the void, is who we all are. At any time we can mind-meld and erase our thoughts in favour of God's thoughts, which is silence.

Ready for a God mind-meld?

"My mind to your mind; my thoughts to your thoughts."

Nothing else left to say really.