Becoming Nothing

‘Become Nothing’

He didn’t use those exact words but that was the meaning of what he wrote. The words were suddenly there in the moment in my consciousness… and I knew they were right.

I had been reading a piece by Krishamurti – that fearless enemy of dogma, and proponent of the individual’s right to find their own spiritual path.

It does involve a certain amount of bravery – to contend with that feeling of ‘going against’ those of wisdom, those from whom we can learn, perhaps those of a tradition in which we were raised or trained. But that wasn’t Krishnamurti’s point; he didn’t deny anyone their well-found wisdom, rather, he urged each one of us to find our own… not second-hand knowledge. And to do that, the only way is to go out there and play with the universe; but play with a spirit of intent. And this is where it gets a little complex… until you see the whole of what he was saying…whereupon it gets very simple.

When you play with the universe, you do so in a way that stares in wonder at what you see. There’s a grown thing, covered in rust and tar and road rage; and it’s stuck onto our eyes, forming a film. This gritty, dirty, bitten lens imbues everything we try to see with its sticky waste. Staring in wonder at what you see is the cleaner that wipes the dirty grown thing from our eyes. For most, it happens in little stages, but there are some who ‘take the kingdom of heaven by storm’. They have a moment – a surging, brilliant moment that melts and washes what is keeping them from looking at the world, a universe that is alive and waiting to respond, personally, to their presence, their conversation, their love…

And when you find that relationship with what used to be ‘out there’ you will find that the primary desire of that sticky, dirty, bitten thing was always to change what was out there, because it wasn’t good enough – and having achieved that, to change it, again… and again….

The mind which knows only thought knows no rest.

‘Becoming nothing’ – what does it really mean? It is a mantra of power. It is a moment of revelation that alters our relationship to the whole of our lives. To reveal it via words would reduce the power of each of us being able to step through that mirror of self. It would rob the reader of the self-same experience. But this much can be said: that the word ‘nothing’ should not be the main focus until the rest is understood. What follows, then, is a journey of realisation that shifts who we are, and takes away its central power in our lives, leaving…

And you will have to fill in that space.

©️Stephen Tanham


Stephen Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

You’ll find friends, poetry, literature and photography there…and some great guest posts on related topics.

13 thoughts on “Becoming Nothing

  1. I wonder how much of beasts lives within the heart of mankind, for he is quite capable of the most horrid acts toward his fellow man. Animals seem to attack each other mainly for food, but there are times when they can kill and fight each other without any seeming purpose except to perhaps challenge each other’s rule over the others. That is good that you are a modernist, so we have some excellent and very different views of these things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you all, Sue, Stuart, and Steve, for your good and varied thinking. It is helping me a lot in my own growth to have a sense of balance in my thinking. I must say that I am very attracted to the study of ancient things, for I like to think of how mankind has evolved over time, if we can say truly that he has. So much of what I see today in the way things are handled in this world seem to have traveled backwards, or not to have really made progress in the scheme of things at all.

      I wanted to share something I read in the Bible when I was attending the last university some years in the past. I found it very curious at the time because as many times as I have heard that story, I never thought of it this way, but there is something in this story that may relate to a lot of other things we read from ancient sources.

      We all know about the supposed “sin” of Adam and Eve. And yet they both lived and went on and bore children. Then their one son, Cain, was supposed to have commited murder of his brother over giving a gift to God. So everyone accepts this story as Cain being the first murderer of human beings.

      But I got to thinking about it, and I wonder what this means. In those days, it was common for the eldest (In this case, Cain) to inherit the first and best from the father. But what did Adam leave to each son. Let’s see, to Abel, he left livestock, which means they would come with a lot of land because they each require a huge amount of land to graze. Now to Cain, he clearly left vegetable fields, which means that he likely did not receive as much land as Abel, and it would not have as much value in the end. Vegetable land does not require as much land on which to grow.

      So is there not something strange going on here? Can we really blame Cain for being cheated out of his rightful legacy? And while there is no real account of the actual death of Abel, we assume he was killed by his brother because God asks Cain what happened to him, knowing full well what happened to him. And in the end he does not punish Cain by death, but by a desolate wandering the earth, yet protected from harm by anyone who encounters him. So what is happening here, and what does it mean in terms of other Gods in other lands and times and the issue of sin in general?

      Why is free will connected with sin? And why is a story that so many accept as truth so skewed? I have been questioning a lot of things I have read (not just in the Bible) but in other places about other countries, other Gods, and it seems that there are many strange things that are accepted without question. It is definitely a study worthy of a lifetime, and so it will be. Thank you all again for giving me a place to bring questions and actually get answers that make a lot of sense. Anne

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