Nothing ever happens

I mean, what you got to lose? You know, you come from nothing. 
You’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing! 
Always look on the bright side of life! 
Nothing will come from nothing. You know what they say?
– Eric Idle’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Life of Brian 

A common phrase among teachers is that nothing ever happens

It may seem like an absurd statement. Something clearly is happening. And when we are identified with mental field creations, it even seems quite substantial and real. 

So where does that statement come from? 

It comes from what happens when the volume of emptiness is turned up and it is more in the foreground. Here, it is obvious that nothing ever happens. It is all no-thing appearing as something, yet never becoming anything else than no-thing. It is all the play of awakeness itself. It is appearance without substance. 

And any of us can explore it here now, through the sense fields. I can first look at the mental field. What is it made up of? Does it have substance? Are there any traces of what just left, apart from another story about it? Is it awakeness itself? 

When I get a taste of this in the mental field, I can explore the same in the other sense fields. What is sensation made up of? Does it have substance? Are there any traces of what just left? Is it separate or different from awakeness itself? 

And what do I find when I explore sound? Taste? Smell? Sight? Is each one different from the mental field in these ways? In being insubstantial? Having no trace of what left? Being awakeness itself?  

(When doing this, it is best to come from a more open-ended place of receptivity, curiosity and don’t know. These statements are no more than pointers, suggestions, questions to explore in own experience. And what is found may well be different from this, even if it is just a refinement or clarification… because it can be realized and expressed more clearly and simply than this.)  

At the same time, something does happen. Something does happen in all of these sense fields. There are all sorts of appearances. When the mental field overlay is identified with and taken as true, it all seems very substantial and real. And when the mental field overlay is recognized as just a mental field overlay, it is all revealed as insubstantial, ephemeral, as no thing appearing as something. As the play of awakeness itself. 

As Eric Idle so elegantly pointed out, nothing will come of nothing. 


Initial outline…

  • nothing ever happens
    • when emptiness is in the foreground (higher volume), very obvious
    • no thing appearing as something, but always no thing
    • a play within and as awakeness itself
    • no substance, no trace, only the play of awakeness itself
    • can explore through the sense fields
      • mental, notice is insubstantial, awareness itself
      • then the same with the other sense fields
    • eric idle, excellent pointer for this

3 thoughts to “Nothing ever happens”

  1. I don’t usually emphasize emptiness so strongly, mainly because it doesn’t seem so useful unless it is in a small dose and clearly as a question and a pointer.

  2. I appreciate this post. I’ve had brief glimpses of what you’re talking about, and I think your pointers will help me explore it further.

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