Bottomless Refills

February 11, 2022

I’m on empty.

This emptiness is nothing new.

Regular readers (hi, there!) will know that I’m the type who believes in using whatever tools work. It’s why I’m always trying to understand others, especially those who are not the same as me.

Feeling empty, as least from a Western standpoint, is widely considered to be a negative emotional experience.

Imagine my relief when I picked up the Tao Te Ching — the book of Daoism — and found that it believes otherwise: our emptiness is a sacred place.

We make cups out of plastic and jars out of clay. But it’s not what we use to create the containers that make them worth anything.

No, it’s the space we have inside.

We work with the substantial — plastic, clay, glass, our skin — but the emptiness is what we use.

And I remind myself that being empty only means I have all this room to fill myself up today.

Of course, the opposite is also true: we can be too full. “It is easier to carry an empty cup than one that is filled to the brim,” a passage reads.

I felt that a few times today, too. In those moments, I’ve just been remembering my emptiness, and letting the things that I don’t need go.

Usually, though, when I wake up in the morning, I have this overwhelming sense of being empty.

This emptiness is nothing new.

But as the Tao Te Ching reveals, “The spirit of emptiness is immortal.”

And filling that space is what keeps me alive.

Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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