I OFTEN THINK of the question “why is there something and not nothing?”
It feels like the primordial question that arises from consciousness itself. To be aware that you are aware ultimately returns you to the why.
There are many ways to chase the Something. Drink, psychedelics, intense meditation. Our personal and collective addiction to happiness, as if it’s the only desirable state to embody. It’s also the desire to suck the marrow from the bones of life as if somehow, there would be somewhere to arrive, where the craving stops.
I see train tracks that stretch off into the distance. From where I’m standing, they appear to meet just on the horizon. To chase the Something, I follow the tracks. And follow them. And it isn’t long before I realize they do not connect, but recede into the event horizon.
I want to chase the Something. But instead, I turn around and face the Nothing.
The black abyss that licks at my heels, devouring everything in its gaping maw. It eats the trees, the decomposing leaves on the earth. It eats the train tracks, as the metal squeals and the wood shatters. Everything everything is taken by the Nothing.
I want to scream at its horrendous advancement. It eats my screams. It also eats my human constructions of consciousness that try to make sense of a universe that seems so beautiful and and yet so cruel. Part of me wants to stop struggling, wants to become an ambassador for the Nothing. I want to bow before the Nothing.
I want to chase the Nothing.
I close my eyes. I can feel the sunlight. I can feel the Something.
“Why is there something, and not nothing?”
More and more, I feel the answer: There can be no Something without Nothing. It is because there is Nothing that we are gifted Something. Nothing feeds Something. And the Nothing must be fed.
We have forgotten how to feed the Nothing. In this oversight, we fail to face our deepest fears. And to be fully alive, to be fully whole, is to learn how to feed the Nothing.
Which is to say, the skill of living.