What happens when your most precious beliefs fall away?
What do you do when the things you regarded as fundamental, safe, and undeniably you, start to crumble?
Are you prepared to let go and see what’s next?
And to do that over and over again?
I have been in this position many times in my life, and I am right now.
I come across something, try it out ferociously, devour it, get to the bottom of it, become very good at it, even try to sell it for a while, only to realize that though it is helpful and interesting and versatile to an extent, it’s not fundamentally true.
And then it is taken away from me.
It is literally gone, from one moment to the next.
The thing I fell in love with, the thing I regarded to be ultimate and unshakable, is no longer there, it has stopped making sense, and no longer has any value or stability.
Back in foggy no man’s land.
Now, this is not a strategy, at least not one I consciously and deliberately developed.
That would just be fucked up.
Because it is hard work, it’s like jumping from one piece of floating, melting ice to the next one, feeling safe for a while, only to find out that it’s melting too, and you can’t go back.
Luckily for me, there is always a new piece, somewhere.
I am not complaining.
Let me tell you why.
This dynamic way of being in life (learning stuff only to be forced to abandon it and find myself seemingly empty-handed again), might be exhausting and confusing: it’s also very interesting and invigorating and it keeps me fresh and open-minded.
Like starting to notice the sea instead of the ice.
There’s a huge amount of things I held close and dear to me in the past that eventually completely stopped making sense, and when you get a feel for that process, when you see it happen again and again, up and down, you tend to stop putting your eggs in one basket and refuse to keep worrying about it.
After having many, many pet ideologies for a while, sometimes even years, I now have none.
Well, sure, there IS this very direct notion of the only constant in our lives, the thing that many spiritual philosophies have spoken about that can’t be truly named, but that doesn’t feel like something I have to believe in.
It is the only thing that has always been there, no matter what I was engaged in or in love with or full of.
I am with that thing, consciously, at least quite often.
So while the world of rationality and neat intellectual concepts is constantly crumbling, something formidably strong and fundamental and deliciously neutral is emerging.
(Or, to be more accurate: it has always been there of course, but it was just too bloody obvious to be obvious.)
This lifelong process of trying to find a way of thinking I can hold on to, something that keeps me safe and sane, only to see it disappear in a cloud of blankness, has been both enriching and sobering.
Right now, there are simply no ideas that I fully commit to, and this makes it really hard to engage in discussions or debates, or to fight over opinions.
Why would I?
I simply don’t know shit.
I don’t know who we are, what we are, why we are.
It’s not just some pedantic spiritual statement that is supposed to project humility: it’s true.
Because every time I thought I did, life gently took my toys away.
Philosophy after philosophy, concept after concept.
Here now, gone the next moment.
For many years it was really disconcerting and disempowering and frustrating to invest SO MUCH time and energy in something, before suddenly seeing it lose its appeal, but I have learned to love it, to enjoy it, to embrace it.
While so many people become experts in one specific field or niche, I am drifting more and more towards the glorious neutrality of whatever it is that is beyond frameworks or cool systems or awesome rational programs.
From trying to find the safety of the shore, to drifting towards the open sea.
More and more I am left with nothing, and although it is way less frightening and embarrassing and confusing than it used to be, it is also quite impractical.
I simply have nothing to sell.
Nothing that really makes sense, at least.
No cool acronym, no thing that has been invented by ancient Greeks, no Ten Step System That Is Backed Up By Science, no box full of juicy intellectual snacks.
I can’t help but accept that and bask in the insecurity that has started to feel like home, and it has become truly precious.
It’s not that I don’t have a lot to offer, because I definitely do (my family members and friends and clients can attest to that), but it’s something that is just too big and abstract to be caught in words, and, quite frankly, intellectually boring.
Becoming conscious of consciousness is by far the most rewarding and liberating process in existence, it is everything you have always wanted and way, way more, but for the mind it sounds incredibly unsexy.
That is where I operate, and flourish.
And get lost in.
It’s what I live, and what I do, and I just can’t help it.
When everything you believe in and build your world around falls away, you are left with the only reliable thing in life.
The only Real thing.
My thing, and your thing, if you allow it.
I totally get it if you don’t get it, but if you WANT it: let me know.
I’ll guide you to Nothing.
(Photo by @rgaleria, for Unsplash)