I did not find it out of sheer intellectual power, as I’m sure my friend did. I was just curious, and I was asking myself all the right questions (or maybe the wrong ones). Moving curtains about, trying to get to the ‘innermost recesses of my mind’, perhaps hoping to find a magical Narnia at the end of the closet. And one day I sensed its presence behind one last curtain. I have no way of knowing this, but I guess most people stop right there, and leave that last piece of sanity untouched. But I could not help myself, I moved it out of the way and in an eerie non-explosion, I saw it. It’s not a light that fills your eyes or takes your breath away. And all you can perceive of it is pointlessness. As anyone who has seen it can attest, it’s not the kind of thing that grabs you, or even one that pulls you in. No, it just sort of sits there in all its nothingness. I was obviously not intelligent enough to understand it, and I’m sure I’m still not, but I did sense the danger it posed to my self. I think back then I did the right thing, as I quickly stepped back and just started piling the curtains I had so eagerly pushed away. Religion, friendship, nationalism, music. Enough to keep me busy and end my introspection for a couple of years. No more wandering or wondering, at least not in those dangerous regions of the void.
I sort of knew it was all bullshit: religion most of all. As the years passed and the walls I had built around the void began to crumble I realized I had to go back in and ask some serious questions. Trying my best to be objective I brought it all down. Since then I’ve lived in close communion with the void. I’ve learned what it implies and what can be done with it.
I cannot tell you how to find it. I would not even want to give you hints, because it’s the kind of thing you should not see if you’re not able to find it yourself. I would not wish it on an enemy. I know there are many ways to get to it. Out of dumb curiosity as in my case, or out of a cognitive process as in my friend’s. I also suppose it can be found when a life without introspection comes face-to-face with reality and their own walls crumble and fall and their curtains come down. It must be nasty to find it this way.
I can, however, try to describe what it is and what I’m doing with it.
The void is the great nothing. The void is dumb meat, fighting to live without any other purpose than life itself. The void is the élan vital in plants, bacteria and fungi and the lady in the grocery store. It is the end of all questions or perhaps their source. It’s the end of the line for your train of thought and it’s where you’ll go when you die. It’s realizing that not only your feelings are artificial, but your reasoning itself is a fluke. It abhors consciousness. It’s beautiful to the understanding, terrible to the believing. It’s the non-purpose and non-reason of life.
It does nothing and allows nothing to be done seriously while in its presence (I don’t believe one can live a normal life while in its presence). From within the void, everything outside at once makes sense and doesn’t. But you can play with it, once you are comfortable with its non-being. I’ve hung new things around it. Not curtains, though at times I would like to pretend I don’t know it’s there. I’ve hung pictures. Things I (be)li(e)ve in. Not because I want to cover the void, but because I know it’s there, and I know life is not worth living unless there’s something in there that you want to make yourself want. I used to worry about coherence among my pictures. You cannot post both astrophysics and astrology. You cannot have religion and anything else. But I’ve learned, like the void, not to care about such things. I eclectically post whatever I want, and I know its more than believing, because I made it so myself. Self-reformation had never been easier.
- I like the wind and the smell of rain on earth.
- I like good and not-so-good music.
- I like reading and making up stories.
- I like good cooking and good eating.
- I like the mountains and the forests.
- I like beer and alcohol and girls.
- I like taking pictures and seeing other people’s pictures.
- I give importance to friendship, and helping other humans.
- I give importance to work and seeing its fruits.
- I give importance to love, and I always want to have another go.
- I like traveling. And I like going there as much as I like getting there.
- I like to get away from everything at times and I like driving on empty roads.
- I like to get wet when it rains and I want to try (almost) everything at least once.
And I know the void is there, doing nothing and expecting nothing from me. I can live with it, I just don’t want to be looking at it all the time. But at times, I can’t help but wander…