There is such a thing as political nothingness and today, with a politicized SCOTUS, a supreme court nothingness.
A Supreme Court reducing American jurisprudence to nothing, pulverizing the doctrines of church/state separation; of peaceful transfer of power; of women having rights over their own bodies (not unlike in slave times and as articulated in the 13th and 14th amendments); of gays and lesbians having the right to marry whom they love (an effort is now afoot to kill it from Clarence Thomas, the loudest voice on the court); and defending the planet so that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has a chance.
Catholic monk Thomas Merton wrote that “our true self is not easy to find. It is hidden in obscurity and ‘nothingness,’ at the center where we are in direct dependence on God.” He tells us that
…one reason why our meditation never gets started is perhaps that we never make this real, serious return to the center of our own nothingness before God. …We do not begin by seeking to ‘find our heart,’ that is to sink into a deep awareness of the ground of our identity before God and in God.
It is interesting that Meister Eckhart sometimes calls the “spark of the soul” a nothing or nothingness. It is hidden, it is deep, it is mysterious and often needs a powerful spark to ignite it. He also says that “God is nothing….And yet God is something.”
Feminist and naturalist Susan Griffin writes that “Nothingness spreads around us. But in this nothing we find what we did not know existed.”
Beguine Mechtild of Magdeburg tells us to “Love the nothing, flee the self.” A sort of purifying of selfhood and ego happens when we embrace the nothing.
Meister Eckhart reminds us that
…all creatures are a mere nothing. I do not say that they are something very slight or even something, but that they are a mere nothing. All creatures have been drawn from nothingness and that is why their origin is nothingness.
This is not as esoteric as it may sound. Consider this meditation: Add one year to your current age and think back to that time. In that year and for billions of years previous, you were nothing. You did not yet exist. Our origin is indeed nothingness.
John of the Cross also speaks to Nothing in this poem:
To reach satisfaction in all
Desire its possession in nothing.
To come to possess all
Desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all
Desire to be nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all
Desire the knowledge of nothing.
Meister Eckhart had a wild dream about nothingness from which he drew an even wilder conclusion: I once dreamt that I, even though a man, was pregnant, pregnant with nothingness. And out of this nothingness, God was born.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 148-156.
And Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics, p. 315.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Traveling through nothingness. Image by Chen Yichun on Unsplash.
Queries for Contemplation
Are you experiencing Supreme Court Nothingness? Do the mystics cited here assist you to grasp what you are undergoing? Is the nothingness we are tasting a prelude to a great breakthrough, a great birth, a “new creation,” and birth of God that our nothingness and our moral outrage will give birth to and that Eckhart names?