The Power of Nothingness

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There is a kind of destructive and delusional conspiracy in the history of much of human thinking that has undermined the fundamental importance of one of our most incredible resources: Nothing.

People are down on Nothing.

What we should see if we think about it more clearly, is that the world of things is really the creation in our own minds, in our mental model of the world, of the line between two equally important parts of one whole. One of those parts is Nothing.

To fail to appreciate Nothing, to harness it, to be blind to the role of Nothingness is to deny ourselves of the most natural fulfilment.

Nothingness is the secret to understanding not only the world, but the self, and after all, what, really, is the difference?

Listen to Alan Watts talk about Nothing:

Also enjoy the music.

I recognised part of Neil Young’s soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch’s classic black and white movie Dead Man in there, one of my favourites, the track “Organ Solo” which I think is played on a hand organ. This movie features Jonny Depp as a man named “William Blake” who is mistaken to be the reincarnation of the famous poet by a native American man, aptly named “Nobody”. Iggy pop is in there too. Choice quotes from memory “One thing’s fur shurr, I wouldn’t trust nothin writ down on no piece of paper” and “I can’t take whisky like I youstacould”. The movie is intense (a couple of graphic scenes) but unmissable, so if you managed to miss it, you have your homework.

Also behind Alan Watts in the video is “Lars is no loser” sung by Icelander Siggi √Ārmann and “Dawn” by Cinematic Orchestra from their gorgeous album “Man with a movie camera”. This music ties so many references together for me and for my appreciation of the message so eloquently furnished by this master of Nothing, Alan Watts.

The rest of the music I feel familiar with but can’t identify, so if you recognise it please do tell.