To noth or not to noth - is that the question?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Quality of Nothingness

"Quality [romantic quality] and its manifestations [classic quality] are in their nature the same. It is given different names [subjects and objects] when it becomes classically manifest. Romantic quality and classic quality together may be called the 'mystic'.
Reaching from mystery into deeper mystery, it is the gate to the secret of all life. Quality is all-pervading. And its use is inexhaustible! Fathomless! Like the fountainhead of all things...
Yet crystal clear like water it seems to remain. I do not know whose son it is. An image of what existed before God ... Continuously, continuously it seems to remain. Draw upon it and it serves you with ease ... Looked at but cannot be seen ... listened to but cannot be heard ... grasped at but cannot be touched ... these three elude all our inquiries and hence blend and become one.
Not by its rising is there light, not by its sinking is there darkness. Unceasing, continuous, it cannot be defined, and reverts again into the realm of nothingness. That is why it is called the form of the formless: the image of nothingness.
That is why it is called elusive. Meet it and you do not see its face. Follow it and you do not see its back. He who holds fast to the quality of old is able to know the primeval beginnings which are the continuity of quality".

...Before Phaedrus could stop it, the sudden accumulated mass of awareness began to grow and grow into an avalanche of thought and awareness out of control ... until there was nothing left to stand. No more anything.

'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu (400 BC) - as interpreted by Robert Pirsig in 'Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values' (Bodley Head UK, 1974, ch.20)

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