“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.” ~ Lao Tzu
Between inner and outer there is the center: a pulsing void of glorious nothingness just waiting to become something. Between non-being and being there is becoming. There is a vibrating nexus of potentiality within this becoming, from what has been created to what has yet to be created. This primordial center, this embryonic becoming, this nascent nexus, is a sacred link between worlds. And those who can tap into its power, are obtaining the key to aligning worlds.
The Mystery of Madness
“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.” ~ C.G. Jung, The Red Book
Life is incomprehensible when you stop to think about it. Our desire to make it comprehensible is honorable, but it can also be limiting. Sometimes rolling with the incomprehensible is the wiser course. Sometimes staring into the abyss and daring the abyss to stare back, is strategically sound when seeking things beyond our current understanding. Sometimes we must subsume madness and desire, through imaginative insurgence, if we are to balance the forces between worlds. Sometimes, as Clive Barker said, “you just have to trust your own madness.”
When seeking a sacred connection with the Great Mystery, with the mighty nexus, freedom relies upon the efficacy of madness. Madness liberates us from common structure. It melts away preconceived divisions between inner and outer, lower and greater, finite and infinite. We’re free to slip into foolishness, to double-dog-dare the universe to bring order back into our downward spiral into folly. Seekers of authentic individuation, I beseech you, take “sanity” in moderation and adventure will not elude you. You will discover an adventure unexpected in common hours. Like Albert Camus suggested, “Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”
Strategic madness proposes a principle of interruption. Certainty is put on notice. Forgone conclusions are disconnected from preconceived notions. Passion, hunger, and appetite are sustained in the face of the quotidian. We learn how to die. We unlearn how to be a slave to time. As Ahab said in Moby Dick, “What I’ve dared I’ve willed, and what I’ve willed I’ll do. They think me mad. But I am demoniac, I am madness maddened. That wild madness that’s only calm to comprehend itself.” Indeed. Strategic madness frees us to tap the cornerstone despite the philosopher’s stone, to turn the keystone despite the key-masters, to shake the secure foundations of the human condition despite our condition.
The Secret of Silence
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” ~ Rumi
Solitude is extremely underrated in our time. This is likely because the majority of us are afraid of what silence has to teach us. Fear keeps us married to the hustle and bustle of hyper-reality. As long as there’s noise, distraction, and common commotion we feel “safe.” As long as we’re in a hurry, rushing through the day, and constantly on the go, we’re less likely to have to confront the things that really matter, or face the demons that keep us fearful. Like Carl Jung articulated, “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Out there in the wild and secluded places, away from the clanking steel of civility, far from the jackhammer of productivity-at-all-costs, clear of the blaring horns and blurring speed, there is a conversation going on between silence and stillness. These two powerful allies are whispering to each other the secrets of the universe using a language older than words. This language is sacred food for starving minds; liquid ambrosia for parched souls. They are teaching each other the Middle Way. They are philosophizing over what comes between finitude and infinity, between non-being and being.
And for those who can listen, I mean really listen –with their darkness conscious like a deer in headlights and their fearless light shining into the deepest dark– what has not yet been discovered is being discussed. What has not yet been written is being written back and forth on secret sticky notes that defy time. The Nexus, the in-between, the sacred crossroad is being pulverized into a billion bridges connecting all things, just waiting for us to cross them. We need only listen with our souls, with soulful intent, to penetrate the deep conversation between silence and stillness. Like Eckhart Tolle said, “Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”
Being in Non-being
“This human capacity to become a nexus of the inner and outer, of non-being and being, of what is written and what is not yet written, is key to aligning the worlds and keeping life in balance. Life was meant to function not as just the outer plane of reality, but as a multidimensional, interrelating reality. And there need to be those who know this secret.” ~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
With one foot in nothingness and the other in infinity, with one ear tuned to silence and the other to stillness, we become sentinel, guardian, and periphery keeper. We gradually become more prepared for paradox, for when worlds collide together to reveal the nakedness of the Great Mystery. And have no doubt, the Great Mystery is gloriously naked.
Non-being, like no-mind, is an in-between state experienced by a being capable of balancing madness with genius, silence with the “voices in the head,” and stillness with the movement of all things. It’s a divine navigation of nothingness, a dive into the void, coming up for nothing but for air: sacred oxygen, soul-breath. It’s learning how to die and unlearning how to be a slave all at once. It’s being so in tune with the nexus that one becomes the nexus.
In the desert of the void, amidst the dreamscape of uncreated emptiness, beneath the hidden face of God, the mighty Nexus is the glue that binds all things, the link that bridges the gap between nothing and something, the essence of non-being. Within Non-being, there is tremendous freedom because there are no limitations. Because just as the Unbounded is, the Unbounded is not. Just as Non-being is, Non-being is not. There will always be a nothingness within even the most real absolute. There will always be something within even the most unreal emptiness.
When we become the Nexus we gain the power to tap into this sacred state, to work within the void, to channel the energies of Absolute Truth from the vacuum of absolute nothingness, to pull the voice box of God out of the throat of the universe and blow into it like a bullhorn. And Rumi said: “No more words. In the name of this place we drink in our breathing, stay quiet like a flower. So the nightbirds will start singing.”