Nothingness

By Michael Chu

I was walking to the gym on Sunday night near Halligan when a strong gust of wind blew and carried me along the ice.

A snowy night—
Wind blew
Slid on ice

Nothingness is everything, and everything is nothing (Lecture 2/11). I was at first clueless about Buddhists valuing nothingness because nothingness had a negative connotation to me. Nothingness meant void to me. However, it made more sense to me as nothingness is explained as “the nonlimitation and nondefinition of the infinite” (Merton 85).  I can see why this idea became popular because embracing such boundlessness and ambiguity eliminates separation between objects and allows everything to be connected.  This connection is also seen in the play Atsumori when the priest and the ghost of Atsumori alternate saying, “We heard the singing…””Songs and ballads…””Many voices” “Singing to one measure” (Zeami 65). The border between the two breaks down and expresses nothingness. If only everyone valued the concept of nothingness, it would be easier to connect with strangers because people would not initially put up a border when meeting someone new. Nothingness also lets everything into your mind because “a possession of something will keep all other somethings from coming in” (Merton 109). I realize that because I always hang out with certain friends, I have made it harder for me to connect with others. Perhaps getting out of the comfort zone and embracing the boundlessness of friendship will help me connect with more people. I am starting to appreciate the profoundness of nothingness. If I do ever get to go to Japan one day, I shall test my appreciation of nothingness by going to a Noh theater and see if I would be captivated by an accomplished actor when he is motionless (Inouye 68).

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One Response to Nothingness

  1. Avatar of schoi06 schoi06 says:

    Hi~ Michael, this is Song from class. I love your poem. I can see the snowy night’s image, and also I feel the moment of cold weather. I agree your idea that “I realize that because I always hang out with certain friends, I have made it harder for me to connect with others.” Yes. we always try to stay the comfort zone, but we should try to know what we did not know before in order to forward improvement. Thank you for your good poem and entry.

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