Humans have a tendency to control things. They want to put forward a sense of ownership. However it’s difficult to control something which is boundless. Hence humans create boundaries. By creating boundaries, they give definition to it. Since it is defined, it can be controlled. Since it is controlled, it is no longer pure. Since it is not pure, it’s biased.
The world around us is made by these biased perspectives. It’s natural. People tend to carry and implement what they already have. Being biased is not wrong, but it’s just not right. Obviously, we as humans have certain limitations. We can’t know everything there is to know out there. Hence whatever we do depends on whatever we know. Whatever we know depends on what we choose to know.
Nature has a system where constantly one needs to make a choice. Right from what we eat, what we wear to what we study, everything is dependent on choices we make. When we choose something over another, we also neglect something simultaneously. That inclines our thought process towards a direction and we miss out on the whole picture. That way the righteousness of our decisions can be questioned.
There is everything or there is nothing. It’s very dangerous to live with half knowledge. Knowing everything gives justification to the decisions we take. But it’s practically impossible. The only option with which we are left is nothing. Anything we do has an implication and a reference. Things just don’t pop out suddenly; they gradually evolve. Nothing starts from scratch. Exactly, the only thing that has no reference is ‘nothing’. That’s where the purity lies. It lies in nothing. It lies in a void.
Void is something which is boundless. It is endless. Once we break the boundaries of a place around us, we reach into space. Once we are somewhere where space does not exist, we are in a void. Since a void has nothing, it has no limitations. That gives total freedom.
Even ‘freedom’ is relative for a void.
As students we are always told to do three things: Learn, Unlearn and Relearn. One may consider the whole process of unlearning a waste of time. It may seem useless, too vague to be true. When we learn something new, our previous notions force it into what we want it to be.
Consider a sculptor for moment. He makes statues by casting different metals in a mould. When he wants to make a new statue, he wouldn’t get it by just changing the casting material. He would have to make a new mould. What unlearning does is that it breaks the previous mould. Then what we relearn has a fresh perspective. It has some purity in it. A new mould is made.
By getting devoid of anything, we exactly do the same. We leave out all the previous notions we have and try to build a new perspective on it. It’s like zooming out to know where to zoom in again.
DEVOID OF WHAT?
It’s very important to answer this question. One can’t be free from anything and everything. One can’t forget all he knows to gain totality. It’s impossible. When you define something, it brings with itself some biasness. When you don’t, it brings chaos. There needs to be a harmony between these two. Hence it becomes critical to know what to be devoid of.
According to an ancient proverb, “If a person knows about only one subject, he doesn’t know fully about that subject too”! It may seem conflicting. If someone spent a lot of time with a single area of study and learnt as much as possible about it, s/he would master that subject. But the importance of this proverb is simply that multiple perspectives are required even to understand a single subject and often a different point of view might arise from getting involved in another subject.
Hence at times it becomes very important to get devoid of what’s usually happening, take a pause, look around and again zoom in.
“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality”