By Ross Bishop
There is a void, and it is in you. You feel it when you are afraid. It’s where you hold your feelings of inadequacy and incompleteness. When you touch this place it feels as though something is missing.
You avoid this part of you because it feels like a defect of character, a flaw, a failing. After all, when it is exposed, you stumble, you don’t know how to act, you become afraid. You have been conditioned to not let anyone see this defective part and so when you slip up and let it be exposed, you feel shame.
The void controls your behavior and most of your choices. In fact, it’s the big driving force in your life. It shapes how you see yourself, and how you respond to life. Since the void feels negative, you spend a good deal of time and energy compensating for your “inadequacies”. Think about your days. How much time do you spend honestly being yourself and how much is compensation for your feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy? In life, do you go for the gold or are your days a collection of compromises? Do you walk on eggs or is your life honest, free and open.
I have friends who are creative professionals – writers, artists, musicians, etc., and until I came to understand the role of the void, I was frequently struck by the contrast between their inner emotional turmoil and their willingness to expose their work to public scrutiny and criticism. But I have come to realize that they, like the rest of us, really don’t have much choice.
What broke open my understanding were a few lines from a poem by Gibran. He wrote:
"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
I started to look at why we do things and I saw a scale running from the need to fill the void on one end to compassion at the other. Everything we do falls somewhere on that scale. Someone says,”I love you!” and they undoubtedly mean it, but at the same time they are also saying, “I need you.” And, how great our disappointment and how angry we become, when we realize that someone we “love” isn’t going to fill our inner void.
Much of what we do, and we don’t like to admit it, is done to salve our feelings of incompleteness. “Somehow,” we tell ourselves subconsciously, “if I can just win the prize, these awful feelings of unworthiness will go away. I can prove to the world that I am not who or what I fear I am.”
And things can get better for the moment. But the feeling doesn’t last because it’s not real. In the West we have created a whole culture based upon the pursuit of false gods – trophy wives, trophy houses, trophy careers, being noticed, trophy bank accounts – all made of fool’s gold. Some people spend their entire lives propped up by this artificial spiritual wasteland.
We accept the void as a given, as just a part of life, but think about it for a moment. Why is it there and why is it such a driving force in our lives? Where does it come from? Why, for example, can’t we just do things because they are the right thing to do, instead of being driven to fill, as Gibran said, our inner emptiness?
There is an interesting history to your inner void, and given the transformation taking place in the world, it is important for you to know more about it.
Our story starts when you are in heaven with God. Things are special. It is a calm and peaceful existence, and yet, something missing. If I can draw an analogy, it’s like you are 12 years old and the other kids are riding their bikes up and down the street and you don’t know how to ride yet. Remember what that felt like? So, you go to your parents, (in this case God), and tell Him/them that you want to learn to ride.
God tells you that this is best done by taking human form and coming to earth. So you say OK, and in the next instant you are alone, no longer in heaven and crammed into a dense and restricted human body. You feel pain and fear and the rest of the human emotional milieu. Most importantly, you have lost your intimate connection to The Creator. You feel lost and alone and what’s worse, you still don’t know how to ride the bike! But you are here, so you make the best of a difficult situation.
As you go through your days trying to be a good human, the fact that you can’t ride becomes an obstacle. It limits you. Riding the bike turns out to be a lot more complicated and challenging that you had realized. As you fail to learn it, negative thoughts enter your mind. You feel defective for your inability. You see it as an inadequacy. It holds you back in dealing with others, it makes you feel insecure. Ignorance, something you do not yet know how to do well, is no longer just a limitation. It has become a defect of character. You don’t know exactly what’s wrong, but something isn’t right. In that moment you fall into the Great Abyss. You transform your ignorance about something you came here to learn to do into a defect of character.
And from that point on, the mind can do an incredibly twisted dance. Maybe you were a flawed being and God just found a way to get you out of heaven without causing a ruckus. All the other humans are flawed too, so maybe you’ve been sent to God’s equivalent of a leper colony!
In any case, believing you are defective, you begin to act accordingly. You compensate, fall back into your ego and act like the defective person you believe yourself to be. Guess how other people are going to respond? That just gives you more painful life experiences and further confirms your beliefs.
So, you’ve had eight or ten lifetimes like this, you feel lousy and you still don’t know how to ride the bike! Some people power through their feelings of inadequacy, hoping to find a way to either overcome it or to fill their inner void with tinsel and glitter. Others get lost in the struggle, and live a woeful existence, dominated by fear and self-doubt.
At some point, the artificial outer shell you have created to keep the world from seeing your “defects” becomes impossible to maintain. The thing has to collapse. It simply becomes too much…. And when “your life” falls apart, it forces you to reevaluate the core beliefs you have built your life around. You begin to re-evaluate the thinking somehow went from, “I don’t know how to do this” to, “there is something wrong with me.”
That seed, that little hinge point, is what God wanted you to find and resolve in the first place. That was His whole reason for sending you here. You had to decide that you were worthy enough to learn to ride and that the vagaries of human existence weren’t going to throw you off the track. In fact, you found that the interactions you had with other people made your limitations manifest so you could see them and work with them. The things you took as difficulties offered you the opportunity to grow and evolve beyond them. Perhaps most importantly, you came to see your limitation for what it really was – ignorance, not unworthiness, and in the process you had learned to ride the bike.
copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2016