By Georgi Y. Johnson
What should we do when we feel as if nothing matters? A nondual look at the power of passion and its connection with boredom and the dense psychological sense of ‘nothing’.
Passion is a primal nondual quality inseparable from the ‘big bang’, or the creative impetus of the whole physical universe. This explosive force is inseparable from the birth of consciousness and mind, which includes the splitting between subject and object, perceiver, and perceived. It’s a cosmic, experiential event taking place within the indivisible space of pure awareness.
This boundless, perceptive infinity of our pure awareness – the backdrop to consciousness, creation, and movement – is so all-prevalent and omnipresent that we began to ignore it. We learned to relate to our ubiquitous presence behind all experience as ‘nothing’. Because it’s not a ‘thing’ in a perceived universe of interacting things, we devalued it. Only things have value; only things matter; only things can make an impact. Nothing is impotent, ineffective and irrelevant. Nothing has no purpose, and because it is useless, it is also senseless. It means nothing to us. Nothing appears to be the absence of anything. Yet nothing is the source of everything. Out of nothing, all passion emerges.
Yes, in this post, we are going to make much ado about nothing.
Like a prodigal child that wanders into the wilderness, our consciousness loses itself and longs to return. Seeking the fulfilment of home, it searches for things to shake off that lonely sense of lostness. It searches for something to make it feel whole – the missing ‘thing’. Yet the last place we search is deep within the thickets of ignorance, in the unpromising, thing-less, dispassionate emptiness of ‘nothing’.
When we ignore the infinite sky of our pure awareness, we fill the space with the energy of ignorance. This ignorance has a density of denial, resistance, and refusal. This density splits our perception, obscuring our view, and giving the appearance of division. The life inside at first seems to be separated from the life outside. Soon, it can seem there is no life outside at all – just a wall of nothing. But this nothing is now experienced as a dead zone – a no-go area where nothing can be gained as nothing moves and nothing lives. We begin to believe that there is nothing there. We recoil from the density of it. It seems to repulse us.
Why would we ignore the infinity of our awareness?
Ignorance is born as a reflexive response to suffering. The creation of the physical universe is painful. It involves rupture, rapture, expansion, and contraction. Out of our free will, we can delay the experience of the pain, by retracting our consciousness from the experience. When we pull consciousness away, there is a collapse. The area of pain shrinks, but it also gets a greater density – rather like a balloon with the air released. This density is made of contracted passion – the blissful, explosive, existential power of creative manifestation.
The retraction of consciousness and the contraction into density desensitizes the passion. What had been overwhelmingly painful is now comfortably numb. What had been expanding into infinity is now reduced to the dimensions of a ‘thing’ – a thing we call ‘nothing’. We keep our ‘nothing’ in bite-sized, tasteless portions, forming a barrier between our concept of self, and the limitless source of all that we are. The experience we meet when we touch this energy is that there is nothing moving. It is tremendously boring.
The fear-based impulse to contract (deny, repress, compress, suppress) our passion enforces the fear-based belief that passion can’t be trusted. In this way, fear gets empowered and begins to manipulate our sense of purpose and to control our direction.
Through contracting our passion, the fear of losing mental control is contained, at the same time as the illusion of mind control is enforced. But also here, the mind contracts, as it begins to act as if it can’t be trusted.
A belief forms that our thoughts need to be controlled, in order that we may stay in control. This feeds a belief that if we (the mind) lose control (of the mind) we will go insane. We desperately try to ‘keep our head together’, without knowing where to go to get instructions. The imperative is to be controlled. As we are mentally the problem, we begin to seek out authorities outside of ourselves. We refer ourselves and our sense of reality to an external, objective reality of ‘things’, or to a consensual belief system. Energetically, we sell ourselves to the loudest bidder.
United States of Boredom
In a wilderness of ‘things’, life becomes increasingly senseless. A background energy of boredom taunts us from the inside, like a passive-aggressive family member, full of undefined accusations. But this so-called boredom is made of passion waiting to explode into life. It’s a kingdom of compressed, infinite potential. All we need is the courage to really give it space so we can experience it. It’s a blessed passage of consciousness to a reunion with passion.
Passion is a quality that is full of infinite possibility. In its active principle it’s charged with undifferentiated vitality. It speaks before it thinks, screams to be heard, shreds consensual denial, and cuts through delusion with a sword of direction. Before the censoring mind has an inkling of what’s coming, passion stirs up the biochemistry of the body and lights up the central nervous system. Its fast energy seeks equally fast release through expression and manifestation. With energy for the short or the long haul, its uncompromising staying power brings austerity, authenticity, and authority. This is the quality that can move mountains or that can navigate the eye of a needle. It’s a force to be reckoned with.
To counter this force – to be able to turn it into something as insentient as boredom – we need to hijack a lot of vitality. This vitality is taken from the passion itself. We turn the energy of passion against passion with an agenda to keep it quiet. This frustrated passion begins to vibrate with what we would now call rage. Rage is passion which has been judged – passion which has been infused with the energy of badness. The threat that passion poses to the status quo is turned against itself. It now feels both rageful and threatened – a silent fury. Can you sense how this energy shakes within the body, when it is denied its natural flow?
But now, if we were to express the passion, it could well show up as a vengeful malevolence or mischief. It is perfumed with badness from prior condemnation. As a boundless threat of evil, it seals its own fate. It gets judged and denied again. More badness is injected into it.
This badness is so horrible to feel, that our consciousness retracts still further, creating an even denser strata of ignorance. Ignorance is insensitive, lacking curiosity and profoundly boring. This energy of boredom is so unbearable that we could become violent to try and break out of it. If we get sucked into the field of boredom, it can feel like being buried alive. Literally – it can feel like our intimate soul and all its blessed vitality is buried within a totally unfitting density. The earth of the body quakes around its unholy insentience.
As parts of the naturally fluid psyche move into rigor mortis, other parts start to panic. We begin to psychologically react through patterns of stress and depression. The whole psycho-physical ecology gets out of balance. All because of the simple matter of nothing.
Healing is a U-turn of consciousness. Instead of moving away from the field of affliction – the area of boredom or numbness, consciousness moves with care and curiosity toward it. The invitation of consciousness allows what is contracted to begin to expand, revealing the sentient ingredients embedded in the density. There can be a sense of irritation, an atmosphere of badness, or a seething resentment at being unfairly accused showing up with the poisonous scent of injustice. There can be shame and the agony of rejection.
Just as passion arises out of the field of infinite source potential, passion in contraction has the potential for every flavor of suffering. Each recipe of pain will be uniquely formulated according to its psychological etiology. But now, rather than being judged, rejected or scorned, this frozen energy is invited to melt into the conscious experience. When conscious awareness opens the Felt Sense, there is infinite space and endless time available for what was contracted to expand. Each movement of expansion – each revelation won through the soft unfolding of old pain – delivers a sense of purpose. Even the deeper areas of agony, when allowed to simply be as they are within our wider ecology, deliver a sense of reward. They reward us with their authenticity.
Yes, Nothing Really Matters
Nothing matters because it holds the sentient history of our sorrow. We hide within it when we are shocked, despised, thwarted and forsaken. These feelings matter, because they are the fuel within the alchemy that turns suffering into passion, passion into compassion and compassion into wisdom.
Boredom matters, because it’s an invitation for us to liberate depressed vitality, where our birth-right of passion has been thwarted, obligated and controlled. It matters because it confuses us into believing there’s no space on the inside and that we are creatures of limitation. It matters because embedded within its reptilian form is a living soul, and as its eye blinks in the light of consciousness, a fresh tear is falling.
When we soften our beliefs about the energy of boredom, and when we begin to realize that also nothing is something, and that something matters, we begin to walk different routes through the psyche. These routes will lead to the unmasking of our authentic sense of purpose, which will reveal a direction that cuts through the habits of pleasure-seeking and the avoidance of pain. Nothing is a door that when unlocked, reveals the potential for everything.
Georgi Y. Johnson has an international practice in spiritual healing and inner growth with her partner Bart ten Berge. She is author of the book I AM HERE – Opening the Windows of Life & Beauty, which is a study of three layers of perception: consciousness, awareness and perception through emptiness. You can read more from Georgi & Bart here.
Stepping within the mysteries of perception, we find three interwoven but separate powers of perception: consciousness, awareness and emptiness. Through developing and refining these powers we have the opportunity to enter new ways of living. Empowering, refining and exciting, this book is perfect to all seekers who until now believed that there was little to be found in the one that is seeking. Through these fascinating methods, we find we are able to be not just a human doing, not just a human being, but truly a human living. I AM HERE
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