Philosophy Tuesday

I’m not sure of the best way to present this, so I’ll just dive in here by saying… it can be downright fruitful to look at our holes.

In that I mean that often many of our ways of being, and thus our actions, are in an effort to fill a hole.  Not a real hole in space and time, but one’s dug deep within our views of ourselves.  Holes created in times of stress from our past, holes created when we felt, in that moment, a failure to be enough.  Holes that we have dug deeper and deeper for ourselves over time.  Holes that we are so familiar with that either a) we are sure they are a fundamental part of us, etched into our soul the moment we were squeezed out into the world, or b) they are so omnipresent that, like a foul odor after some time, we don’t even notice them at all anymore.  They’re just us, and that’s just how life is.

We have these holes of all different types, sizes, and depths: Holes of not being good enough, holes of disconnection, holes of concern we’ll be seen as weak, holes of inability, holes of shame, holes of “I’ll never let that happen again”, holes of “If they knew this about me they’d”, holes of lacking and longing and upset and rage and so on.

And with those we go about and be our certain, fixed, ways of being, continually trapped in a straitjacket to produce the results we “know” will help to fill at least one of those holes.

Except that, when we truly get present to it, we have to face a certain and bitter truth: we can try to fill, and fill, and fill, and fill those holes some more, but it’s never enough.  Even though we long for the day where we overcome it and finally get relief, the hole remains.  Our acts of hole filling provide, if we’re lucky, on a fleeting moment of satisfaction and a feeling of agency – and that last one even turns out to be of the false variety.  Every time, we fill, and we return to the same.  Fill, and return to the same.  We cannot fill our holes.

The game, then, is to instead remove the hole.  To realize that the hole isn’t there by some hardcoded structure of the universe, no… we created it.  In that moment of stress, in that moment of feeling failure, we decided something and BAM!  The hole was created.  And, in perhaps the grandest of ironies, each time we tried to fill the hole we reinforced its existence.  Hilariously*, we’ve been digging it deeper.  Gah!

But when we return to the primordial and do the work to transform our relation to that moment in time, we can have the hole not be filled, or changed, but simply disappear.  We remove the hole by simply not digging it.  Our hole transforms and returns to whole.

And with that, like that, all those fixed ways of being, unproductive actions, franticness, stress, and pain dissipate, leaving us free, alive, and bursting out to live wholeheartedly.


* Hilarious in the kind of cosmic-laughter-after-it-pisses-us-off-and-oh-my-aren’t-we-humans-just-so-downright-fascinating-and-funny-creatures-and-full-of-foibles?

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