Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ten Variations on Void

There are all kinds of voids to encounter. But, it's important to know what kind one is encountering so that one may know what to expect and how to comport oneself appropriately.

A Void that Echoes
When one shouts into it, something bounces back. Despite the apparent emptiness of this void, it must be surrounded by walls or something. This kind of void can be useful, then, as sounding board (or echo chamber?).

A Void that does not Echo
When one shouts into it, no sound comes back. There is eyn sof, no end to this void, and so no way to produce an echo. Despite the infinitude of this void, the encounter brings no feeling of expansiveness. Without an echo, the infinitude is actually quite murky, and so the sound of one's voice sounds very small and very local. This void is effective for remembering humility.

A Void that can Contain
A void, because it's an empty space, can be really useful for storage. Sometimes the void stores what cannot be stored elsewhere. Sometimes the void is used for storage just so the void itself will be decreased.

A Void that does not Contain
This is very similar to the Void that does not Echo. One might try to place things in this void, but those things cannot be managed in this way. They do not even disappear into the void, because that would still be a kind of containment. No, what happens is that you put the thing in the void, and then turn around and it's right where you initially found it. So, what to do when encountering a void that does not contain? Don't try to dump anything in it.

A Void that is Transparent
One might not even notice a void like this, since its transparency simply reveals whatever is on the other side of it. This kind of void is important to note, however, since in this manner one becomes more sensitive to distance/space as the relationship between things.

A Void that is Opaque
Look into it all one wants, there ain't nothing to find in a void that is opaque. One only sees not-seeing. Not unlike staring into a fog, except a fog is not a void. Is there any use for a void that is opaque? Maybe if one needs a break from seeing.

A Void that Appears Within
I've already written on this topic at length. But to riff a little here, the void that is within can be so many things, from hunger and desire to hope and curiosity, and very often ignorance and possibility.

A Void that Appears Without
This category and the previous feel like uber-categories in that any of the preceding voids could be encountered within or without. And, of course, one that appears without could still be a reflection/reminder of one within.

A Void that makes Room for Possibility
Hooray, a space! The frontier continues.

A Void that Crushes the Infinite/Possibility
Nothing comes from nothing. The silence deafens. The sheer scale of nothingness makes a mockery of somethingness.

Further Variations
I hope it is clear that many of the above kinds of void can be coterminous with one another.

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