Empty space and free mind
People are often advised by many spiritual masters, seers and seekers of enlightenment to keep the mind ‘empty’ or free from ‘thoughts’ as this method alone would help them to attain permanent joy, tranquility and happiness.
People are often advised by many spiritual masters, seers and seekers of enlightenment to keep the mind ‘empty’ or free from ‘thoughts’ as this method alone would help them to attain permanent joy, tranquility and happiness. How true is the above moral preaching? To understand the above advice/moral preaching better, we will have to first assume that ‘weakness’ means vacillation & vibration and strength means ‘firmness’ or ‘tranquility’.
The subject -physics has best example to show how the emptiness can give strength and firmness. Look at a vacuum cup. We can stick the vacuum cup on even surface and smooth wall easily. When the vacuum cup is pressed, the air inside the disc is removed and then it gets attached firmly. By removing the air from the disc/cup, emptiness or an empty space is created and thereby the cup gets attached on the wall or glass surface firmly.
The basic principle is that the pressure of the air outside the suction disc is higher than that of inside the disc/cup. The air from outside the cup exerts pressure to fill the cup but the cup is firmly attached on the wall and hence no space is available for the air from outside to enter. This gives force, strength and firmness to the disc to hold onto the surface. Actually the pressure of the air outside the disc only makes the suction disc getting strongly attached onto the wall and we call it as counter force.
Only when the space inside the disc is empty or in other word, vacuum is created, such firm attachment for the disc is possible. The strength or firmness to the disc comes from the ‘emptiness’. Although it is simple physics, but indeed a great spiritual message it conveys to mankind.
Many animals use the same principle to have a firm grip during locomotion. They simply create vacuum using ‘suction discs’ and holds onto the substrate.
Science has clearly explained how by keeping empty or from empty or vacuum, strength can be achieved. We may presume that the subject physics is limited only to the physical objects and may not be applicable to biological species. It is not having multiple thoughts and allowing them to create pressure makes one strong, but how wisely one can travel without any thoughts through the ‘world of multitude of thoughts’ and become strong.
If the suction disc allows the air from outside to enter, it looses its grip and falls off. Similarly, only when the mind allows the temptations and desires to enter from the world, it falls into the abyss of sorrow. If one knows how to keep the mind empty or vacuum, one becomes strong and calm. Calm mind is firm mind and such calmness and firmness is possible only when the mind holds like a suction disc.
How to practice and achieve the same may be the fundamental question that many might have. Once the principle of ‘being empty’ is understood, the goal is already achieved.
If one has learned, to be with ‘what is’ than ‘what and how it should be’, the mind automatically reaches the state of emptiness.
Dr S Ranganathan