In the last year or so, I’ve found myself feeling rather down, or blue, more often than usual. I can’t really say why, I just have, and it’s been a bit worrying. Shortly after I woke on Saturday, I had a strong feeling that I needed to find “that beautiful space between everything”. I’m not sure where this feeling came from but I knew, somehow, that I was being pointed to where real joy is, and given the task to go find it. Let me try to explain this rather unusual feeling and what it means to me.
As you may know from some of my earlier articles (eg. Only oneness can survive), I feel quite strongly that we are only temporarily in a world that contains things. The “real” world from which we originate does not contain things and it’s barely possible for us to imagine. In fact, in such a world, time and space wouldn’t exist because there are no “things” to use as references. It’s nigh on impossible for us to contemplate such a place.
Now, because we’re in a world that contains separate things (reference points – remember Einstein’s theory of relativity), we have to have space and time, and we have to have conflict. Just having separate things creates the potential for various types of conflict between those things. It’s inevitable. For many years, I’ve been trying to find lasting peace in this world of things, but the inevitable conflicts keep causing me problems. Most recently, the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic makes it harder for us to exist in lasting peace. The human world seems to be very much on edge, as we try to decide how to keep ourselves alive.
Since this world is made of things that always have the potential to be in conflict, the conclusion must be that lasting peace doesn’t exist here but, at the same time, peace is everywhere (see Finding the Moment of Peace). Now I see that peace is “between” all the points of conflict. Somehow, it’s right there, all the time, between the things that seem to be in conflict. In some way, the key is ignoring the “things” that are in conflict and simply existing in the beautiful space between. We can’t have things without the space around them. Space is ubiquitous.
This is exactly where meditation tries to take us. Meditation is all about ignoring the conflict between “things” and finding the beautiful space between. I believe that this is also what Eckhart Tolle was talking about in his book “The Power of Now“. Here he is intent on finding the time between the future and the past as these two “things” can often create conflict; and finding the beautiful space between where the peace is.
Finding that beautiful space between everything also seems to have links with Eastern philosophy like Zen Buddhism (mindfulness and presence), Ying and Yang (opposite and contradictory things are actually interrelated and complimentary), Taoism (finding “the way” or the middle ground) and “Mu” from Buddhism (don’t think in terms of ‘has’ or ‘has not’).
Where to now?
So what does this mean for me now? When a conflict arises that would normally cause me some disturbance, I can consciously try to avoid both of the “things” in conflict, avoid taking sides, just accept that both sides exist and find the beautiful space between. As an example, I’m often annoyed these days by some of the silly, stupid things some politicians say and their later attempts to claim they never said that, or meant something else. I’m annoyed because I feel these politicians aren’t doing a good job helping the people they’ve been elected to represent and they’re thinking more about themselves than anybody else. In this situation, I can find peace by acknowledging that self-serving, incompetent people exist and, sometimes, they might even get elected into an important position, and I can acknowledge that there are always large groups of people who need assistance to make their lives better. Upon accepting this knowledge, there is a beautiful space between that holds the peace of the world. I can find it and I can feel its peace. However, that is not the same as being indifferent (see The Silent Power of Indifference) and avoiding any effort to fight the injustices that are going on. I can feel the peace of the world that is really everywhere, while still mustering the courage to fight for what is right.
I can’t say I’m good at this, because I’m not (far from it!). I often latch onto one of the items in the conflict and feel such agitation that I’m slightly derailed. However, this is something worth practising and getting better at. I’m sure I’ll be happier if I can find the beautiful space between more often.