Emptiness Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 185 quotes )
A woman cannot bear to feel empty and purposeless. But a man may take real pleasure in that feeling. A man can take real pride and satisfaction in pure negation: 'I am quite empty of feeling. I don't care the slightest bit in the world for anybody or anything except myself. But I do care for myself, and I'm going to survive in spite of them all, and I'm going to have my own success without caring the least in the world how I get it. Because I'm cleverer than they are, I'm cunninger than they are, even if I'm weak. I must build myself up proper protections, and entrench myself, and then I'm safe. I can sit inside my glass tower and feel nothing and be touched by nothing, and yet exert my power, my will, through the glass walls of my ego'.That, roughly, is the condition of a man who accepts the condition of true egoism, and emptiness, in himself. He has a certain pride in the condition, since in pure emptiness of real feeling he can still carry out his ambition, his will to egoistic success.Now I doubt if a woman can feel like this. The most egoistic woman is always in a tangle of hate, if not of love. But the true male egoist neither hates nor loves. He is quite empty, at the middle of him. Only on the surface he has feelings: and these he is always trying to get away from. Inwardly, he feels nothing. And when he feels nothing, he exults in his ego and knows he is safe. Safe, within his fortifications, inside his glass tower.But I doubt if women can even understand this condition in a man. They mistake emptiness for depth. They think the false calm of the egoist who really feels nothing is strength. And they imagine that all the defenses which the confirmed egoist throws up, the glass tower of imperviousness, are screens to a real man, a positive being. And they throw themselves madly on the defences, to tear them down and come at the real man, little knowing that there is no real man, the defences are only there to protect a hollow emptiness, an egoism, not a human man.
I told myself: 'I am surrounded by unknown things.' I imagined man without ears, suspecting the existence of sound as we suspect so many hidden mysteries, man noting acoustic phenomena whose nature and provenance he cannot determine. And I grew afraid of everything around me? afraid of the air, afraid of the night. From the moment we can know almost nothing, and from the moment that everything is limitless, what remains? Does emptiness actually not exist? What does exist in this apparent emptiness?
There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.
He knew that he was the stuff of which fanatics and madmen are made and that he had turned his destiny as if with his bare will. He kept himself upright on a very narrow line between madness and emptiness and when the time came for him to lose his balance he intended to lurch toward emptiness and fall on the side of his choice.
Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks"All those men were there inside, when she came in totally naked. They had been drinking: they began to spit. Newly come from the river, she knew nothing. She was a mermaid who had lost her way. The insults flowed down her gleaming flesh. Obscenities drowned her golden breasts. Not knowing tears, she did not weep tears. Not knowing clothes, she did not have clothes. They blackened her with burnt corks and cigarette stubs, and rolled around laughing on the tavern floor. She did not speak because she had no speech. Her eyes were the colour of distant love, her twin arms were made of white topaz. Her lips moved, silent, in a coral light, and suddenly she went out by that door. Entering the river she was cleaned, shining like a white stone in the rain, and without looking back she swam again swam towards emptiness, swam towards death.
And what is boredom? Perhaps the inability to find meaning, to complete a perception, to arrive at an understanding: partly grasped, but forever just out of reach. It is not lack of interest, but interest frustrated, cut off, imperfectly held. So says the Chronicle today. But for me it is the fear of emptiness.
Each time he took a walk, he felt as though he were leaving himself behind, and by giving himself up to the movement of the streets, by reducing himself to a seeing eye, he was able to escape the obligation to think, and this, more than anything else, brought him a measure of peace, a salutary emptiness within...By wandering aimlessly, all places became equal and it no longer mattered where he was. On his best walks he was able to feel that he was nowhere. And this, finally was all he ever asked of things: to be nowhere.
As to the roaming of sages, They move in utter emptiness, Let their minds meander in the great nothingness; They run beyond convention. And go through where there is no gateway. They listen to the soundless. And look at the formless, They are not constrained by society. And not bound to its customs.- Lao-tzu
I thought this man had long ago drained everything from my heart. But now something strong and bitter flowed and made me feel another emptiness in a place I didn't know was there. I cursed this man aloud so he could hear. You had dog eyes. You jumped and followed whoever called you. Now you chase your own tail.
Why is it that a dog's menstruation made her lighthearted and gay, while her own menstruation made her squeamish? The answer seems simple to me: dogs were never expelled from Paradise. Karenin knew nothing about the duality of body and soul and had no concept of disgust. That is why Tereza felt so free and easy with him. (And that is why it is so dangerous to turn an animal into a machina animata, a cow into an automaton for the production of milk. By so doing, man cuts the thread binding him to Paradise and has nothing left to hold or comfort him on his flight through the emptiness of time.)
That was the trouble. The land is too big out there, and after a while it starts to swallow you up. I reached a point when I couldn't take it anymore. All that bloody silence and emptiness. You try to find your bearings in it, but it's too big, the dimensions are too monstrous, and eventually, I don't know how else to put it, eventually it just stops being there. There's no world, no land, no nothing. It comes down to that, Fogg, in the end it's all a figment. The only place you exist is in your head.
I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness.