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The Void

I have been conversing with an old friend of mine recently, a guy who was for a number of years probably my best friend, although we had a falling out before I came to Thailand and have only recently put everything behind us and started talking again.

To fill you in on our friendship, it was a very destructive one, we were out of every social group we were involved in the worst when it came to abusing substances. We would push each other and just take it to other levels. We would go out just the two of us most weekends and take 8-12 ecstasy pills each for around 3 years for example. We got up to some crazy stuff.

Anyway he ended up in Rehab once when I was in England and it failed, then he has been to another one where they actually taught meditation and life skills. He now has stopped all drugs and drinks once a week. he has even stopped smoking cigarettes. He used to smoke 40 a day, smoke weed every day all day and ended up in rehab mainly due to benzos. At his darkest period he would take around 300mg valium, 20mg clonazepam and 20mg xanax a day which is an awful lot.

Now what this thread is about is something that cropped up in conversation between us. As I said he has been taught meditation and it has helped him a lot by the sounds of things. He also has succumb to social anxiety like me but has managed to get out and do things. But we came across talk about this space, this void within us that seems as if it needs to be filled. Maybe with a job, a girlfriend, substances, what is this void? I am sure a lot of you know what I am referring to, has anybody ever observed and investigated this space at all? Does it need to be filled? Where does it come from do you think?

Comments

  • I can't tell you what that void is, but I relate. I used to do whatever drugs were around a few years ago, I drank a lot, had fun in this way. I think my void was filled by my relationship, as that was the reason I stopped taking all those substances in the first place. I think because one big part of my life then was gone, I needed something equally as big to take it over. And for me another person is bigger than my bad habits, so maybe without thinking about it the void was filled.

    I don't think this was instantaneous however, because I occasionally struggled with an emptiness and/or desire for drugs, because I knew them as an effective remedy (or distraction) for such feelings.

    I don't have the insight to say whether or not my experience of the void is true or even filled like I said. Just laying my feelings out.

    Maybe that void was always there but can only be seen when one has the clarity to see it?
    -

    I'm glad your friend is doing better.
  • Drugs is avoid.
    Been, there, done that,
    inhaled the t-shirt. :screwy:

    The void you talk about is the need for fulfilment, meaning and purpose. That can as @EvenThird says, be through loving and being loved. It can come through social engagement. There are always things that need doing
    http://m.wikihow.com/Help-Change-the-World

    Your gap is my gap. This is Mahayana Buddhism at core level.
    :wave:
    EvenThird

  • But we came across talk about this space, this void within us that seems as if it needs to be filled. Maybe with a job, a girlfriend, substances, what is this void? I am sure a lot of you know what I am referring to, has anybody ever observed and investigated this space at all?
    Does it need to be filled?
    Where does it come from do you think?

    I think this is akin to a by-product of grasping - our desires seem as a black hole.
    Perhaps an inevitable human drive that serves our niche.
    The space exists in the disconnect of ignorance.
    EvenThirddhammachick
  • I think that it is possible that everybody has this void or blackhole as an ignorant being, I could be wrong as I can only go on my own experiences. But you know that feeling when you are waiting for something or bored, you feel like you need to be doing something or your life is incomplete in some way. Did the Buddha have anything to say about this in particular?
    betaboy

  • I think the gap/void is the human condition.
    IMO.. Birth is the denial of this void,
    life is the chance of assuaging that denial,
    death is the expiry date on this particular heap's chance at doing that
    and rebirth is just a new mix of the inertia of that denial.
    riverflow
  • I wonder what the etymology of the words void and avoid are? Avidya (avoid) is believed to be the cause of suffering in Tibetan Buddhism. We have an experience and it is too sensitive so we shrink back and avoid it. This leads to all of the other links in the DO. I think the links are called the nidanas.
    riverflow
  • @seeker242 you my have hit the nail on the head there pal
  • Jeffrey said:

    I think the links are called the nidanas.

    Nidanas should keep us occupied for a while or we could start practicing . . . a different spin . . .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gankyil

  • The void/ nothingness/ purity/ emptiness/ the absolute/ the unconditioned/ the unborn/ the uncreated/ the undying/........
    Just a step beyond identity.
    EvenThird
  • One step beyond . . .
  • But we came across talk about this space, this void within us that seems as if it needs to be filled. Maybe with a job, a girlfriend, substances, what is this void? I am sure a lot of you know what I am referring to, has anybody ever observed and investigated this space at all? Does it need to be filled? Where does it come from do you think?
    This void is ego grasping at objects. The void is equated with ego death and needs to be filled up with anything. Sometimes even pain and suffering is preferable to this void - that fear of emptiness/meaninglessness.

    That void has always been there but we skillfully paper it over by indulging in our senses and creating beliefs and religions. In short, to satisfactorily answer the questions:"Why are we born? What is it all about?" The starting point for spiritual search.
    "I, too, monks, before my Awakening, when I was an unawakened bodhisatta, being subject myself to birth, sought what was likewise subject to birth. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, I sought [happiness in] what was likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement. The thought occurred to me, 'Why do I, being subject myself to birth, seek what is likewise subject to birth? Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, why do I seek what is likewise subject to illness... death... sorrow... defilement? What if I, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, were to seek the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding? What if I, being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, were to seek the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less,, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding?'

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html
    EvenThirdbetaboydhammachick
  • What you are referring to is NOT the metaphysical void but what existentialists may call 'angst'. Christians say there is a god-shaped hole that only Christ can fill. Buddhists dont believe that any object can adequately fill this void.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @seeker242 you my have hit the nail on the head there pal

    Thanks. :) Although, I wish to take back one statement because it really not true! This one!
    the "void space" can't be filled with anything
    It can be filled with taking refuge in the Triple Gem: Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha. But technically you could say those really aren't "things", but you know what I mean. :) Practicing the Buddhas dharma is very fulfilling!

    EvenThirdBunksdhammachick
  • The void is where all things originate, go forth, and return.
  • Dammm!

    Some think that the going forth & returning is just the illusion of separation & reconnection.

    I was, am and always will be simultaneously enlightened with the universe?????

  • Nope, tis all one action. :coffee:
  • The void is an intuition that the suffering is not inherent. There is another option.

    The longing is reliable. It is the wish to enlighten. All the samsaric things we try to fit in the void are the problem. But the longing eventually boils down to dharma practice and the wish to be free from craving.
    EvenThird
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