Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Everything and Nothing in One Breath

Consciousness is not an object, so you cannot say it is something. And yet it is not nothing. Nothing is void; it has no attributes, no qualities. Consciousness is empty of any thing, and yet there is something endlessly compelling in that emptiness. When you contemplate consciousness, you discover a mysterious sense of knowing that is both knowing nothing and knowing everything at once. Whatever you are becoming cognizant of, its nature seems to be everything—fullness, completeness. The emptiness is full. That's why the emptiness is compelling, because it is full of the knowing of some mysterious everything that is not a thing. It's everything; it's nothing—you can go on forever: everything, nothing, nothing, everything, always meaning the same thing. If you could say everything and nothing in one breath, perhaps you could capture the paradoxical nature of consciousness.

Andrew Cohen

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