Empty calories are appropriate for couch-surfing entertainment. They acknowledge an emptiness, not unlike the oblivion of a black hole swallowing anything and everything before it.
Here’s another constant, E2 = S (Empty times Empty equals Sadness). There is nothing already present and nothing on the horizon, much less near to hand. Such sadness is precursor to oblivion seen more clearly in alcohol’s long and universal appeal to numb.
When not used as the only way to ease the pulling of an infected tooth, alcohol and its substitution by other drugs is a sign of needed change, or The Nothing will get you.
Today’s Sunday Service I attended brought a reminder of a book worth regularly revisiting—The Once and Future King by T.H. White.
The sadness of emptiness becomes the addiction leading to oblivion. It can also be seen in the politics of Fascism and its kissing cousin of claiming we can’t know what true—the shame of not claiming to know what we do know.
Merlin (the Magician) confides in Wart (young future king Arthur) that there is a remedy for sadness (emptiness)—learning beyond tests.
Unlike a black hole, learning grounds us by furthering an integration of previously unconnected fragments of life and having something more than economic value to share with others.
Learning brings the honor of knowing more than one’s place in the current economy (familial and social). Learning is the measure of a maturity that trusts both mistakes and emptiness are not the last word. Learning brings an ability to see what an abundance is already available.
If we learn to distrust all facts but our emotions (both hope and fear), we become a black-hole seed planted in the midst of family and culture. Eventually, one is joined to another, and all turns to a whimper.
Listen in to Merlin that you might grow into responsibility.
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”