“Existential Friday: Emptiness


Fog Bound Highway4

A human condition ?

A generalized sense



Dark Pines 1

The Observer is the Observed.

“This stuff is Boring !”

“You mean YouRBored with this stuff.”

The question is,

“Y R U Bored?”

Social Alienation ?

Everyone I know says this Stuff is Boring!”

Apathy ?

I don’t care about Apathy & Stuff like that.”

Things Suck

Bored with an ACTivity?

“Is it just Too Challenging


All Too Easy ?


Feelings of Emptiness








Emptiness is

A transitory state.

A Path without edges.

A means of Liberating One’s Self.

Personal growth.

A Natural Process of grief.


Meanings of “emptiness” vary.




A Fiddler on The Roof.

Fog bound travels1 Mt

It is said that the world is empty.

“How so is it empty ?”

“It is empty of a self.”



“The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on the empty space for the axle, that the use of the wheel depends.

Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends.


The door and windows are cut out from the walls to form an apartment; but it is on the empty space within, that its use depends.

Therefore, what has a positive existence serves for profitable adaptation, and what has not that for actual usefulness.”

Translated by James Legge, 1891, Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) Chapter 11


Note: This is a free form hyper-linked found poem, composed from a variety of sources. Clicking the links will take you to sources and inspirations. Included are online texts, commentaries, dictionary explanations and a couple of posts from fellow bloggers with related ideas & observations. Enjoy the day.

5 thoughts on ““Existential Friday: Emptiness

    1. elmediat

      Thanks Ashley. I had you in mind as I was putting this thing together. It took a while. I started in October. If you click the link “context” it takes you to a comparison between the Taoist & Buddhist concept of emptiness. They are related , but not exactly the same. Your observation on boredom & fear tie in to my point about being either over or under challenged.
      I had no problem with my students telling me they were bored with an activity or reading material. It would lead to them explaining why. Often they themselves had never considered it from that point of view. Look at the internal to understand the external – I guess that is a bit Buddhist in approach.
      Fear & boredom are linked. If you are unprepared for a challenge, there is an element of anxiety. In some ways, a response to a challenge that you feel is so overwhelming is boredom. If the challenge has you spinning your wheels, it becomes monotonous and you are under stimulated. You are then in a state of boredom. Couple that with anxiety and the only choice is avoidance behaviour. You can not fight the the anxiety & boredom so you escape into another activity.
      This new activity is unproductive, but distances you from the stress. Such activity is labelled as procrastination. This behaviour’s underlying psychological state is misunderstood and seen as a character flaw ( a poor choice based on some lack of moral fibre), rather than recognized that is a coping mechanism for stress. Prolonged cycles of this behaviour leads to low self esteem, alienation, apathy and depression as the unresolved stress inducing anxiety grows.
      If you can identify the challenge and make it manageable , then the stress will diminish. Making it manageable requires support from others

  1. Something tells me with creativity (and the schedule you keep) it’s not possible for you to be bored! Unless it’s the ‘easiness’ bit… because you are good enough to make it look easy.

    1. elmediat

      Thanks very much. Now that Liz & I are retired Liz’s schedule is very busy on many days. Part of her schedule is arranging that I have a schedule. 😀

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