How to Transcend your Empty Life

I still wonder, at times, what an empty life would be like. If I did nothing then who or what would I be?

an empty bottle as a proxy for an empty life

When I think of all the meaningless things I spend my doing, then it makes me want to give them all up just to see what I think about when my mind’s not being distracted by the banalities of life.

I would imagine that I’d fall asleep a lot. That’s what I do when I just sit and meditate or when I’m in bed at night. My mind exhausts whatever subject it’s occupied with, ticks through the things that I can see, hear and otherwise sense and then it shuts down due to lack of freshly inputted material.

I imagine that this is what death will be too: a general shutdown due to lack of input.

But after that, it’s anyone’s guess. There will come a point when I’ve slept enough, and my body and mind will refuse to shut down any more. That’ll be the interesting point in the process.

I imagine that it’ll be like waking up in the morning and then just not getting out of bed.

On a normal day, hunger or the need to empty some part of my body would force me out of bed, but if I returned there afterwards, or decamped to some other quiet corner of the house, then eventually I would have to turn to face my own mind and the contents thereof.

People with long illnesses who are bedridden will have had this experience already. They are still working on a mental level but are unable to function physically. I imagine that their thoughts would vary according to their personality and the nature of their disorder. If they are going to recover then their thoughts would differ from if they are not (and are going to die). If they are accepting of death then, again, their thought would differ from if they are not (and would rage against the dying of the light).

I’m not going to die (not yet) and I’m quite an accepting kind of a guy and so my thoughts will be different again. I imagine my thoughts would be just like a really, really long blog post (a little like this one is turning into).

Actually, when I think about it, I want to know what transcendence is like. I’m not that interested in discursive thought. I’ve been there and done the heck out of normal thought already and so I want to know what comes after that.

By transcendence I mean that I wish to know what thinking is like in the absence of thoughts. Is this even possible? Okay, I’m going to try to do that now. See you on the other side …


Okay, the first thing that happens is that my senses try to inform me of stuff I can hear and feel. Because there’s nothing dangerous around, I tell myself to ignore all that. I’ll not list the sounds out because they’re just the result of the normal things people in other rooms of a house so.

Then I’m distracted by the things I can see, so I close my eyes. Simple.

Then there’s an initial darkness, which I guess is the cells in my retina expecting something and getting nothing.

After that it starts to get interesting. I’ll apply logic to explain my experience and so, neurologically, this may not be what’s happening, but nevertheless, this is how my mind is experiencing what I assume my brain is processing:

  • Because my brain has no visual input, it starts to manufacture its own stuff. A series of images flash onto the screen of my mind. Let me have a look at them again to see if anything stands out …
  • Okay, so I started out with the image of a bowl, which my mind associated with the last one I remember seeing (the one on Peter’s tray over his hospice bed). Then there was something else I don’t remember and then I woke up (some kind of bang somewhere in the house) with the impression of having been either a thing or a person in a dark and overcrowded oven). Standard dream stuff, in other words. Boring, in other-other words.

So, yeah, that’s that. No point in trying again. I’ve been there before and I always fall asleep.

That means that the ‘waking up’ is a familiar part of these kinds of experiences. Invariably, I eventually become caught up with one of the images on my mind-screen and fall asleep, in much the same way as we do whilst watching a good movie (not asleep-asleep, but more like when you get sucked into the scene and are living as one of the characters or as an observer in the scene). It’s really difficult to not let this happen.

Getting lots of sleep beforehand is therefore essential before you try to transcend and this is why I’m going to stop now: I got up too early this morning. Also, it’s lunch time in a couple of minutes, and it’s pizza! And if it’s a choice between transcendence and pizza, the latter always wins. πŸ˜†

17 thoughts on “How to Transcend your Empty Life

  1. This may not be totally related but this post brings me back to 2020. When I had nothing to do, nothing to look forward to, I was only always waiting for my year-end results and it took wayyyyy longer than usual because Covid put us off. Transcendental times?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with the sleep requirement for transcendence. Because when you’re awake, it’s impossible to shut off your mind completely because we’re constantly thinking of something. Therefore, sleep is the only way to shut off your mind and let it rest completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 2021 in a Nutshell – Just penning down my thoughts

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