When I contemplate a clay bowl or an empty glass or any other object that acts as a container, I can realize that its basic function implies creating a void inside the object itself. When I contemplate the same object again, focusing on that inner emptiness, the object does not change but is perceived more completely, because now I can’t help seeing “the external and the internal.” I don’t necessarily see them at the same time, but even if I see them one after the other, my senses now perceive that object from two perspectives.
In reality, that’s not the way it is. My senses only perceive what “I am seeing,” in other words, a glass of water, but my consciousness “structures” or configures a complete glass of water. Not only from those two perspectives, but in addition it completes everything my eyes do not see. For example, more than 40% of the glass is inaccessible to my sight, but my consciousness “knows” what is unseen thanks to the memory, which helps it complete every perception.
Going back to the empty space that exists within this kind of object, it’s significant that this emptiness, which we don’t really think about, ends up being its most important aspect. But strictly speaking, the two aspects cannot exist separately. In other words, container and contents are such because they exist as a single structure whose aspects differ only in their functionality.
In everything that exists, there are the senses, and in the senses the consciousness is always structuring with the help of the memory. And this whole knot is another structure that we can only separate out in order to understand it, but that is always acting as a whole. The memory, which is always sending information and completing “mental acts” in every process, does so in that way because there is a tendency in the structure of our mental form to tie every representation to a mental object as a mental act.
Seeing all this, we can say that this mental structure is configured as the relationship between acts and objects. The important thing about all this is that it is inescapable, which means we can speak of enchainment. Every structure, configured as an act that completes an object thanks to the tendency of the memory, ends up enchaining the consciousness, and ultimately, this enchainment is also structural. This enchainment is “permanent.”
This has to be experienced the same way one experiences perceiving a glass of water. But what I want to share, aside from my mental divagations, is how extraordinary it is to discover those empty spaces within objects. It is extraordinary to discover that in our solar system there is more emptiness than anything else. Don’t even think about the universe… an endless void… an essential void is what predominates in all of existence. Seeing things this way, at least once in our lives we have to experience an internal void that is not negative, but that on the contrary is paradoxically “full” of meaning. My suffering is based on possession, and my liberation is tied to my capacity to let go and to understand that it is not “my” liberation but the liberation of all of us that reveals all meanings. And in this letting go the void is present because it is the indicator of our inner liberation.
These images / drawings are from a collection called “Weekly Reflection”. Most of the time the text is related to the photo or the drawing and is a “poetic” interpretation of the image. All the images and drawings are made by Rafael Edwards, all the texts are created by Fernando Aránguiz and all the English translations by Trudi Richards.
If you want to be part of this project, send me an email.