Monday, December 20, 2004

Doing Nothing on Sunday

How To Do Absolutely Nothing

I BELIEVE SUNDAY should be a day of absolute rest, a day to do absolutely nothing, but how do I begin to do absolutely nothing? I cordially invite you to join me for your own edification, as a vicarious I, in my struggle for an answer.

Doing nothing is impossible for most if not all living beings, hence to do nothing I certainly have a great task ahead of me!

Yes, I do have the opportunity as a human being to turn on myself and to shut down my operations forthwith, but I'm afraid my inactivity might then extend forever; to that eternity I do not aspire at this fleeting moment, although sometimes I think anyone in their right mind would terminate themselves forthwith, entirely relieving themselves of the time-space continuum. My goal today is merely a day of absolute rest, not a permanent vacation or vacant eternity.

To do absolutely nothing on Sunday and yet survive for the rest of the week will require the me that I merely think I am to become nothing for the time being. That might require a lot of doing, for which there is hopefully some technique or the other which I hope to discover without submitting myself to the prejudices of a bona fide spiritual master.

Again, where shall I begin? I shall proceed with the alpha and omega of everything as far as I am concerned: I mean myself, my very I. Perhaps I may, by focusing on my I, obliterate the objective world that demands my reactions and actions.

"I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I...." I might reiterate, despite the uncomfortable diphthongs - me, me, me, etc, would be in poor taste given the perversity of the me-generation.

I might redundantly go on and on and on, with that clumsy litany to my I, in order to exclude everything except the unconditional I that is in fact a not-I reflecting no-thing, not even a universal I-projection. But those discrete I's are inadequate to the purpose regardless of their number, for the I that I want is the undivided unity that is not a multiplicity of I's. Even if diphthongal "I" were eliminated and replaced by a continuously sounded vowel, say "O", the continuity would not rid my O of its possible moments in time or the perturbing imperfection of its fluctuating permutations.

There is no way I can realize the no-thing-ness of the unconditional I, or become the free not-a-thing that I must be in order to do absolutely nothing, by repeating myself, no matter how sincere or deadly serious my effort might be. Those multiple I's are not the unconditional I that I would be to save me from the objective conditions requiring my action, for each I, as a unit, depends on the existence of another I for its own existence as an I. No, I do not want the identity of an I repeated ad infinitum; nor do I want the numerical differences of the perseveration.

One might say of my repetition of I (I=I) that the I is identical to itself, so I am really doing nothing but reminding I of I; that is to say, that I is I. But alas, there are three I's in the statement (I is I): the subjective I, the objective I, and the holy I recognizing their equality relation; to wit: "In the name of the I, the I, and the I, I am I." In other words, in the identity statement ("I=I") there is a difference between the I's because it takes time to make the statement, therefore there are two I's, not to mention a third I observing the relation between the two; that's precisely the sort of triunism I would avoid on my Sunday of freedom from activity, in the unconditional I, of course. I want to do absolutely nothing on my Sunday of absolute rest. No, ladies and gentlemen, I am hardly satisfied when I am not the indivisible I in absolute freedom from multiplicity and therefore from action.

I heard a voice command, "Shut up and be quiet, for silence is golden! Think not and be free, you fool, for all your thinking is just symbolic doing!"

Ah, but what a formidable task that command presents, an arduous task for which an effective technique is required, just as I suspected in the first place! It seems freedom must be pursued against one's own will because the will is not free and really would not be free if it had it druthers, for if it were absolutely free, had nothing set against it, it would not be a will, it would be nothing at all.


Objective silence might be obtained with a real or virtual gag, of course, but the inner chatter would persist and the thoughts would persevere; both would run rampant without some method to harness them in order to reach the ultimate goal: to do absolutely nothing. Therefore, one must compose an argument, a disciplined conversation with oneself, an I versus I that in synthetic narrow course would rush one more swiftly to the limitless I, into the ocean of bliss or perfect rest requiring no further selfish actions or repetitious, discrete, compulsively perseverated I's.

If life is action, then successfully doing nothing while remaining essentially alive implies being nothing in virtual death, obviously by technical means of virtual suicide. The motor would still be running unless suspended animation could be achieved. Absent suspended animation, only death would suffice for doing nothing in an absolute state of rest on Sunday. But that would make the next Sunday unlikely, not to mention arrival at planets revolving around distant stars.

It might appear to the uninitiated that I have hopelessly entwined myself in self-defeating contradictions, and have become so befuddled by my own gases that I shall never leave the ozone; it is no wonder that so many people just say 'No' to abstract thinking, for it is a very powerful anaesthetic. In any event, I am positive that, once the unconditional I beyond both subject and object and their relation is realized as the no-thing that it unconditionally is, then by that reality the adept also realizes that everything necessarily gets its existence and its coincidental activity by virtue of the unconditional I doing absolutely nothing. Furthermore, when not-being is not-doing, only then is being free from existence in the pregnant no-thing-ness or absolute spaciness that posits the Concrete Universal--that is to say, the Universe with disparate contents in unity. Only then are the mutually conditioned subject and object--the polar moments of conscious activity--dissolved in freedom from the known.

Indeed, it is in the unconditional I that we have freedom from knowledge. Knowledge is always problematic because it does not dispense with the ultimate problem of existence: its particularities. Therefore nothing, most honestly signified by an ineffable Name, is posited as the true faith, the only catholic faith plausible. That faith sometimes appears in its dogmatic form as an absolutely skeptical attitude. Yet, ironically, that dogmatic skepticism, or forced faith in nothing, still requires doing something instead of the doing-nothing preferred by adepts of unconsciousness under the instincitive sway of doing absolutley nothing (the so-called death instinct).

Although I have made the foregoing perfectly clear, I suspect many people might not understand it because it requires a prodigious intellectual effort to arrive at the final cerebral abstraction of doing absolutely nothing for the time being, even for a moment or two on Sundays. That endeavor, incidentally, has, if successful performed, the seemingly insensible but actually rapturous effect of ataractic catalepsy. That marvelous state of doing absolutely nothing is what moves me, after recovering from pregnant bliss, to continue with the exposition of My Struggle to regain it, such as this demonstration before you, which is of course drafted for my own sake and for the sake of those like me who desire the ecstatic privilege of doing absolutely nothing.

I do realize that the superficial contradictions of my periodic efforts to do absolutley nothing might discourage some people from embarking on the flight to the perfect self-identity of freedom through the mystical dissolution of illusory objects, hence I shall consider writing, in plain English, an extended disquisition entitled, 'Disquisition On Doing Absolutely Nothing', for the edification of the masses and to raise funds for further research. I intend it to be a sort of bible, if I might call it that, to dispel biblical contradictions and to bring all persons into the direct intuition of the unconditional I that supernaturally "transcends" logical contradictions. My disquisition will be illuminated with whatever figurative illustrations that uninitiated inquisitive minds might requires. For example: since to realize the unconditional I, one must rid oneself of all not-I objects, both real and imaginary, I shall include an illustration of a men smashing things and images of things with a hammer as their leader shouts, in the caption provided, the classic iconoclast's motto: "Smash everything! What is left is Good."

Now then, whilst looking forward to next Sunday, I am, in the active interlude between nothings, Very Truly Yours.


Important Note:

Nothing exists. Nothing is the gap or Chaos (chainein: to gape ) we fill with fiction. The impetus to creation is the horror of nothingness. Myth and fiction fill Nothing with signs in a way that Being continues to conceal Nothing as an impetus to further creation. Narcissus closes the gap with the unity of subject and object: the subject and object of his desire are one. He could not live in unity with himself, thus was it said by the blind seer that Narcissus could not know himself and live. His horror of nothingness gave way to that of Dionysus who tears everything to pieces and is torn to pieces. So we see that myth fills Nothing with signs in a way that Being continues to conceal Nothing as an impetus to further creation. We are projected from and into Nothing, and without a sense of the unconditional Nothing there is no selfhood or freedom. The essence of Nothing is that it presents Being to beings for the first time. Nothing is not, as Descartes had it to defend his concept of a perfect god, a negative, a deficiency or defect. Rather, Nothing is a positive, pregnant with all meaning.

Excerpt from Scrawlings from Limbo
Copyright 2004 David Arthur Walters