So that empty feeling.
I’ve talked about how it can be caused by missing emotional content, emotional fuel.
When we’re living inside some kind of a concept, some kind of an abstract, cerebral cloud of ideas that doesn’t have that emotional power to drive us, it starts to feel kind of empty.
It’s like we’re trying to run ourselves like a computer program.
Trying to issue commands to ourselves, logical instructions.
If this, then that.
Follow these loops.
Do these behaviours.
Trying to run ourselves like robots.
And there’s only so far that we can go in that direction.
It is amazing what people are able to do, able to do against what seems natural.
People are able to make themselves do all kinds of things that, you know, our feelings would tell us not to.
But it’s always limited. But there’s another way in which we can be limited by living too much in an abstract world, and it’s the idea of having something solid versus air.
The metaphor seems to work very well that real, physical things, concrete things, are solid.
That’s like something solid you can actually- that can actually hold a structure, that can hold the shape.
Something you can touch, something that will have a definite presence, a form, a shape, and it will be there.
It’s like a mountain, or like a house.
Real, physical actions.
Whereas ideas and words are like air.
Words really are like air.
I mean, we’re just vibrating the air, and we’re sending these codes, these signals, with these words, that are then interpreted by anybody who listens to them.
So there’s just something so non-solid about words.
When we feel how we’re arranging our lives, sometimes it’s built on words so it’s built on concepts.
“I should be this type of person, that type of person.” “I should be doing this type of thing, that type of thing.” Arranged logically with words and concepts.
But if we’re living too much within words, it is like being inside a cloud.
It’s like a cloud of words.
Trying to lean for support on a cloud seems to go nowhere.
I mean, you look at a cloud, it’s there but you try to touch it, it never has any solid presence.
It never has something that can support anything.
You just fall right through it.
Trying to depend on words is like trying to build something out of a cloud, trying to lean on a cloud, maybe, for support.
So the metaphor of being solid versus being liquid or gaseous: that’s a way we can look at how we’re setting up our lives.
Too cerebral, too abstract, too much in the realm of ideas: that’s like living in air.
And maybe if we want to keep the elemental metaphors going, maybe too much about feelings is like living in water.
So it’s still more solid than air, but it’s doesn’t keep any shape.
It’s always flowing around.
And the metaphor, then, is with earth or solid matter: that is physical actions.
Real, actual activities that we do: that is like solid earth.
So if our life is just seeming like it’s floating with no definition – and maybe that does feel kind of empty, because with nothing but air inside; it might feel vacuous – then it can be very helpful, I think, to just return to simple, real actions.
However we’re thinking about the state of our lives, to address it with real actions that are physical and absolute, separate from whatever kind of ideas and thoughts we might have about them.
So things like eating, sleeping, exercising, doing things with our hands, doing work, physical work, moving, and simply feeling and existing in bodily reality, in just like the simple sensations of real, physical world: this seems like it can be such a helpful counterbalance to too much thinking in the world of ideas, and even in the world of feelings.
So when things start to get unclear, ungrounded, and maybe even empty, I find it helpful to just start with the simplest physical actions and build things up from there.
#justwords #trustactions #actionsnotwords