Emptiness as Enlightenment

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by guest blogger Samantha West

Reading a friend’s recent post about the loss of his father prompted me to examine the idea of loss within my own life and how losing someone significant, for whatever reason, leaves a void, an emptiness that nothing can truly fill. Feeling the pain of loss myself and opening myself to this emptiness have allowed me to see the truth of this quote from Wisdom from the Greater Community, Vol. II, Chapter 3, “Pleasure” :

Allow the emptiness to be there. Do not fill it in with new things. Part of your life should always be empty. This creates a vacuum effect, allowing greater experiences to come to you, allowing your boundaries to be expanded, enabling you to progress forward and to develop your true capabilities.

Attempting to fill the emptiness within my own life has always been one of my worst tendencies. I have tried or been tempted to fill in the emptiness with relationships, with a career, with hobbies, but the emptiness of these small pursuits always reared its head and this time I was determined to face this emptiness.

But I have also been trying to look at my habits, the tendencies within myself that pull me away from Knowledge.  And what a blessing this has been. Embracing the emptiness allowed me to issue words that I could never issue before, and opened my eyes to the blessings within my life—the hidden relationships that God has sent me that I never would have seen before.

Loss of self

Today was a particularly difficult day for me, and by some miracle I was lead to a blog post by a person who was sent into my life during a truly difficult time, a post that I would recommend to anyone. It allowed me to examine a different kind of loss—a loss of self. When you embrace the emptiness and you give up on the vain pursuits, you give up on trying to make a success of your own life. You lose yourself—the self-created self—and you make space for God to emerge. In this emptiness, you experience yourself as you truly are and you give it the freedom to emerge within yourself.


Within his blog post, the Benedictine monk called Aidan expressed his desire to be the “Millennial Merton” and his realization that this was a fantasy that was leading him away from God issued the following realization:

Today, the world no longer needs Merton, at least not as it did when he was alive. Now the world needs Aidan Owen, and millions of others, to be fully themselves.

And the truth of his words struck the core of my being. The world needs us to be fully ourselves, the selves that God created us to be. This isn’t about being the Einsteins, or Jesuses, or Mozarts of our generation. It’s about letting go of our desires in order to allow God to emerge.

Let us all follow the example of this monk and embrace the emptiness that emerges when we finally let go of own desires for love, power, money and success so that we can serve our Messenger and our time in our own unique ways.

Marshall Vian Summers

Another extract from Aiden’s blog:

I was talking to my therapist, who has spent a great deal of time at Buddhist monasteries, about my fear of dropping the fantasies of success. “I’m terrified, in a primal way,” I said to her, “that underneath all the words and the piety and the wisdom and the accomplishments, when I get down to who I really am, I’ll find nothing at all.” Her face lit up, and she exclaimed, with joy, “Absolutely! Wonderful! When you find that nothing, you’ll just be and be in relationship with whatever else is happening or being.”

Today my heart was drawn to follow the example of this monk, to commit myself to letting go of the final vestiges of the self-created me, to face the last of my unexamined desires and to truly give my life over to Knowledge. Because that is what God is waiting for in the end, for us to finally relinquish the last vestiges of Separation and say:

I’m ready. I’m ready for my journey home.

2 thoughts on “Emptiness as Enlightenment

  1. Mark

    Recently, at the New Message’s 2018 Encampment in Colorado, Marshall said something like, “When spirituality really starts to work on you, you become intensely ordinary.”

    Thank you, Samantha and Aidan.

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