There is not one self. There are not ten selves. There is no self. Henri Michaux, Plume 1938
Yes, there were times when I forgot not only who I was, but that I was, forgot to be. – Samuel Beckett, Molloy, 1951Nothing is more real than nothing. Beckett Malone Meurt/Malone Dies – 1951
The clamor is everywhere: BE SOMEBODY!… but those efforts are illusory.
Beyond our names and our affiliations lies the same eternal nobody that we were when we were born – and that we will be when we die.
What surrounds us – all the stuff, the concepts… – blinds us and entraps us into a fortress, a coffin.
These facts, though, do not constitute any reason to become pessimistic, merely realistic. And freer.
It deals with a “nothing” which – in a culture where “something” is always better than nothing – is obviously misrepresented.
While the act of saving lives could never be part of this, to sense the vacuum present in this culture, all one needs to consider is what much of our “something” is up to.
No-thing is also related to no-self: a false sense of self, or is there any sense of self that is not false?
Not unlike the Buddhist warning about everything being “maya“- a form of illusion – it is clear that much of what surrounds us (the concepts, the busyness… ) stands on wobbly foundations.
People-hood and the concept of a self have been questioned through Kafka’s statements: “I have hardly anything in common with myself ” & “My People! My People! If only I had one.”
Others like Guy Debord, Alejandro Jodorowski and U.G. Krishnamurtion have expanded in that direction.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde