They say that if you stare too much into the Abyss, the Abyss starts staring back at you.

They say that like it was a bad thing.

In a week which has brought a mass of anti-ANC criticism from citizens of all walks of South African life, and in a time when we may truly be having to say fare-thee-well to a man of great integrity, I’ve been taking every opportunity to gaze into the Void.

And not just gaze.


There’s a point in the practice of meditation and Remembering (well, let’s be more precise – there’s a point in my practice of meditation and Remembering) when you stop gazing and start entering.

That’s when you start becoming the Void.


It’s not something I am able to English. Indeed, I think most humans have difficulty putting words around the experience.


But amidst the slanging matches and real grievances of a suffering populace, among the fears of a nation, among the quibbles about what is and is not the start of Winter (hint: OED entry for Midwinter refers 🙂 ) , in between the flash floods and Monsoon ravages and rampaging citizenry and all the hurt and anger and hiding and denial….there’s this..Place.

Where you may join your beloved Dead, and every other soul who has ever trod this incarnation.

The Abyss staring into, and becoming, You.


2 responses to “Becoming

  1. Yes, it is interesting that quite oddly for spiritual folk, a lot of the things one would think kind of naturally “follow on” are spoken of with a sense of dread. It is a bit like being in a culture where education and critical thought is valued, but repeatedly being told “You think too much!”

    I think exploring that void, that abyss, tells us about our own abyss-like places within ourselves. Exploring (even the edges) of the Void opens the voids of our own in response. And since for me, the point of a spiritual life is to better my performance (for lack of a better word) in ALL spheres of function….how can you do it without looking into the dark as well as the light?


  2. That’s definitely part of it – fear of the dark! We are constantly exhorted to stay within the light, with tales of demonic possession to keep us away from those Other Places.
    I wonder if that has anything to do with the dark places being less amenable to control, by others?

    Terri in Joburg


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