From the Terrible Here…to the Incredible There

Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Existing where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, “Form is emptiness.”


I intentionally don’t read other people’s interpretations of Hagakure. If I did, I would end up writing someone else’s thoughts. Maybe sometimes my interpretations are not in line with what most people think. But interpretations are like opinions in that most cannot be wrong. Most.

When I saw the quote, ‘Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form,’ something really struck me. Well, at least half of it struck me. And even though I’m only talking about half of this quote and therefore probably missing the lesson, and even though I might not be interpreting this as others do, I can’t be apologetic about it. This is my reaction.

Form is emptiness.

We want to get from our terrible here. To that incredible there…way over there.

Here…is your emptiness. Your nothingness. The empty space that surrounds you. The void that embodies you. Here are your bad experiences. Your bad job. Your bad parents. Your bad GPA. Your bad connections. Your loneliness. Here…is your going nowhere. Here…is your no chance in hell.

There…is the end goal. The dream of dreams in your heart and mind.

You first have to find the seemingly impassable route, then get on it, then travel all the way down. To get all the way…there.

Everything comes from nothing. Everything starts with the number zero.

Think of this. You are alone in this world. You have nothing going on with any member of the opposite sex. You don’t even have any prospects. Then one day a friend drags you to some BBQ that you didn’t want to go to. You stand online for the bathroom and bump into some girl. You start talking and all of the sudden, somehow, it just works. You make her laugh. You go back and ask your friend about her. She asks her friends about you. You take her out a week later. It goes well. A few more dates. You think she is really cool. The normal banter with your friends about ‘what’d you get off of her?’ turns you off. Things progress. And you’re trying to fight the urge to tell her you love her because it feels too soon. She fights it off too. It gets more serious. You buy a ring, then ask, and she says yes. You get married. You build a life together. The right timed sex…and boom. There is a new life born. There is a family. A home is made. More kids. Grand-kids. An entire clan of people. All from what was originally…nothing.

Think about where you are in terms of your dreams in this world. You may feel like you have nothing right now. You feel like you’re not even in the stratosphere. But you could meet someone tomorrow, online waiting for a bathroom. That may lead to a meeting. You perform in that meeting and that might lead to an internship. Then to a job. Then a promotion. Then another. Then into your dream job.

I am going to repeat this line again…Everything comes from nothing. Nothing. No matter how low you think you are. No matter how lost you think you are. No matter how far off your path. How far removed you are. You are one chance meeting. One intentional meeting that you made to look like a chance meeting…away from being put on the track to take you there.

You are probably not starting from zero. But even if you are, keep your antennas up. Keep your goals clearly defined and in front of you. Prepare yourself. Look for opportunities to pounce. You can turn your nothingness into a full blown reality in any moment. The realization of your dreams can be born today. Keep that in mind. Make it happen.