Recently on the Conan O`Brien show, comedian Louis C.K., said this…
“Underneath everything there’s that thing—that empty forever. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re all alone. Life is tremendously sad just by being in it.”
I watched this and I was struck by this part of the interview. I wondered, is this everyone’s experience? Is Louis C.K. expressing something we are all feeling? I know that this is a part of my experience. There is an unreachable part of me that is like a greedy child looking for love, there is never enough to fill it, there is never enough to satisfy it. I do wonder though, if most people are somehow more whole than I am, than Louis C.K. is. Do people walk around not getting that some of us have this profoundly empty place inside?
I suspect that the human condition is more universal than that. I think everyone has that place inside, that we are all seeking to fill it, that we are all walking around seeking a deeper connection. We try different things to fill it; love, drugs, alcohol, religion, yoga, exercise (clearly disturbed individuals), food meditation and I am sure a whole host of other things. So many people are asking “is this it, is this all life has to offer?” It can’t be just this. We are less empty, less alone, less scared when we share our aloneness with someone else. We are more when we find people to show our empty place to, who don’t react in horror, but instead show us their own empty place. I think that is what joy is, when we are encountering something that gives us perspective on the emptiness, that allows us to see that although it is there, there is a lot of good that surrounds the empty, there is a lot of me that surrounds it. I am not the empty place, I just have one. It may indeed be empty forever, though I don’t believe that is true, but it is empty now. I see most clearly when I see the stuff that is built around it, not just the empty, but the fullness of life around it.
We all have an empty place, but we all have the capability or connecting and sharing the richness of our lives and our selves that we have built around the empty place. We are touched beyond words when someone reveals theirs in a way that allows us to see it and encounter it and feel it, and hear the echo in our own. those moments are amazing and for that brief time we get to see that although we all have it, we at least are not alone in that. We share that we all have it.
Not empty forever, but empty together.