Good For Nothing


5/13/20244 min read

Has anyone described to you that you are good for nothing? Next time when someone says so take it as a compliment. A wife says to her husband that you are good for nothing and I wonder what she meant. Almost all of us have heard this great piece of words from our elders or friends and have felt bad about it. But let me give you a different perspective about this saying. How many of you feel that you are good for nothing? Have you ever tried being good for nothing I would say the best for nothing? Many of you may ask ‘what is to try for being good for nothing?’ and I would simply point that the question itself presents the answer. I feel being the best for nothing is the most difficult job in the world. Many of you have misinterpreted the meaning of nothingness. A person with phenomenal qualities can be tagged as good or best for nothing. Have you ever tried to do nothing for a single day? Nothing here means simply doing nothing. No work, no play, no sleep, no job, and no movement of thoughts. You are at peace with yourself by doing nothing. You are not even bothered to breathe. The air just flows in and out of you and you simply be. The state of nothingness is referred to as Meditation in most of the scriptures and Vedas.

Nothingness is a state in meditation where ‘I’ don’t exist. When that ‘I’ is dropped, it is the disappearance of the ego. It is an utter emptiness, a mystic experience, a pure wide space which sees no limits, an infinity which can either be filled or empty, which can be termed as positive or negative, all have the same meaning. The Sufis have said nothingness to be infinite as something is always bound to have a finite dimension. It is very difficult to acquire nothingness as the way it’s the simplest way to gain it. The person can be identified as an onion, where if the layers are peeled off, nothing lefts behind. The existence can be termed as nothingness. Everything in the universe born out of existence comes from nothingness and dwells in it. It has no value attached. As the saying ‘one should not be clinging to anything or something as both are finite and one fine day it will merge into nothingness’ goes true. The person who belongs to nothingness is the only one having the ability to merge into existence.

Meditation is the process which helps to achieve nothingness. Meditation is defined as not doing, where the doer does not exist, there is no mind present. When you go deep into meditation, slowly the thoughts will get diminished and they will no longer cling to you. The person soon becomes indifferent to the thoughts. It is the state where the mind does not exist as the thoughts are generated by the mind. It is the state where the person does not feel himself anymore, has no form of its own, has no perception and no impulse. All the sensory organs will not be receiving any signals, there will be no light and no darkness, there won’t be any truth nor a lie, no feeling to be alive, and no fear of death. This is the state of absolute nothingness. Can this state be achieved?

When we try to interpret the word nothingness, we feel it is zero or the absence of everything. But as I have told in the beginning, nothingness is infinite, it is always full and overflowing. Nothingness is simply no-thingness, where the perishable things do not exist. When all the materialistic things disappear, what remains is the ultimate and that ultimate is nothingness. Your form may no longer be present but the formless is always present. It is said that the formless cannot be cut by an axe or burnt by fire. The definitions will disappear leaving the undefined appearance. When things disappear, what is left behind is pure consciousness. This undefined, formless has the infinite purity of its own which does not represent the absence, but the presence. When the sky is clear and there is no cloud roaming around, what is present is simply the pure sky. Even a mirror which has no reflection, but the presence of the mirror is there, similarly, the pure consciousness is empty of thoughts and mind, but consciousness is there. When it is full of thoughts, the mind is processing, you could not realize what the formless or undefined is and when it is empty, that state of meditativeness leads to nothingness.

The next question comes as to how to achieve the state of nothingness. Nothingness is achieved when we have nothing to do. Meditation is the process which helps to achieve nothingness. When meditating, try to be just a silent observer of your thoughts. Do not cling or get carried away with your thoughts. By practice, you will observe that the thoughts are slowly reducing, and you are more at peace. Slowly the picture will turn blank and you will feel that nothing is happening. But nothing is the biggest thing happening there leading you on to the path of emptiness or nothingness. A void will be created which will have no end. Do not fear the void, rejoice in it. Rejoicing it because you have reached the most ultimate thing in the world. It is the place where you get an opportunity to embrace your real self. The real self or the undefined rises from nothingness and disappears into nothingness again. Whenever you have a close acquaintance with nothingness, feel happy, and celebrate that moment. The more you celebrate and embrace it, the more it will come upon you.

So, remember next time when someone says to you that ‘You are good for nothing’, feel proud and say ‘Thank you for your kind words’.

- Dr. Dhananjay Patel