Space. Either it is an empty part of anything or the vastness where all heavenly bodies float. In Ishilta’s sacred geography lessons, a space is something without identity as compared to a place which a human presence identifies. As a child, I see space as a playground of a kid who dreams to become an astronaut, where spaceships travel and visit many planets. As an adult, space is an unimaginable void filled with mystery, of which I am seeing out there beyond yet feeling it within me.
Space is always compared with the void where nothing exists. It is always described as a vacuum where breath and sound cannot be felt and heard. Space is considered as the unknown and its abysmal nature is feared and repulsed. An empty container can be seen as useless, and likewise, an empty life is considered meaningless.
But ironically what is empty is more. Lao Tzu once remarked that a cup is only useful because of its empty space. In that space we fill it and make it full. It is now fulfilled. Lao Tzu saw this as the Tao, the mother of ten thousand things. And Zen masters see how forms transform from formlessness. What is in the space where truth is found? That remains unseen and untouched, yet always appears to be very, very real.
In the empty womb of our mothers, the life that became us emerged. From this womb our purity and potential were born. We were literally conceived within that sacred space and we also return to that space in our ways of imagining. Our creative thinking becomes our pathway, from which an immaterial idea becomes a powerful physical entity. Look around you right now and pick an object. Think about this: this object was once an idea in the mind of its creator. Now it is a reality that you see and hold in your hands. The space of human imagination is where everything becomes possible.
…that sacred space is the space of Love.
And then there is death, the notorious end of this unpredictable journey of life. It is a phenomenon we often dread because it brings us to that total emptiness, to that complete space beyond imagining. It is the profound unknown that we fear to face. It is the new space to which all illusory spaces of our relative world dissolve, like a black hole where everything is sucked and disappears. It still the same space, only a transition from this material space to that space that no physical space can contain. Buddhists call it shunyata, where everything in its impermanence flow at one with the invisible realm of that space.
There is also a space that for millenia we have tried to materialized, yet has never shown its face nor its materiality. It is the space that often we depict in our ancient stories, together with our arduous yearning of seeing it. We have called it God, but this personified space has not shown itself from time immemorial, except in the images that we choose to describe it. This space is an unbreakable mystery, but its physical nonexistence is ironically an evidence of how it exists.
But in the very spirit of our breath, this divine space is found. In fact, it is life itself. It is the umbilical cord that connects us with all life. It is the space that we must recognize, for it shows us, in the most paradoxical way, that the space we cannot see is the thing that connects us all. It is through this space that God becomes real, in the presence of our fellow humans who are vessels of sacred inner space. From this invisible, intangible, immeasurable incomprehensible space, we recreate it as we all listen to each other, see each other’s presence, hold each other’s hands, and understand each other’s feeling. Therefore, we realize our oneness all because of that sacred space. Because the bottomline, that sacred space is the space of Love. As we Love, we will never feel empty in this space again.