Between everything that exists, there is a gap. Between you and me. Between our planet and the next planet over. Between our galaxy and the next galaxy over. At the microscopic level, between cells. At the subatomic level, between electrons and neutrons and protons...between quarks, strings. Between strings...more strings. Quantum physics has postulated that at the very deepest level of what is, what is is nothing. Or, mass-less - energy that may or may not be conscious, but not matter.
There are gaps in understanding, between what we know and what we say we know, and what we don't know. Or say we don't know. I think even our definition of knowledge has gaps in it.
There is a fundamental truth (and yes, truth has gaps) that I am finally beginning to understand. Nothing touches. People don't touch...how can they? The atomic structure of our cells actually slide in between each other as we touch. Vibrations on a quantum string level send forth waves that ultimately end up being a sensation of touch as they are interpreted within the complicated system of organic reality. But we don't really touch. Nothing touches. Atoms don't touch, strings don't touch.
The gap is the essential reality of the universe. Nothing touches. There is emptiness between everything, and within everything. Quantum scientists are hot on the trail of this reality, but Buddhists figured this out centuries ago...I am just now beginning to get it. At the center of everything is emptiness. A gap.
"And the Lord said, I sought for a man to stand in the gap, and I found not one."
The purpose of life, the meaning of everything, the key to existence, is learning to, accept and embrace...emptiness. Standing in the gap. Not necessarily touching anything...God never said anything about touching anything. In fact, he seemed to get pissed off when people touched him. Remember the guy who tried to keep the ark of the covenant from falling to the ground? He touched the ark - which was the symbol of the reality of and presence of God - and god sent his ass to dirttown. Killed him with a bolt of power from the Neumotron.
God does not want you touching anything because you can't. Ultimately, though it feels and seems like touching is happening...it isn't. There is a gap.
Emptiness, isolation, and not-touching is the truth at the core of existence. There is more empty space than space filled with anything.
This whole concept can be incredibly empowering. Standing in the gap can help us find the center, in the midst of anything. And in the center, we can discover serenity...and perhaps wisdom.
Perhaps there is no greater wisdom than to understand that emptiness is the center. That if there is power in a particular event - or even thought - that power resides within us. We are the power.
The concept of emptiness also teaches me about the true nature of touch. Throughout life, I have come to see that intimacy is a matter of something other than physical contact. I have known lovers who did not know the other's favorite food; I have known people who were unable to have physical intimacy due to a disease or handicap, and yet lived deep within the reality of their loved one, and were experiencing intimacy beyond what most people ever know.
Knowing that material touch never really happens...and to know that true intimacy is not a matter of physical contact...has helped me to understand that touch is something different. It is mystical, it is found when someone can stand in the gap, experience the serenity of the center...and touch with their hearts, or their minds. I also know that when touch from the gap takes place, then the physical intimacy that follows is both inconsequential and astounding in pleasure!
We must learn to accept that we are standing in a gap, and embrace all that it means. We must let the gap teach us and we must teach ourselves as we stand in the midst of nothing.
When we do this, we discover that the gap is not a lonely place...in fact, it may not be a place at all, but a journey...from one reality to another. That journey can become our definition, a definition that is not static but dynamic, changing constantly, evolving, growing, becoming, expanding.
Perhaps one day, we shall be the ones to fill the gap.