That is the whole. This is the whole. From the whole the whole becomes manifest. From the whole when the whole is negated, what remains is whole again.
From Yajur Veda and the Isha Upanishad
“Realize that your true nature is that of pure light only, and both the perceived, and the perceiver come and go together. That which makes both possible, and yet is neither, is your real being, which means not being a ‘this’ or ‘that’ but pure awareness of being and not-being.” – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
There once was a great cosmic shopping center within which were two completely separate worlds known as This and That. Due to marketing strategies and competing brand identities This and That came to a condition of war and threatened each other’s existence.
The ruler of This was a fine king named Thisius, and the ruler of That was an equally fine king named Thatsus. Both of these rulers believed in the Free and Open Market, but were influenced by greedy and self-serving advisors that urged them that it was necessary to out-compete each other to survive. This competition was not destructive until both kings began to manufacture WMDs.
The people who lived in This world were called These and the residents of That world were called Those. Both These and Those were locked in a vicious battle to destroy each other and to dominate the cosmic market. The results of this battle would determine the future of All That Is. These and Those alike, fought desperate battles in the basement of the great cosmic shopping center and many lives, and much blood and wealth was lost. The war lasted for lifetimes and became known as The War to end All Wars, or The Great Liquidation.
At the end of The War to end All Wars, the few These and Those that remained standing were fierce and stubborn about dominating the markets of time and space. They began to breed more human beings for the sole purpose of consuming their products. These careful planners knew that there was a need to develop a new priest class of human beings who preached a religion of Liberation Through Acquisition of This and That. Although neither This nor That any longer had a factual existence after the great war, human beings still believed that they existed, and that human Happiness was predicated on knowing the way of Liberation Through Acquisition. The fulfillment of human life was the possession of This and That. Through a revolutionary cloning technology this mentality of buying or stealing Happiness became the dominant human trait. Human beings believed that anyone who beheld the Book of the Way from Here to There came to possess This and That and was called a “Knower of the True Way and a Holder of Happiness.” This was Liberation Through Acquisition.
Our perception of wholeness or completeness is based on a narrative of impoverishment. The only way to be whole is to impoverish the life of someone else. We rush to be the first to the electronics store for the new iPhone, or the grocery store before the hurricane strikes. Even though very few of us have ever actually experienced true deprivation we live in fear of not having enough. Consequently, we never have enough and struggle to get more. The poor among us never have enough, and the rich also suffer the same fate. Nothing can buy happiness. Nothing can buy contentment. Nothing satisfies our hunger as we grow unhappy.
As Swami Beyondananda says to promote his product–(an empty box labeled “Nothing”)–“No matter what your problem is, Nothing will help; Nothing is known to cure baldness; Nothing gets out those impossible stains; Nothing is completely safe to eat; Nothing lasts forever; Nothing beats sex; It’s the ultimate enlightenment tool because the secret to everything is Nothing; if you understand Nothing, you understand everything.” The key to understanding Nothing is to break down the word into it’s components No-Thing, No-This, No-That will help your problem. Only in realizing the wholeness of everything will you find fulfillment and contentment.