The Wisdom of Emptiness

While you’re reading this post, stop and look around once in a while. Notice the objects all around you. If you’re at work, look at the personal items you’ve lined up on your desk. Try to guess what’s in the drawers without looking. Do you remember every item that belongs to you?

Perhaps you’re outside and you’re reading this post at a café. What’s inside your purse and in your pockets? Can you recount them all without having the need to look?

This process can take longer if you’re at home! At least become aware of the objects within the room you are in. Try to think of what’s inside the cupboards and drawers. How many objects can you guess correctly?


Let’s accept the fact that most of us have too many possessions. In our homes, where we just can’t uphold the desired organization, we often fight with our cohabiters about the disorder, while spending so much time, effort, and money on the organization of our possessions, needing larger houses to hold our exponentially increasing amount of stuff.

Even if we don’t quite remember where we put what, knowing that they exist comforts us. Our drawers, closets, shelves, spaces under the bed, tabletops, and even balconies are filled to the brim. We tightly embrace our possessions. After all, they belong to us and express who we are. Our possessions are like an umbilical cord to our identity. We evaluate our success, status, and lifestyle through them. A house full of belongings expresses all the self-imposed conditions of our happiness.


Now close your eyes and imagine your home completely empty. There should not be a single possession, piece of furniture, or book inside. Let your voice and footsteps echo against the walls. Feel the breadth of your living space. Notice the walls, floors, and windows. In your mind relive how the light falls on different surfaces at various hours. And imagine starting a brand new life in this house. Filling the empty space is in your hands. Put aside the events for twenty friends, the family dinners for which there will never be enough chairs, and all the hobbies you had to postpone because of the debt you incurred through buying possessions. What do you really need as the person you are today and with the house you have now?

Immediately start with this question if you want a new life without moving even a meter away from your home. Because true freedom can only be possible when we are no longer the shadow of our possessions.



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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