This universe is built on emptiness. Or so it seems, at first.
Regions of space so vast that the human mind gives up seeking for comparatives; eons of time so long that clocks torment us; quantum mechanics so indisputably weird that they defy logic: it all adds up to a reality which is fundamentally a void.
And yet, there isn’t just nothing. Something, whether it is ‘there’ in any comprehensible way or not, spins around in those voids, lasts through those epochs and occupies those spaces.
Emptiness is what drives things, at least at first glance. But there are, apparently, things to drive.
From the mysterious ‘possibly not even there-ness’ of quantum physics to the black holes that apparently give galaxies their shape, emptiness is all around us. It affects the physical universe, but it’s also what seems to define what it is to be human. All human beings have a void, a gap, a space in their hearts, and it is in an effort to fill that space that they move and act.
The mediaevals (far cleverer people than they are usually given credit for) believed that the reason why planets moved in circles was that the circle was the closest to perfection that a motion could be, and that everything in Creation was trying to emulate the perfection that was God. (Yes, I know that the planets don’t really move in circles, but that’s not the point.)
We’re all trying to fill that void; we all move in our own circles.
The thing that we call ‘business’ is the commercial manifestation of this. A ‘business’ is a machine that operates in order to fill a void. To do that successfully it needs to do whatever it does faster and more comprehensively than the other guy, especially in today’s marketplace in which prospects and customers are hair-trigger commodities - in today’s tech-smart world, it only takes one click for people to switch to another provider, another potential fulfiller of vacuums.
A ‘marketplace’ is a gathering place for voids or vacuums: people seek out ways of filling vacuums from a hunger for pizza to the meaning of Life, by going shopping, browsing the internet, joining groups and trailing on social media those who promise fulfilment of some kind.
To succeed as a ‘fulfiller’, you need superlative, engaging, intimate, ongoing connections with real people today - and ideally you need those connections to be a whole league above those your competitors are trying to establish.
All businesses today are trying to find relevance and traction on line and off line: trying to attract more visitors to websites and trying to avoid loss of footfall traffic and justify the hard costs of having shops.
The same principle applies to health, to relationships, to the workplace, to the interactions that we all have with each other.
The thing that we call ‘writing’ is also a manifestation of this. A ‘writer’ is someone who creates worlds in order to fill a void - their own or another's. To reach others successfully a writer needs to fulfil voids faster and more comprehensively than others, especially in today’s reading marketplace which is saturated with options just a click away.
To succeed as a writer, you need superlative, engaging, intimate, ongoing connections with readers - and you get that with characters and plots built around reader vacuums and needs.
But does that mean that writers must worship the ‘darkness' in order to succeed?
Emptiness, the void, the core vacuum that seems to lie at the heart of all things, could equate to the ‘dark pole’ of Myth. Perhaps after all, it seems, that dark pole is senior to everything, revealing itself to be the engine at the heart of existence in this way.
Except that it's not.
Desire creates emptiness. Emptiness moves us towards fulfilment.
It is possible to fulfil vacuums, to satisfy yearnings, to satiate hungers, to consummate relationships, to bring plans to fruition, to fill up emptinesses, even until they overflow. Yes, it appears that the dark pole has the primary role at first, until one asks why that might be - the answer is that it is the desire for fulfilment which gives the dark pole its power.
We progress towards health, happiness, satisfaction, contentment and joy, not darkness. If the darkness grips and drives us, so much the better if it brings us closer to the Light - but the aim is the Light.