His concept took me a while to grasp, but once I did I found it tremendously liberating. What it means is that nothing in life is inherently good or bad, valuable or worthless - it's all neutral. There is, in fact, no objective reality. Every object, every relationship and every occurrence is entirely void of meaning until we label it, judge it, assign meaning to it. We humans are Meaning Makers, life is all a game, and we are the ones who write the rules.
And there's more...
"We humans are NOTHING," the man said. "That's right, you heard me... We are nothing."
"BUT!! We are nothing PLUS whatever action we choose to take!"
The spirit of his words really inspired me. What it means is that I no longer need to put myself in a box labeled "mother" or "writer" or "minister" or "bartender." I no longer need to define myself by my activities. I am unrestricted, undefinable, limitless energy, creating my reality moment by moment. How freeing is that??
Here's an example of how it works: Recently, someone mentioned a television show to me and I heard myself say, "I don't watch television." Having spoken the words, I heard the ego-ridden falseness of my statement. Why ego-ridden and false? Because the truth of the matter is that I have watched television at various times during my life and furthermore, every single moment I am free to choose whether or not I will watch television because every moment is new. Who is to say that I will not make a different choice later today? The statement "I don't watch television" is nothing more than a gimmick, a racket, an act.
The only reason to make a self-characterizing statement such as, "I don't watch television" is to bolster my ego, to characterize myself as a high-minded and superior personage who has no time to waste on inferior activities such as watching television. Behind the statement is a negative judgment about the medium of television (which is in fact a neutral medium) and a belief in my own superiority because I don't watch it!
Which of course means that I must refuse any potentially beautiful or edifying creation that comes through the medium of television because I. Am. Not. A. Watcher. Of. Television. Period.
What a way to live!
And yet we all do it.
All of us have a concept of who we are as people, and those beliefs about ourselves make up what we call "personality." This notion of who we are provides us with a relatively consistent feeling of superiority, inferiority or neutrality (whatever is most comfortable, given the individual) thereby providing a false sense of security. We feel safe within the confines of a walled identity.
The problem with this way of being is that as long as we draw hard lines to define who we are, we greatly limit our lives.
All day every day we speak words and take actions based on who we believe ourselves to be, and in EVERY case, these beliefs are self-limiting. Even if, let's say, I believe myself to be a "successful" person then I have a notion of what success looks like and in order to conform to my personal notion of success, I cannot deviate from the blueprint. For example, if I believe that I am successful because I make lots of money and have a certain social standing because I work as a banker, then how could I ever allow myself to quit working in a bank to sing opera, blow glass, or give white water rafting tours down the Colorado River?
If instead, I accept that I am nothing PLUS whatever action I choose to take, then there is nothing whatsoever that can limit my life. I am free in every moment to express pure creative energy in present-moment reality, floating joyously in boundless self-expression!