You inhabit the void that reflects you, hypothesis by essayist Hella Ahmed

I started to reflect and write on the challenging subject of emptiness and wholeness by sharing in 2015 some of my findings in a piece I published on my website and two magazines. I was discussing the impact of constant sharing of personal and private matters on social networks. I took in consideration how the other’s judgment and validation of the distorted image we build to present ourselves was affecting internal coherence, self-validation and self-love. Was congruence even possible? « Virtuality » (as in virtual reality, to refer to virtual existence in connection with other virtual entities representing real humans on the internet and not bots) was transforming our relationship to ourselves and to others. Was cognitive dissonance a common thing that have always occurred we could continue to live by without eventually getting psychologically and physically sick in this modern society and its way of living enriched by the digital? I was asking the question : how can we be in peace with ourselves when making choices while facing all of this?

The hypothesis of the chapter was the result of my contemplation of the world and my personal observations, of what I felt and what I discovered while reflecting on it. I have witnessed so much excessive display of consumerism power on one side and a sea of moralizing speeches about moderation and modesty in order to look responsible, on the other side. Personally, by sincerely investing myself in the practice of meditation to find some peace, heal myself from sorrows and get over many frustrations, I understood that we were always alive in “thought” and that trying to experience emptiness, or otherwise filling it with material to feel whole, was as impossible as a vain strategy. We are this void that reflects us; we constitute this space which we are, that depends on us, filled with our rights and our wrongs. We are always there, somewhere in thought, everything about us is stored information that we come across in one state or another of our consciousness.

An entire chapter of my book Disconnectés? Respirez (Disconnected? Breathe will be available in English for purchase in February 2023) is dedicated to this. The book by Canadian author Hella Ahmed, published in June 2021, is a compilation of articles related to mental health and personal development published in various medias since 2013. It is also a content enriched by a deepening of the intellectual investigation devoted to the themes addressed before.

« To completely clear the mind is impossible, you are always there, somewhere, in thoughts, in spirit. You inhabit the emptiness that reflects you. To have everything in order to fill the void is impossible »

Hella, A. (2016) Être en accord avec soi dans ses choix, SantéMentalité.
Ahmed, Hella « Déconnectés? Respirez », 2021

Later, I approached the idea differently and devoted some of my social psychology essay Profils d’ombres et de lumières to it. I was interested in the elevation of consciousness and I thought of our permanence in existence after the final metamorphosis, that of our death, towards what I like to name the « body of life » of eternal resurgences, as memory archived in the living being transported through time. The information that we are is eternal in that sense, according to the global perspective that combines the spiritual and scientific dimensions I deeply believe in.

My pragmatism has never made me a less sensitive to the poetry of existence person, and wanting to cultivate it was not a threat to my artistic creativity either, even if I had to devote a few years to contemplation in solitude to finally understand with certainty, in lucidity, that the freedom we give ourselves to validate our ambitions allows us to broaden our perception, and overcome shackles and simplistic judgments. This open vision, being healthy, makes it possible to tackle failure and fight against powerlessness in the face of aggression and injustice, it is the window of psychological distance and reactivation or regeneration of self-esteem.

« The information that we constitute is eternal, a memory archived in the living transported through time. »

Ahmed, Hella « Profils d’ombres et de lumières », 2022.

By analyzing a few examples to reflect on what history has taught us, I address in my book the issues of transgressions and manipulation. I particularly dig about the major importance of appearances and what objectification is doing to our relationship to ourselves and to “the other”. The virtual seems to be the field of countless battles and illusions when the background pillar have always been about freedom of expression which supports the birth of revolutions leading to the validation of many changes of mentality, while sadly tolerating, at the same time, much visible and resistant micro-discrimination and a trivialized racism.

« We are this void filled with us, the emptiness we’re filling with everything that makes us, immaterial and told, in live silence and in audible reason, of our desires and regrets, our flesh as a metaphor carried by thoughts. We constitute the space which raises from us ».

In my next book to be released, Our need for recognition is deeply human, I continue my reflection process by giving it a more personal side and I let the literary dimension carry my words of knowledge with a poetry that is specific to me. I can’t say more so as not to say too much, but this work is a creation that was difficult to reveal, which revealed itself despite the burden of putting up with, and also putting on the side, my enormous disappointment at the despise of those who have slyly envied my intellectual fecundity only to use it and try to cancel its existence at the same time, instead of recognizing it for what it is fundamentally and without doubt, a richness, to ultimately realize that systemic racism will only ever be the backbone of a devastating multi-faceted violence.

It is a book that opens up new horizons for me and confirms my mastery of the English language, my flexibility and the delicacy of my pen, because I will publish it in both languages, and until now I have only published articles and poetry in English. A language that has been for me, when I desperately needed it at the time, an open door to call myself the poet that I was and that I will always be, because otherwise to declare myself a literary and a creative, with firmness and pride, seemed to be forbidden by those pretentious self-declared guardians of the French language that a writer with a colourful name is not supposed to claim, by demonstration, as mastered with great class.

And they did get obsessed with me as they gathered around the center of attention, starved for pieces of beauty to steal, ingest and digest in the form of works to be called personal achievements, as soon as my essence revealed itself in broad daylight with a fluidity of the heavens. And I will from now on allow myself to declare my Rumi’s kind of drunk love for myself, with infinite gratitude, because our need for recognition is deeply human.

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