i am nothing and i am everything

Yesterday slipped past me so quickly that I forgot to post this quote by Nisargadatta Maharaj that I’ve been saving for Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom. I found it in one of the books I am reading, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” by Dr. Wayne Dyer in which he interprets each verse of the Tao and applies it to modern life. I read one chapter per day as part of my spiritual practice and have noticed my awareness expanding and a renewed sense of peace emerging.

I’ll take it.

“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,

Love is knowing I am everything,

and between the two my life moves.”

— Nisargadatta Maharaj

When I pause for a moment to consider the vastness of this country, this earth and the entire universe, I begin to understand what a microscopic speck I am on the eternal expanse of time. My life is not important. My worries and my joys, my failures and my successes are insignificant.

In the very next moment, I pause to look at my nearly 9 month old daughter snuggled against my breast. To her, one who is new to this life and knows so little, I am everything. Her family and our sweet humble home is her world.

I am simultaneously nothing and everything. This concept of paradoxical truths is explored in the 2,500 year-old Tao Te Ching, and it is one I am carefully pondering and beginning to grasp.

Between these two truths, my life moves. And the only wrinkles I will leave on the quilt of existence are the contributions I’ve made in the form of effecting change, raising children and giving love.

What else is important? I think nothing.


  1. A very powerful quote! I have that book sitting on my bedside table – a friend drove me out to a bookstore one night recently after dinner, because he said “since I basically quoted the title in our conversation,” he thought I should have it in my life!


    1. Wonderful!! Let me know how you like it! For me, it takes a lot of concentration and focus to truly understand what he’s saying since the concepts are so different from the way we are used to thinking. But it’s so worth it.


  2. Oh it is a beautiful quote Lucille… Love is something that the world goes about without even realising it. whether it is the love between couples or families.. love for money and power.. love completes it all


  3. I needed to read this today…I remember reading the Tao as a freshman in college and it was amazing. It still is. I should reread it. Thanks for planting this seed.

    I love the quote, too.


  4. Since meditating this morning I have had “I am nothing. I am everything.” going through my head. Googling it brought you to me. I have just started studying the Tao two days ago. I’m amazed by the revelations. ❤


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