The teachings of Karl Renz are a bit like Zen Koans – those short statements that stop the mind’s activity by contemplating their paradoxical meaning. But Karl takes you even further: pondering his words have the power to turn the mind back upon itself, toward our original awareness of being.
A Little Bit of Nothingness is a unique juxtaposition between the dialogues of Karl Renz and the eighty – one verses of the Tao Te Ching. Here, the reality of the Tao – The unnameable, original cause of all that is - has the potential to become evident as our own reality, by the deep insights provided through Karl.
The search for happiness usually takes us on an outward journey where we find ourselves identifying with everything except that which we truly are. What we really need is to taste a little bit of nothingness – the absence of any kind of ideas that we have about ourselves.
No one sees this as well as Karl Renz, the German mystic-artist who, for the last ten years, has travelled around the world pulling the rug out from under our hallowed , leaving us blissfully wanting even less.
‘Realization means that consciousness, which once was identified with an object, becomes boundry-less. It becomes conscious of being consciousness. But the Self is never realized nor not-realized. It is always prior to any ideas about enlightenment or non-enlightenment. Anything you can say about it is an idea.
What is man in his essence? What is the point of
VV this whole existence? Is there a deeper meaning
behind everything? These are the leading questions
that have shaped our culture - religion, philosophy,
science, and art - for thousands of years.
In this book we encounter Lao Tsu, a Chinese wise man
who lived 2,500 years ago, and Karl Renz, a German
artist and mystic of our time. They meet where time
and space no longer have any meaning.
Lao Tsu is not a name but a title of honor, which
means "The Elder." The transmission says that an old
civil servant, who served as an archivist of scriptures,
was leaving the empire when he was asked by a border
patrol official to write down his realizations. Lao Tsu
handed over more than 5,000 Chinese characters and
continued on his way westward. The work influenced
the governments of several later emperors and
received the title Tao Te Ching, which roughly means
"the classical book of the meaning of life."
There are many, often contradictory accounts, about
Lao Tsu (Laozi) and the origin of the Tao Te Ching
(DaodeJing). Equally diverse are the translations and
interpretations that have spread across Europe since
the nineteenth century. For this book, the German
translation of Richard Wilhelm has been referenced,
except for a few rare cases in which Rudolf Bachofen's
translation was used.
Richard Wilhelm points out in his introduction that the
term "Tao" is to be considered more like an "algebraic
sign" for something that is fundamentally indefinable
and unpronounceable. Tao has also been translated as
"God," "the inscrutable," "the way," or as "sense" by
Wilhelm Reich. In this book, it is simply referred to as
The idea to bring together the Tao Te Ching with some
of the dialogues of Karl Renz comes from Dietmar
Bittrich, the publisher of Das Buch Karl (published
in English as The Myth of Enlightenment). In Karl's
meetings, which he occasionally calls "Self Talks" or
"Performances," he speaks completely spontaneously.
Even he says that he doesn't know what speaks through
him or what he speaks about. These transcribed
recordings only very rarely refer to specific texts of the
Tao Te Ching, This is more about an allocation and
mutual fertilization of Karl Renz and Lao Tsu.
Karl addresses exactly that dimension of the Tao which
is not graspable and usable. The rejection of how we
function, in an organized and goal-oriented world, is
a central theme that runs through the Tao Te eking,
while on quite another level through the talks of Karl
While Lao Tsu occasionally strives to enlighten the
population and the empire through ethical principles,
Karl' , talks completely transcend ideas of "good" and
"bad." But, as with many differences, they are only
apparent. This unique combination darkens and
illuminates, confuses and clarifies. One doesn't have
to understand anything, but as Karl says, "Something
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