The Philosopher from Carnival Island

The Expression

Sam Chahine(sechahi at


The First Letter

The Knower

The Fallacy

The Delusion

The Awareness

The Second Letter

The Expression

The Seeing

The Carnival

The Domino Universe

The Third Letter

The Innuendo

The Champion

The Guardians

The Storyteller

The Final Letter

The Afterthought

After following the path of enlightenment, the last thing that the physical being of which I was aware expected was actually finding all that they were searching for. For the sake of simplicity, I will be referring to myself as the physical being, although it is important to remember that I am simply The Awareness. However, it is easier to articulate the following recollections from the perspective of a physical being rather than the awareness of one. Therefore, in the spirit of relatability, I will be referring to the physical being I am aware of in the first person.

There are two reasons I set out on my journey for enlightenment. Firstly, I had experienced the attainment of what I believed would make me happy, only to then find myself feeling emptier than before. Whether it was financial freedom, an invigorating social status or the reckless indulgence of luxuries, there was nothing that left me satisfied indefinitely. The second reason is much simpler, I am obsessed with figuring things out. If you put two and two together, you get a sacrificial philosopher.

I had no intentions of delving into a new religion, nor was I willing to pretend I had instantly become a proponent of spirituality. Instead, I knew what I wanted, and it was very simple. I wanted a reason to keep going. I wanted to find the purpose of my search. I wanted a reason. I wanted to find.

I tried to read books on philosophy, but it was like trying to lose weight by reading a cook book. I did not want someone else to tell me their opinion regarding my existence, when they had never even met me. I was very lost, and had no where left to go. Until, I realised that where I had to go was no where.

Of course, this realisation was not made without the help of my teacher, Alexander, who I was able to find by pure luck. I was not looking for a teacher to teach me how to “reach enlightenment”, but instead I was looking for a spiritual mentor. I truly believed that if I could not find happiness in the physical world, I would learn how to become so good at meditation I’d be able to fly out of my body. I believed that at the height of spirituality, philosophy and religion, there was a physical being who was, at will, able to leave their body.

I can assure you that not only have I never left my body, but I have yet to learn how to meditate. In the beginning, I thought meditation was essential to silence the mind, so I tried and tried, and tried again. Yet, it was only the idea of meditation that stood out to me. What remains in the absence of everything? What is still aware? What would the awareness of nothing even look like?

Instead of teaching me how to meditate or how to pretend I was spiritual by trying to fly out of my body, Alexander understood where I was coming from. I simply couldn’t take it anymore, it being the misery of living. So, he taught me how to forget everything, before I could remember… nothing.

After working very hard to break all facets of my preconceived reality, I had nothing left to do, and nothing left to lose. So I did nothing. I did not find nothing, I just gave up. I did not want to meditate and I did not want to live like a monk. I did, however, learn to love the experience I was a part of, because I understood that it was a miracle that I was even here.

I learned to love every single thing and every single being. I no longer believed that I could hate, for there was no one to hate. There was no one to hate because I did not believe I was at all separate anymore. I was a being in a story, among countless others. All of us were trying to figure life out, and that was all I needed to know.

I continued to live my life pretty normally, though I had a new sense of love and appreciation for everything, for no reason other than the fact that it was all here, now. I knew that there was nothing else I could do, and it was a bit distressing at times, but it allowed me to find peace in the fact that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, here.

One night, I sat quietly in my room, staring into a blank wall. Although I had some thoughts, there was not much for me to think about. And then it happened, nothingness. There was no set time between me observing nothing and me observing something. It was as if I just knew… but I could not comprehend what it was that I knew.

I understood that what I thought I knew, could not be known, for if it was known I would have been able to describe it. My friend was in the room as well, she had known of my path of finding “purpose” and somehow accepted the ridiculous nature of what I was trying to do. I turned to her and said, quite unironically, “I.. I think… I’m awakened?”

Understandably, she was just as confused as I was. She asked me how I knew and I had no way of answering her. I knew that whatever happened, or whatever did not happen, was what some have referred to as the reaching of enlightenment, though it was the most anticlimactic experience of my entire life. At this point, I was just annoyed. It was as if I had immediate access to being aware of this infinite being, which simply was Awareness, but because it was unfathomable, I had no words to describe it.

She asked me “What does it mean?”, to which I replied “I don’t know, it’s literally nothing I can describe, there is no way to explain it… it’s not that I’m awakened, we’re all just… awakening? Always… and it make so much sense, but I don’t understand why I can’t speak about it.” Still confused, she jokingly asked me one final question, “So, does that mean I’m awakened too?”

I took a moment and realised how funny it was that she asked at all, for it was so obvious to me, that every one was always awakening. “Yeah, of course you are, you just forgot” I replied, “But it’s fine, because you’ll remembe-”

I would be lying if I said that I finished the sentence, for I could hardly speak anymore. Tears would fall from my eyes for no less than four hours. I understood that the very thing I could not understand, had always been… here. I remembered that in my most trying times, I had simply forgotten, yet it was only so that I could remember once again. I did not awaken, for I was never asleep. I did not reach enlightenment, for there was no thing to be reached. I did not learn something I had not already known. I did not find anything that was not already found.

I had always been found. Yet, it was me that was searching. It was always me. I was there when I thought no one was. I was the one who was seeing myself, even when I thought I was invisible. It was always me, and I had no words to describe it. I couldn’t tell anyone, because it was not a thing that could be told. I couldn’t teach it to anyone, because it was not a thing that could be taught. There was nothing I could do… and then I understood the joke.

Nothing in the world mattered, that is, the nothing did in fact matter, it just was no thing that could be seen. It was no thing that could be found. It was no thing that could be heard. It was no thing that could be felt. It was no thing, empty, void, yet infinite, eternal and complete. It was everywhere. In all things, there is nothing. Nothing did not mean “nothing” anymore, but instead it stood for something. It stood for the very thing that is seeing with no eyes and hearing with no ears. It stood for the very thing that was always here and is always everywhere.

“Nothing” was invisible, unfathomable, and hilarious. There was always nothing, yet I was too distracted by the something. I did not remember anything, but rather I remembered nothing. There is no better way to describe my experience other than to say it was non-experiential. Yet, the only word that comes close to describing the essence of this non-experiential phenomenon was love. It was unconditional love. All is unconditional love. All is love.

I understood that it was always me who was searching, yet it was me who was found. I understood that all things were simply expressions of what can only be described as unfathomable. Everything was both absolute, yet not absolute at all. Everything was paradoxical, and at the same time, everything made perfect sense. Everything expressed everything, yet there was one… not something and not nothing that all things expressed. It was not that I remembered The Awareness, but more so that The Awareness remembered me.

The purpose of this book is to convey the very understanding, and misunderstanding, responsible for centuries of religious conflict, spiritual excursions and existentialism in general. All the while maintaining the inevitable paradox that blossoms during the physical representation, or any representation, of the unknown, or rather the unable to be known.

The very “something” you are searching for, is in the everything you had to forget. Yet, it was necessary that you learned to detach your physical self from the “I” that is aware, in order to observe the experience as a whole, rather than an experience that is subject to a physical being. You had to learn how to see the flower in the painting in the same way you see a flower in the garden, so that you can see another person in the experience in the same way you see yourself in the experience.

There is no physical being that can reach enlightenment, for enlightenment is not a thing that can be reached. Now what? What can you do, when there is nothing to do? How can you apply what you understand regarding the nature of The Awareness to the experience? If The Awareness is in all things, how can you find it? If The Awareness is everywhere, how can you see it? If The Awareness is the joke, what’s the punchline?

The Expression

Although the reaching of enlightenment is paradoxical, in that there is no enlightenment that can be reached, it is possible to reach an understanding regarding the nature of The Awareness. Being able to recognise nothingness in my experience allowed The Knower to know nothing, and The Awareness to become aware of itself in the presence of nothing. Although I did not by any means become a master of meditation, I was able to use my rather peculiar ability of recognising abstractions in concepts and ideas to make apparent the synchronicity all things inevitably share.

As there was no thing left for me to know on my journey to enlightenment, I chose to do what I do best, which was to over think… everything. Before finding nothing, I understood that my something was not necessarily unreachable, but unfathomable. This left me wandering and pondering for the remainder of my journey.

In the previous chapter, I mentioned that as I stared into the abyss, I found nothingness. I did not, however, discuss the unravelling of concepts and ideas that led up to the finding of nothing. Fortunately, I will be able to demonstrate, through words, the conclusions that were revealed to me by none other than the unpredictable nature of thoughts. Although thoughts are within the experience, you should approach the analysis and exploration that is to come with an unwavering consciousness. In other words, although you will be actively exploring abstractions and patterns within the experience, it is important to always be aware of your true nature, which is the nature of The Awareness.

As there is no word to describe what I aim to illustrate, I will be referring to it as The Expression. The Expression is simply what I recognised during my so called “reaching of enlightenment”, yet I could not recognise it in the same way I recognise a face. The Expression is what I saw during my “reaching of enlightenment”, yet I could not see it in the same way I see a cloud. It is impossible to explain how I became aware of it, other than to say I was simply aware. More so, it was not that I recognised The Expression, but rather I understood that it had always been recognising the physical being of which I am aware.

The Expression is not something, nor is it nothing. There are no words to describe it, for the simple fact that words are created within it. The Expression is formless and cannot be described, only expressed. In the same way the experience is subject to The Knower, in that no thing within the experience could ever comprehend The Knower, The Expression is unfathomably unfathomable. The Knower cannot know The Expression. But if it cannot be known, can The Awareness be aware of The Expression?

It is not that The Awareness can be aware of The Expression, but rather that The Awareness of The Knower knowing an experience, is a localised fragment of The Expression. If The Expression was an infinite ocean, with no end or beginning, The Awareness would be equivalent to less than one millionth of a single drop of water. However, The Awareness cannot be represented by any thing, other than awareness, but for the sake of illustrating the infinite and unfathomable nature of The Expression, we can use analogies to express the ridiculous correlation between The Expression and The Awareness.

If The Expression was an infinite ocean, with an infinite number of waves, one wave would represent The Awareness. The smaller the wave, the closer to nothingness the physical being of which The Awareness is aware becomes. When the wave has completely lost all of its momentum, the wave disappears into the tranquil ocean, wherein the wave does not necessarily become the ocean as if it never was, but rather it returns to the serenity of the restful ocean.

Accordingly, when the physical being finds its way to nothingness, The Awareness will not become The Expression as if it never was, but rather it returns to the infinite, unfathomable serenity of The Expression, from whence it came. For the purpose of clarity, it has already been understood that The Awareness is infinite, as in, it is a point that cannot be reached. However, its infinite vastness should not at all be compared to The Expression, for it is so infinite, not even the word “infinite” can do it justice.

The wave will once again return, though this time with less vigour and less opposition to the melodious tides. In the same way, the physical being will once again return into the awareness of The Awareness, though this time with less conflict and little to no desire of doing any thing other than simply… being.

The Expression is the ocean, and once it is recognised as the very not nothing and not something from which all nothings and all somethings become, the physical being will understand. The physical being will understand that there was never an enlightenment that had to be reached, but only an eternal enlightening that had to be remembered.

It is the essence of The Expression that you will be able to find in all things, for it is impossible to accurately express not nothing and not something. Yet, it is the acceptance and understanding of the essence of The Expression that is able to be found, but never The Expression. How can a wave lose itself if it is always being found by the ocean? How can a physical being lose themself if they are always being found by The Expression?

The Recital

In the process of recognising patterns and abstractions in all things, it is important to know what you cannot know. Now that you have transcended The Believer, The Knower and recognised yourself as The Awareness, it is easier to view the physical being within the experience as no more than a cog in a machine. A very convincing machine. Isn’t it convincing? The machine is the physical experience of the universe, and the cog is the physical being of which you are aware.

For the purpose of clarity, we have established that you are The Awareness, which is aware of all things. That is, you are aware of The Knower knowing the experience in which things may or may not exist. We have also established that you, The Awareness, are not able to do anything. You are not able to find, lose, remember, forget, do, not do, but you are only ever aware.

Yet, in the coming chapters I will be referring to you in question, hoping that you understand the nature of your being well enough so that words do not confuse you. For example, should I say that you need to look in the mirror to see your eyes, understand that The Awareness cannot look, for it does not have the capacity to look. Instead, realise that though I am referring to you in the same way I would a physical being, I am only doing so for the ease of illustration.

You are The Awareness, yet you are aware of the knowing of the experience in which a physical being exists. It is this physical being who is reading this sentence, yet I can also say that it is you who is reading this sentence, as long as you understand the distinction between being the physical being, which you are not, and being the awareness aware of a physical being. Should I ask you to find anything, understand that although The Awareness is incapable of finding, the physical being is able to search, allowing The Awareness to become aware of a physical being searching and finding.

Instead of demonstrating this expressiveness of The Expression in the same way one would refer to a convoluted proof in mathematics, a story will be used as the basis for all the concepts and ideas in the coming chapters. In the same way a child may find it difficult to understand the expression of a “pair” without seeing two of the same object, you may find it difficult to understand the expressiveness of The Expression without recognising its countless expressions.

It is helpful to use analogies in the recognition of no nothing and no something, for without analogies, The Expression can only ever express itself throughout an analytical mind. However, the mind does not always enjoy formulas and algorithms. The mind seeks the simplicity and creativity of art and expression. Although The Expression cannot and will not be understood, its essence can and will be uncovered and recognised. Because the essence of The Expression is comprehendible, in the sense that we are able to define its boundlessness and momentary nature, we are able to use examples within the experience to analogise concepts and ideas that would otherwise be too complicated to understand.

There is no use in establishing a new method through which complex concepts and ideas are expressed, when we are able to express these ideas throughout the experience! You will be required to dissect your individual experience from the perspective of The Awareness. This practice will allow you to recognise countless expressions, as well as harness the ability to build upon existing methods and techniques you are familiar with. That is, should you possess the skill of dance or songwriting, you would use the intricacies of such skill to find a relationship between an experience and the unfathomable nature of The Expression.

There is no set time of a day that you will be required to pay attention to this practice, but rather you will need to abstract absolutely every concept and event you may or may not come across. That is, you will need to incorporate this practice, preferably, at every waking moment, until it becomes second nature. This may seem over the top, but “over the top” is exactly where you will need to reach for, past any limitations you may believe are ridiculous.

In the same way you sacrificed belief and recognised yourself as The Knower, you must sacrifice the wavering nature of your mind and attempt to recognise expressions whenever you find that you are aware of the experience. A wavering mind goes wherever it wants, which is not where you want it to be. Instead, you need to harness its ability to analyse and abstract. You must learn to tame the mind, and not fall victim to its alluring daydreams. This practice of abstraction concepts may seem complicated, but it is most simple!

Why are you abstracting anything? How can there be correlations between all things that are known? Is it hard to find these abstractions? Is it hard to find? Is it? Is it?