Definition of Solid and Empty
(Vladimir Tarasov. Technology of Life: Book for Heroes)
Solid is what you can lean on. It could be words and numbers in which you believe. It could be a person you can rely on. It could be a car you will be able to start and run the moment you need.
Empty is what you cannot lean on, what you will fall through. Any information that could become false, incomplete, inaccurate. A soldier who will lose courage and run. A friend who made an empty promise. A factory that ruins materials, producing nothing useful.
You need to distinguish solid from empty.
This is the most important of all arts.
A combination of solid and empty gives empty. What else could it give?! Many human deeds are made empty, because they contain something empty.
A grandfather sent his little boy to strange people to teach him some trade. But they did not teach him and, in addition, treated him very poorly. When it became totally unbearable he wrote a letter to his grandfather. He described his troubles in detail and convincingly, but he addressed the letter indeed very vaguely: “To grandfather from the village.” This letter will never be delivered with such an address; he will wait for his grandfather in vain.
The contents of the letter are solid, but the address is empty. As a result, it is empty.
We are in this boy’s situation more often than our self-esteem admits.
Even if one out of twenty solid steps is empty all effort was in vain.
Separation of solid from empty is like the action of the knife, peeling the apple.
The smell of an apple always reminds me of this highermost art – separating solid from empty.