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Glass Fully Empty

People talk about seeing the glass as half full (optimism) or half empty (pessimism).  What about seeing glass as is (realism)?

Is the glass half full or half empty? Neither. The glass just is. It has nothing to do with ether the quality or quantity of what is “inside” it. The contents of the glass are not inside it: from the perspective of the glass itself “its” contents are outside it and therefore are not its own, not of the glass, the “contents” of the glass have nothing to do with glass. The glass is always just what it is.

Same goes for a mind that knows itself: we are not our informational contents, we are not what passes through us. We are not our optimism. We are not our pessimism. We are not what we think, feel, sense.  Neti, neti – not this, not that.

related: Lotus Effect: Shedding Suffering

Glass Fully Empty

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is and his practice website is

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).

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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2014). Glass Fully Empty. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2019, from


Last updated: 12 May 2014
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