"Nothing" is the force
That renovates the World.
Just a few months ago, the space station orbiting the earth reported three near misses with junk in space. What is, and should be, a stunning advance of modern technology, a man-made satellite in search of new knowledge, is repeatedly being threatened with damage and possibly, destruction by a blind spot in our material conception of life. That blind spot is Nothing, a necessary and essential component, of our everyday lives.
Nothing exists. Nothing is an essential presence in our lives. Paradoxical? Yes. Illogical and irrational? Yes.
Yet to ignore Nothing is to deny our road to renewal. Just look at the world around us: wars, weapons of mass destruction, pollution, the leftover junk of the backend of doing, with the planet spinning ever closer to self-destruction, even as it increases its access to knowledge to solve those problems. Yet we deny that paradox exists. We deny the irrational exists, although mounting evidence for both is reported daily in the media in the events and behavior of our times, including by the media. We of the Age of Reason the scientific method, of technology that works, yet we violate the very core of creation, the "'Nothing' that Renovates the world," as Emily Dickinson wrote. The evidence for symmetry and paradox, equal and opposite, is present in Nature and human nature. Nature intends its unintended consequences. Duality is Oneness, as represented in the symbol of the Tao.
Nothing is. Nothing exists. Although Nature abhors a vacuum, Nature would have nowhere to rush in to fill it, if a vacuum didn't exist. Where would something happen? Stars disappearing. Novas appearing. Leaves falling. New leaves growing. One generation dying, another being born. That vacuum, that Nothing, is with us all the time, everywhere, rushing in and out of existence in an instant. Nothing is the still center of the wheel of life. In the dark evanescence between equal and opposite, the Universe ignites.
Eastern sages have accepted the existence of Nothing for millennia. In Nothing -- aka Emptiness, Nirvana, and Bliss -- Eastern traditions have found a wellspring of culture, harmony, and wisdom. Deep thinkers in the West -- philosophers, poets, artists, scientists, mathematicians, playwrights, musicians -- have also written about Nothing for millennia, some with fascination, many with dread. Years ago Einstein observed: "If I allow things to vanish according to Newton, the Galilean inertial space remains; following my interpretation, however, nothing remains." (See Ch. Science Sutra, P 147.) Heedless, Western materialist culture, caught in a vise of logic and reason, has ignored the presence of Nothing in our everyday lives. Like Sorcerer's Apprentices toiling and boiling over, our days are drowned in doing and the inescapable consequences of so doing, weighted by waste and lacking renewal.
You Don't Have to be Buddhist to Know Nothing is sound bite journalism. The book takes a playful approach to a difficult, profound, even absurd, idea. It is a verbal collage to intrigue, tickle and tease the mind and to preserve insights for a culture too densely packed with timely distractions. Each quote becomes a timeless meditation.
Why does Nothing matter? If where, when, and from whom we are born are Destiny, then Nothing is our Free Will. Nothing is the locus of individual choice and possibility. If we deny our Nothing, we shrink our possibilities like a dying ocean. We deny ourselves the silence and the clearing which hold the seeds of creation. What we make of our Nothing is what we make of our life.
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