Friday, August 3, 2012

Nothing, again

Nothing keeps coming up.  

Example #1: I enjoy the movie "Romantics Anonymous", French with English sub-titles, which are often not needed since the acting is so clear as to what is happening and how everyone involved feels about that.  The hero is only heroic in the sense that he is so frightened about everything, about anything, and about other things, too. He sees a therapist who seems to be helping him but not quite as much as the young lady, similarly frightened about just about anything.  The hero tries to explain to this therapist where he got the orientation toward fright.  He explains that his father had a favorite saying:

"I just hope nothing happens to us."

The son has taken this approach to heart, deeply to heart, with both genetic and philosophical tools of absorption.  

Nothing?  Nothing?  No joy, no love, no splendid meals, no looking at stunning sights.  What sort of life is that?  Safe in a way, true, but also not something to seek, definitely not something to get.

Example #2 The book "A Universe from Nothing" discusses the question of how all this matter, all these stars and light and weevils and birds could have come to be. The astronomers and the cosmologists are working hard at trying to understand how to get to nothing and what they would have if they got there.  Krauss writes:

the nothingness we normally call empty space. That is to say, if I take a region of space and get rid of everything within it— dust, gas, people, and even the radiation passing through, namely absolutely everything within that region— if the remaining empty space weighs something, then that would correspond to the existence of a cosmological term such as Einstein invented. Now, this makes Einstein's cosmological constant seem even crazier! For any fourth grader will tell you how much energy is contained in nothing, even if they don't know what energy is. The answer must be nothing. Alas, most fourth graders have not taken quantum mechanics, nor have they studied relativity. For when one incorporates the results of Einstein's special theory of relativity into the quantum universe, empty space becomes much stranger than it was before. So strange in fact that even the physicists who first discovered and analyzed this new behavior were hard-pressed to believe that it actually existed in the real world.

Krauss, Lawrence (2012-01-10). A Universe from Nothing (p. 58). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Example #3   Eckhart Tolle is trying to help people get in touch with being alive without getting entangled in fears, plans and such thoughts and emotions.  While trying to show them the way to an unencumbered nothing that still nevertheless matters, he writes

Even seemingly solid matter, including your physical body, is nearly 100 percent empty space — so vast are the distances between the atoms compared to their size. What is more, even inside every atom there is mostly empty space. What is left is more like a vibrational frequency than particles of solid matter, more like a musical note. Buddhists have known that for over 2,500 years. "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form," states the Heart Sutra, one of the best known ancient Buddhist texts. The essence of all things is emptiness. The Unmanifested is not only present in this world as silence; it also pervades the entire physical universe as space — from within and without. This is just as easy to miss as silence. Everybody pays attention to the things in space, but who pays attention to space itself?

Tolle, Eckhart (2009-03-25). The Power of Now (p. 137). New World Library. Kindle Edition.

Main blog: Fear, Fun and Filoz
Main web site: Kirbyvariety

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby