The Philosophy of Zero
The Philosophy of Zero:
It's about understanding nature, a seemingly impossible task. So let's begin with a simple notion; everything and everyone is included in the term nature: the scientific, the spiritual, and the mysterious. All obeying the same basic laws. An example might be gravity, it does not interact differently from one person to another. That might seem like a pretty obvious statement, but people have a tendency to believe and understand one thing and behave and react in opposition to that. Why? Because of the subconscious stories or narratives that are actually driving their behavior.
Everyone has experienced thinking one thing and doing another. For example, someone decides they want to lose weight, or even that they need to lose weight. With that desire and knowledge in hand it should be a cinch, right? What about addiction? Once someone realizes they have a problem, they should just stop, right? What about kindness, most of us have experienced it, receiving and giving, and the positive symbiotic results. So, why do any of us struggle with being kind 100% of the time? Before jumping to easy conclusions, like greed, let's learn where things like greed come from.
The Story of Good and Evil:
In a world where good and evil exist, we have greed. We have people who are trying to live righteously, or morally and others who don't seem to care, who take advantage of everyone else. This tends to force the rest of us to walk the moral line at times, to make sure we're not taken advantage of. In extreme examples we have Mother Teresa and Hitler. There is right and wrong, a line drawn in the sand, black and white, shame and pride. Evil is usually treated as something to avoid, eradicate, reform, and punish.
The Number Line:
Let's say the number line represents nature and necessary opposition - those things that bring about balance, like hot and cold, night and day, earth and water. Can we add good and evil to this list, one aligned to the left and one aligned to the right? If so, and evil is something that is as described above let's imagine we can eradicate it. Which side will we assign it to before chopping it off and burning it out of existence? Most say the negative side, so, ok, KARATE CHOP! It's gone, no more bad, wrong, evil, devil, demons, or hell, hip hip hooray, right?
It seems we destroyed some other things in that process, perhaps the moon, the night, the earth, the cold, and the mountains? Hhhhmmmm, where does that leave us? Nowhere. When we chopped that side off the other side ceased to exist. Someone might say, well, duh, evil must exist, you know opposition in all things. Then we are ascribing evil as a necessary thing, a needful, important thing, like the moon, the night, the earth, the cold, and mountains. If so why are we asking people to avoid, eradicate, reform, and punish it? This gets rather confusing, in fact, I'd say the more we try to ascribe things as evil or good, the more confusing it gets.
The Philosophy of Zero:
This next part might seem scary, so for just a moment, put everything you think you know and all the reactionary feelings that knowledge tends to create aside and imagine something with me - Good and Evil does not exist. The very creation of them is what causes needless suffering by adding salt to our wounds. What does the world look like without these illusions?
We have a number line that represents infinite possibilities. Some of these possibilities cause pain and some of them cause pleasure, both of these are chemical reactions that represent evolutionary techniques of communication rather than ways to define the good or bad. Getting burned might be on the negative side of the number line, but deciding fire is 'bad' would negate the life sustaining force of fire. Discovering the life sustaining force of water and then deciding water is 'good,' foolishly ignores the negative possibilities of drowning or flooding.
Winning the lottery might seem good, but it often results in horrible decisions that leave the winners worse off. Breaking your arm might seem bad, but perhaps it prevents you from participating in something that might have cost you your life.
Seeing that things can be both negative and positive forces and that negative and positive forces can lead to opposite outcomes frees us. The combination of negative and positive forces is not only infinite but impossible to unravel. This means that ascribing something or someone as bad, wrong, or evil is about as accurate as ascribing such terms to the sky.
The amount of information involved in the development of any single person is beyond the scope of any form of computing that exists up to this time in history. That being said, the idea that we can suss out the bad and good, right and wrong, of anything, especially such things as politics, is beyond comprehension.
The philosophy of zero is understanding and practicing this. That means accepting the complexity of our situations, ceasing assumptions, and focusing on honoring our own unique path. No more do we need to think about eradicating any parts of ourselves, trying to conform to other people's notions, or forcing ourselves into holes. The power of zero is coming to recognize that regardless of how many negatives or positives we're given, in the end we all return to zero. It is the orthodox paradox, the infinite aspects of divinity, the answer as plain as the noses on our faces.
The value of zero is unchanging and perfectly balanced.
Ok, now, if you like we can stop imagining and you can put all your wisdom back on, unless that sounds terribly unwieldy and heavy? I know it was for me and so I tossed all of that aside and began a journey that saved my life, introduced me to the love of my life, and lead me to the deep, the place where divinity CAN be comprehended.
THE NUMBER LINE
The number line is divided on either side of zero by an infinite set of numbers going in either direction. To the right are positive numbers. To the left are negative numbers. Given positive five we count five steps to the right from zero, landing on five. If then given negative five we would count five backwards, landing on zero. If given another negative five we would count to the left, landing on negative five. Another positive five would lead back to zero.
"Why, all the time, bless your heart, the thing apparently was tumbling about our feet from the start and yet we couldn't see it, but were most ludicrous, like people who sometimes hunt for what they hold in their hands. So we did not turn our eyes upon it, but looked off into the distance, which was perhaps the reason it escaped us" (674). "For myself I am fairly certain that no wise man believes anyone sins willingly or willingly perpetrates any evil or base act" (338).