taoguy

Nothingness

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I was trying to understand the Void, and a few things came to mind... I just thought to put this topic out there so you people can give some insights and guidances.

 

When light fades, emptiness is there; When sound fades, emptiness is also there; Same goes for any decaying phenomena, emptiness is always there. It seems to be this quality that is faster than any kind of energy out there.

 

It's as if existence is a "spike", which then returns back to emptiness, as if emptiness was the source.

 

If we look up into space, the heavens, we see a vast expanse of blackness/emptiness, dotted by specks of stars/planets. Stars rise and die as well, so do planets. And what is always there to take the place is emptiness.

 

Scientists realized that they can generate light particles (photons) out of vacuum. Another curious phenomenon was the Casimir effect, which proves that vacuum exists as energy waves.

 

In Mahayana Buddhism, the Heart Sutra says: "Form is Void and Void is Form, the same is true for feelings, perceptions, volitions and consciousness." Its other name is "Sunyata". 

 

In Theravada Buddhism, it seems to be the goal of Vipassana practice, or mindfulness with respect to the four cornerstones (body/sensations/mind/dhamma).

 

In Zen/Ch'an Buddhism, it is the very goal they wish to reach by non-dwelling. Some forms of Vajrayana as well.

 

In Hinduism/Yoga, Shi-va means "Nothing" or "That which is not".

 

And of course, Taoism with śó† (wu)... I don't know if this is the correct stanza of the TTC (chapter 14) to correspond with it, please correct me if I'm weak in my understanding:

 

 

Look at it, it cannot be seen

It is called colorless
Listen to it, it cannot be heard
It is called noiseless
Reach for it, it cannot be held
It is called formless
These three cannot be completely unraveled
So they are combined into one

Above it, not bright
Below it, not dark
Continuing endlessly, cannot be named
It returns back into nothingness
Thus it is called the form of the formless
The image of the imageless
This is called enigmatic
Confront it, its front cannot be seen
Follow it, its back cannot be seen

Wield the Tao of the ancients
To manage the existence of today
One can know the ancient beginning
It is called the Tao Axiom

 

 

Do you think this 'emptiness' refers to vacuum? Or perhaps even the absence of vacuum itself?

 

By non-dwelling, we stop the creation of "existence spikes" and rest in this emptiness? Would love to know your insights on it.

Edited by taoguy
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To me nothingness and emptiness are different. Emptiness implies something that can be empty - our goal can be to be empty. Nothingness implies nothing - there can be no perceiver, observer, do-er.

 

 

 

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To me nothingness and emptiness are different. Emptiness implies something that can be empty - our goal can be to be empty. Nothingness implies nothing - there can be no perceiver, observer, do-er.

 

I understood it by that way as well...

 

Then Nan Huai Jin talked about a "false emptiness", which is an imagined absence, which is still not the emptiness. He also talked about the "dull kind of emptiness" which was wrong. He said true emptiness was reached by non-dwelling, like a top losing its speed and energy, dwindling into a natural cessation.

 

That's what got me thinking about how impermanent objects lose their "momentum of existing" and gradually fall away. However, if that is the case, why do we take rebirth?

 

Just how prominent is this ability to cling, that it is able to last for so many lifetimes and not fade away? And how is it related to the void??

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That's what got me thinking about how impermanent objects lose their "momentum of existing" and gradually fall away. However, if that is the case, why do we take rebirth?

 

Just how prominent is this ability to cling, that it is able to last for so many lifetimes and not fade away? And how is it related to the void??

 

I couldn't say, I'm having an interesting enough time with my prominent ability to cling manifesting itself pervasively through the natural rising and falling away in this lifetime.

 

Every moment a rebirth, and me clinging to the stories in my mind that make sense of my suffering - instead of simply accepting it as the temporal phenomenon that it is.

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In my experience the mind projects all sorts of stuff onto the emptiness, usually negatively, ranging from it being boring and not of interest to it being dangerous and annihilatory. But experientally that void or space is completely allowing and in complete non resistance, which constitutes the basic quality of love, it is also aware and brimming with unlimited potential. It is also the place of your more fundamental identity as it is the only place of consistency.

 

But it can only be known by diving in and becoming it, it can't really be witnessed at a distance and we can only really know ourselves as it by letting go of all that which we believe ourselves to be. So we trade all that we cherish for what our minds perceive as nothing, which on the surface doesn't appear to be a good deal.

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Rather than emptiness and nothingness I prefer speaking about fullness and potential.

 

Sure, in an empty cup there is emptiness.  Well, actually, there isn't, there is air.  But this air can be displaced with coffee or tea.  The cup's emptiness (except for the air) is what caused the cup to be useful.

 

Empty space is just the distance between two or more objects.  The empty space is what keeps the objects apart.  This is very useful.

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don't beat your brains out about it... I would use the analogy of a magnetic field, which is something we can't normally sense with our senses yet it still there connected to and doing all sorts of stuff from cosmic scales to the sub-atomic!  Now "Tao" whatever in the hell that is is a whole lot more subtle than a magnetic field and also connected to and doing all sorts of stuff!

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Emptiness (or nothingness)  in my opinion is two different english words for the  one word  in ancient scripts (sunyata, sunya etc). As ordinary people who live in society (as opposed to alone in a forest),  the closest we will get to  emptiness  is our deep sleep of an hour or two a night.   Even though  thoughts & feelings are present during sleep,  most of us are not aware of them during deep sleep.   This  deep sleep state recharges us,  in a similar (but not same)  way  that  sunya-state   recharges  a yogi (who does not need sleep at all).  We tap into  its  limitless potential  so that we have energy for the next day of life.   This is one way to understand  it.

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I had a few insights into it, most of them when standing in the presence of my teacher. So it just "feels" like there is just nothingness of which everything is made. This knowledge when met for the first time started to render me, changing my body structure, the way I think, see, hear etc. Weather you want or not, you are just becoming more and more peacefull when this process continues.

Just Vastnes withouth form, of which all forms are made - id does not even appear as if all is made of emptiness - all is emptiness. It sounds really strange but it just appears like that. You find yourself floating in it, made of it

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BTW,  all that the ancient  yogis and teachers told us about  emptiness/nothingness  is being  proved by  modern science these days.  But then, that is discussion for another thread.   It simply amazes me that  nearly 3000 years ago,  people  knew stuff  like  "infinity of space"   etc.   For me, it simply proves that  the validity  of  everything  in ancient scripts, though we are having trouble  accepting it in current times.  I do believe  that  all that the scriptures  say will be accepted  by  science, in due time, and will not be viewed as esoteric  eastern  ideas.

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it remains to be seen how far certain circles in science will go in accepting God as a being, considering that ego normally prefers itself as God.

Edited by 3bob
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I'm still waiting for the day someone with more thinking power than I have sets upon the notion of dark matter as nothingness...

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I was trying to understand the Void, and a few things came to mind... I just thought to put this topic out there so you people can give some insights and guidances.

 

When light fades, emptiness is there; When sound fades, emptiness is also there; Same goes for any decaying phenomena, emptiness is always there. It seems to be this quality that is faster than any kind of energy out there.

 

It's as if existence is a "spike", which then returns back to emptiness, as if emptiness was the source.

 

If we look up into space, the heavens, we see a vast expanse of blackness/emptiness, dotted by specks of stars/planets. Stars rise and die as well, so do planets. And what is always there to take the place is emptiness.

 

Scientists realized that they can generate light particles (photons) out of vacuum. Another curious phenomenon was the Casimir effect, which proves that vacuum exists as energy waves.

 

In Mahayana Buddhism, the Heart Sutra says: "Form is Void and Void is Form, the same is true for feelings, perceptions, volitions and consciousness." Its other name is "Sunyata". 

 

In Theravada Buddhism, it seems to be the goal of Vipassana practice, or mindfulness with respect to the four cornerstones (body/sensations/mind/dhamma).

 

In Zen/Ch'an Buddhism, it is the very goal they wish to reach by non-dwelling. Some forms of Vajrayana as well.

 

In Hinduism/Yoga, Shi-va means "Nothing" or "That which is not".

 

And of course, Taoism with śó† (wu)... I don't know if this is the correct stanza of the TTC (chapter 14) to correspond with it, please correct me if I'm weak in my understanding:

 

 

 

 

Do you think this 'emptiness' refers to vacuum? Or perhaps even the absence of vacuum itself?

 

By non-dwelling, we stop the creation of "existence spikes" and rest in this emptiness? Would love to know your insights on it.

 

No no no no no no and no. Just forget about it. Seriously.

 

The more you think about it the more you'll stop yourself from actually experiencing it. It's not really that out-there. Just let everything stop and then you'll know. It's not about enlightenment. It just is.

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it remains to be seen how far certain circles in science will go in accepting God as a being, considering that ego normally prefers itself as God.

But then, if we consider that "my universe" did not come into existence until after "I" came into existence it should be a given that I am the center of and therefore the god of my universe.

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I'm still waiting for the day someone with more thinking power than I have sets upon the notion of dark matter as nothingness...

I just spoke to Dark Matter in the "round Earth" thread.  But no, it isn't nothingness, it is just on a different plane(s).  Observable to us?  Yes, nothingness.  But we aren't that important in the total scheme of things.

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I just spoke to Dark Matter in the "round Earth" thread.  But no, it isn't nothingness, it is just on a different plane(s).  Observable to us?  Yes, nothingness.  But we aren't that important in the total scheme of things.

 

Why couldn't my nothingness be on a different plane? Why wouldn't it be on a different plane?

 

 

The blade of grass is unimportant, and the sun still shines on it.

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Why couldn't my nothingness be on a different plane? Why wouldn't it be on a different plane? The blade of grass is unimportant, and the sun still shines on it.

I likely didn't express myself well.  I'll try again.

 

Do you have nothingness?  Now, wait.  To say I have nothing indicates that there are no things present.  It (nothingness) doesn't exist.

 

So you and I have no thing.  But we do have many things.  Can we then say we have no thing?  That would be a contradiction, wouldn't it?

 

The universe (or universes) is a complete whole.  You and I are very important because without us the universe would no longer be whole.  So yes, the rain falls on all equally (as long as everyone is where the rain is falling).  Not all places get the same amount of rain.  Not all places get the same amount of sunshine.

 

And we each have an equal amount of nothingness.  It's just that some people have more things than do others.

 

And yes, if Dark Matter really is parallel universes then we each would have an equal amount of parallel universes but these would be useless to us as we cannot access them as they are on different planes.  So we have nothing and it is useless.  At least on this plane if we have a cup with nothing in it the cup is useful as we could put some thing in it.

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I likely didn't express myself well.  I'll try again.

 

Do you have nothingness?  Now, wait.  To say I have nothing indicates that there are no things present.  It (nothingness) doesn't exist.

 

So you and I have no thing.  But we do have many things.  Can we then say we have no thing?  That would be a contradiction, wouldn't it?

 

The universe (or universes) is a complete whole.  You and I are very important because without us the universe would no longer be whole.  So yes, the rain falls on all equally (as long as everyone is where the rain is falling).  Not all places get the same amount of rain.  Not all places get the same amount of sunshine.

 

And we each have an equal amount of nothingness.  It's just that some people have more things than do others.

 

And yes, if Dark Matter really is parallel universes then we each would have an equal amount of parallel universes but these would be useless to us as we cannot access them as they are on different planes.  So we have nothing and it is useless.  At least on this plane if we have a cup with nothing in it the cup is useful as we could put some thing in it.

 

 

I think you think too much. I would never say I have nothingness, and you are then debating the questions I asked with yourself.

 

Dark matter is a great unknown force that we cannot detect. Models indicate it's existense, but there is no thing to measure. It is beyond every thing, and yet scientific minds have faith that it is there - this no-thing. So I ask you again, why couldn't this no-thing be my nothing.

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What if ...

 

Marblehead's philosophy-based nothing is the same as Des' materialism-based nothing? Since everything comes from nothing and returns to nothing, then - thoughts or objects have no difference in origin.

 

When an atom ceases, does it disappear into the void? When a thought ceases, does it disappear into the void?

 

Maybe while they are certainly different dimensions, nothingness doesn't have a dimension, because just like how 3 directions can branch out from a dot in a 3-d space, the origin is dimensionless...

 

So a philosophy might be mental and branch out as a dimension... A planet might be material and branch out as a dimension... the spiritual world might be spirit and branch out as a dimension... But if you trace back the source of the three realms (kama/rupa/arupa), there's nothing...

 

But then again, if you look at ancient philosophy, it says that the primordial elements are "fire, air, water and earth". Nan Huai Jin, an enlightened master, said that these things do not change, and everything else is just a mixture of these elements. So these elements float in space, which is akasa. Then we also know that the Hindus have what is known as the Akashic records, where Akasa contains information about the universe, and some yogi are able to get information from this, such as how old a mountain is and its history, etc. So perhaps even this "space" is not nothingness. 

 

The question then goes back to this (which I asked at the start of my thread)...

 

nothingness = vacuum/empty space? 

 

Nan Huai Jin then equated this "space" to:

 

 

And so is emptiness (space), which encompasses our entire body and occupies an area about as big as when you stretch out both arms to each side. Modern photography can capture this sphere of emptiness (space) on films.

 

 

He then continued:

 

 

Yes. Water is closely related to earth. That's why 70% of our body is water. But this does not mean that the elements are interchangeable or transformable. The Lord Buddha taught us: "Each of the great four elements is separate of one another." Every element has its own domain. Water does not transform into wind. The fact that water becomes steam is just a phenomenon reflecting only how water is influenced by wind. Our body and every material thing in the universe are composed of the four great elements. Ultimately these four great elements will converge into emptiness (space). The fifth great element, however, is not related to the first four.

Edited by taoguy
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It is inaccurate to label my nothingness materialism based.. it is the lack of perceivable material that allows for this as a possibility.

 

 

As for the rest, it is just too many words and too much thinking for me.

 

 

Time to make lunch. :)

 

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I think you think too much. I would never say I have nothingness, and you are then debating the questions I asked with yourself.

I am known for doing that on occasion.  Especially when I have no idea what I'm talking about.

 

Dark matter is a great unknown force that we cannot detect. Models indicate it's existense, but there is no thing to measure. It is beyond every thing, and yet scientific minds have faith that it is there - this no-thing. So I ask you again, why couldn't this no-thing be my nothing.

Sure, you can have as many no-things as you want.  And you know, they don't even cost anything.

 

Yes, Dark Matter has to exist because based on what science knows the universe could not be functioning as it does without it.  Of course, it could be that science doesn't know as much about the effects of gravity as we think it does.

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