An Idle Thought

Don’t be afraid to feel angry or as loving as you can, 

because when you feel nothing, it’s just death.

               -Lena Horn

That quote is the first thing I saw when I booted my computer. By sheer coincidence, it is a perfect introduction  to the article I had in mind. Well…almost. As the title suggests, I hesitate to write the article because it’s a bit esoteric.  But the quote out of nowhere put the title over the top. The word <nothing> is the major catalyst to my meditation about…well…no less than reality. Not just reality in general, but about reality itself.  Not exactly as significant as Einstein’s Thought Experiments, my article is on the edge of whimsical. But I’m compelled to express it.

‘Nothing’ in everyday context is an unequivocal word. Broken down to <no thing> its meaning is self-evident: “There is nothing left in the bottle of milk,” or, “There is nothing that lasts forever.” But the word <nothing> takes on enormous significance when it refers to metaphysics. 

Putting aside the possible proliferation of alternative universes to ours yet including them in my Thought Experiment, I submit the following.

It is at least as impossible to imagine no universe(s) at all as it is to grasp the existence of the known universe. Ironically, we cannot imagine a ‘non-reality’: no Big Bang, no Matter or Dark Matter, no Energy, no Universal Forces like Gravity, Electromagnetism, the Strong or Weak Forces; and even no Darkness in the absolute absence of SPACE  ITSELF, a concept which is as impossible to imagine as is the concept of the universe neither having a beginning nor an absolute end, even though without light.

Oooooops! In a play once considered to be ‘Avante  Guard,’ there is a passage that describes human existence as no more than that of lights that flicker for only an instant before individuals enter their graves, a metaphor for their meaningless lives. Above, I stumbled into a similar grim description, but did not mean it to refer to people.  I meant it to highlight the dilemma of the origin of the universe, or perhaps an infinite ‘number’ of universes. But since “infinite anything” is inconceivable, there is no point in pursuing the full meaning of the word. A very long time ago, I thought that phrases like “an infinite [whatever]” was a vague term. Recently, most of the scientific community admits that I was correct. That is not a great revelation on my part, but it’s good to know that ‘infinite’ is not quite the gold standard word it used to be, especially when applied to science. 

But there are exceptions. The phenomenon of a primordial gas evolving to a sentient being who is thrilled by the night sky is an example of an infinite source for pleasure. No proof required.

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