Thinking About Nothing

Have you ever tried to think about nothing?

It seems easy enough. Just think about everything you know not existing. Go ahead. Do that.

Nothing is a term we use a lot, but it's actually a conundrum, a paradox, a falsehood. It is not possible to conceptualize nothing; to create a cognitive representation of nothing simply can't be done.

Nothing is the absence of everything. If everything encompasses all possible things, then even the thought about nothing prevents nothing from being achieved because even a thought is something.

This is fun.

Zero can't be nothing. Zero is a thing that represents nothing, sorta like nothing is a thing that represents nothing. So all this begs the question . . . can nothing exist?

Probably not. I say that because if anything is in existence, including nothing, then nothing can't be achieved. The existence of nothing prevents nothing from existing. Even if nothing did exist, no one could know about it.

I love this!

I know, I know . . . philosophical amateur hour. There are lots of professional philosophers out there who have written volumes about stuff like this. That's all good and fine, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying playing with these thoughts on my own. It is the journey that makes life worth living.

". . . the beauty is in the walking -- we are betrayed by destinations." -- Gwynn Thomas

These thoughts about nothing are a great example of the many ways human beings like you and me push our conception of the physical world into little boxes so we can manipulate it. We want to control all that is, and to control it, we must perceive it, name it, categorize it and file it.

That works fine for a lot of stuff, but once in a while we bump into a boundary, a limit, an exception. Like nothing. It just refuses to get in the box. Actually there can't be a box for nothing, because a box is something.

And now I'm grinning again.

Ask an eight-year-old, "what are you doing?" and the common reply is, "nothing". Well now you have a solid foundation upon which to reply, "that isn't possible." So see there, there is some value in thinking about nothing after all.

But now I find myself in a bit of a quandry. I'm afraid I can't end this post in my normal idiom. I'm pretty sure nothing can't be a thing that works, so I'll just have to leave that off.

That'll work.

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