The Eternal State ~ Advaita Nonduality

17 oct 08 - can something come from nothing?

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Can Something Come From No Thing?

Q: I have heard Bob Adamson and you both say this, or propose the asking oneself of this question: "Can Something Come From Nothing"? Nothing is NOTHING. How could something NOT come from something else? This makes no sense. I ponder it and ponder it like many say to do yet this just doesn’t make a bloody BIT of sense! So what I want to ask you is, how could nothing be something and even nothing be everything, as some like Tony Parsons say (in fact that’s the title of one of Tony’s books)? I have heard you use that same phrasing and it really makes me wonder if this is not all a real load of crap (with all due respect, no offence intended). Because it sure seems to me that like the physicists say, there IS something making itself into all this changing everything, though that something may be really tiny like an atom or a quark or something – some THING - even more subtle but definitely it’s “thingy” – isn’t it? Anyway I just cannot see that all this comes from nothing. Help me out here, would you, mate?

C: This is a really great question! And there is absolutely no offense taken here!

First off, to cut to the chase – yes, it is all in a way a load of crap because language -- whether it is the language of Physics, the language of Mathematics, or the language of ‘Nonduality” --is just that -- LANGUAGE. And language's main function is to represent and describe , like using the word water for an actual substance that is "wet, liquid, and thirst-quenching". But language cannot capture, dexcribe, evoke, or represent, the No Thing of Being Itself.

In the inimitable words of my friend John Greven, "If anything is taken to be other than bullshit, then there is something wrong with the perspective". I say it this way? All there IS is bullshit - OR all there is, is language - and language on investigation is made of air, of space, of nothing... it's really ephemeral, isn't it? Now we might ask a new question here: What IS “language”? What is it that language itself is made of? Where is there a “universe" without language? IS there such a thing that is made up of some thing that is apart somehow from NO thing? Or is the whole thing a silly exercise in asking an unanswerable question? Where's my dinner? What's on TV?

A philosopher, Martin Heidegger, claimed that “language is the house of being”. Take that one on board and you set yourself up for some real suffering (see the post from 16 October).

My question for Herr Heidegger (if he was still around) might be, “okay, but what is the “house” of language?

But to come back to the conundrum proposed by (perhaps most notably) Tony, Bob, and many others (like Werner Erhard, the est founder of the last century; and innumerable Zen Masters, this is not a new conversation!).

A Google search turned up a few interesting quotations:

“Is there any meaning in asking whether something comes from nothing or something is always there?

“Do we have any control upon the mechanism that drives us to even think of that question?

Is metaphysical thinking an evolutionary by-product emerged from the complexity of the language”? “DB”

“I'd go even further than "something cannot come from nothing" and say that there is no such thing as nothing, there is only potential and the realization of potential. The concept we sometimes think of as nothing is not actually nothing because it's already a sort of existence that we are imagining, so nothing is infinite potential, so in a way, nothing is everything”. –“AR”

“What is the definition of "nothing?" Is it identical to non-existence? Suffer my ignorance for a moment, but if indeed nothing is non-existence, how can non-existence exist”? “DA”

“This question relates very closely to the question of the beginning of the universe.

“What was there before the beginning?

If it was nothing, then how did something come?

“And if it was something, then, well, it wasn't really before the beginning since there's something there.

“So you'd have to go back further to before the beginning. Eventually there has to be nothing because you can't have an infinite regress, nothing would have ever began which means nothing could be here now.

“Very confusing question to answer because something can't come from nothing, yet existence had to have begun somewhere, and before it did there must have been nothing.

“I don't know enough about all the math and science stuff like some of you guys, but from a purely philosophical point of view anyone can spot the dilemma”. “CJ”

The forum where these were found is at:

One more from the same forum: “The question was posed “How can something come from absolutely nothing". And to me, that kind of question is almost trivially easy to answer: the rules of the universe are mathematical…” “IMM”

But “math” is a kind of LANGUAGE, albeit a very arcane and sophisticated sort of language. Again I ask, what is language made of?

Look: it may be that “the answer is not in the mind” as Bob says, or as I would put the same pointer, “The answer is not in LANGUAGE”.

Now if the answer is not in language then this question is absolutely UNANSWERABLE!

In the tradition of the Zen Koan, such as “What is the sound of one hand clapping”?, or, "What was your face before your parents were born”?, if there is a deep looking head on at the QUESTION without succumbing to the programmed brain’s addiction to getting “the answer” then perhaps, the assumption that there IS an answer will snap – and along with it, the question-ER might just snap or fade as there simply IS no question without a questioner, and no questioner without a question.

In that snap life is seen to be utterly and absolutely meaningless yet filled with an Energy of Aliveness. Perhaps THAT could be called the No Thing of Everything – Energy. But without language where is THAT?

Answers are all irrelevant. What you are is beyond all language, all questions, all questioning, all of it and even what you are is prior to this “Nothing” that “Everything is made of.

I’m just sayin’ …. No one knows this. All there IS is This.

Free falling into the Mystery!


“There is no greater mystery than this: Being Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality”. – Sri Ramana Maharshi

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