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59739Re: [existlist] Re: shaping nothing

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  • christopher arthur
    May 1, 2013
      This does seem somehow to be related to "shunyata", as Eduard mentioned
      Buddhist nothingness. In the mahayana vehicle, the goal of meditation is
      to contemplate emptiness, or effectively, not to think at all, to
      realize that all "concepts and phenomena are empty of any reality and
      that self and the other are egoless". Ultimately the goal of Buddhism is
      by the four noble truths, essentially meaning that suffering is real and
      there is a way to end it. We might consider that the intention is that
      living being suffer by confusion of not seeing things as they really
      are, and then by embracing shunyata they can become enlightened and
      cease to suffer for it...the anxiety of nothingness.

      Mary a écrit :
      > Two of the quotes that jump out at me from my notes. This first
      > relates to what Sartre considered as the anxiety created by nothingness.
      > "The question looms in moments of great despair when things tend to
      > lose all their weight and all meaning becomes obscured. It is present
      > in moments of rejoicing, when all things around us are transfigured
      > and seem to be there for the first time...The question is upon us in
      > boredom when we are equally removed from despair and joy, and
      > everything about us seems so hopelessly commonplace that we no longer
      > care whether anything is or is not." (Heidegger)
      > "He who has not, as it were, looked into the abyss of absolute Nothing
      > will completely overlook the eminently positive content of the
      > realization that there is something rather than no things." (Max Scheler)
      > This seems to jibe with what I grasp of Zizek's thought such as these
      > from his latest book:
      > ...the task is not to denounce them [appearing things] as "merely illusory
      > appearances"...but that of discerning the conditions of possibility of
      > this
      > appearing of things, of their "transcendental genesis": what does such an
      > appearing suppose, what must always-already have taken place for things to
      > appear to us the way they do? (p.9)
      > ...how can appearance emerge in reality?...Insofar as the gap between
      > essence
      > and appearance is inherent to appearance, in other words, insofar as
      > essence is
      > nothing but appearance reflected into itself, appearance is appearance
      > against
      > the background of nothing—everything that appears ultimately appears
      > out of
      > nothing (or, to put it in terms of quantum physics, all entities arise
      > out of
      > the quantum vacillations of the void). Appearance is nothing in
      > itself; it is
      > just an illusory being, but this illusory being is the only being of
      > essence...
      > (p.37)
      > ...The answer to "Why is there Something rather than Nothing" is thus
      > that there
      > IS only Nothing, and all processes take place "from Nothing through
      > Nothing to
      > Nothing." (p.38)
      > ...beyond the veil of appearances, there is only what the subject puts
      > there...
      > (p.168)...
      > [Zizek's ideas about subject-self) are also very interesting.]
      > ...with regard to the tension between essence and appearance, the fact
      > that
      > essence has to appear not only means that essence generates or
      > mediates its
      > appearances, but that the difference between essence and appearance is
      > internal
      > to appearance: essence has to appear within the domain of appearances,
      > as a hint
      > that "appearances are not all" but are "merely appearances." (p..469)...
      > Nothing implies freedom to not only script our lives, as eduard
      > suggests, but how to better organize our society and institutions.
      > Responsibility for how we shape Nothing is ours.
      > Mary
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "Jim" <jjimstuart1@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Mary et al,
      > >
      > > I have got as far as page 86 of Jim Holt's book, so I'll offer a few
      > simple thoughts.
      > >
      > > First I am enjoying reading Holt's book, but I do find it a bit
      > uneven, as he seems to jump about from philosophy to science and back
      > again as he tackles different aspects of the subject in a rather
      > disjointed way.
      > >
      > > I did however like his clear distinction between nothing and
      > nothingness on page 47:
      > >
      > > << As the logicians remind us, nothing is not a name; it is mere
      > shorthand for "not anything." To say, for example, that "nothing is
      > greater than God" is not to talk about a super-divine entity; it is
      > simply to say that there is not anything greater than God.
      > "Nothingness," by contrast, is indeed a name. It designates an
      > ontological option, a possible reality, a conceivable state of
      > affairs: that in which nothing exists. >>
      > >
      > > I was interested in his account of how the dominant view before
      > about 1940 was that the universe was eternal, i.e. it had no
      > beginning, and had been much the same `forever'. When the first
      > evidence of a `big bang' to start the universe was published many
      > scientists and atheists were unhappy – only the Pope seemed pleased
      > about it! Now, we just accept the idea of the Big Bang without batting
      > an eyelid.
      > >
      > > One thing Holt wrote was that our universe may have `popped' out of
      > another universe. Perhaps it makes more sense to talk of our universe
      > popping out of another universe, than our universe with (our) space
      > and time popping out of literally nothing.
      > >
      > > Given space and time are part of our universe, it doesn't strictly
      > make sense to talk of other universes existing `before' ours. However
      > if the concept of other universes causally independent of ours, each
      > with their own `space and times', then perhaps the idea of something
      > existing forever – the old eternal idea – can be resurrected.
      > >
      > > Certainly to me, it makes more sense to conceive of our universe
      > popping out of something else, than popping out of nothing at all.
      > >
      > > Jim
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:existlist%40yahoogroups.com>, "Mary" <josephson45r@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Jim,
      > > >
      > > > Any estimate on how soon we'll be able to discuss Nothing from
      > various philsophical and scientific perspectives?
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > >
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