The Mentality of Nothingness

Let’s do an exercise. Think of nothing.

Now, describe to yourself what you just imagined. Most of us will say something along the lines of “big black empty space”, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. The very essence of nothing is that it is utterly lacking in all attributes. The attributes of big, black, empty, and space are all things that true nothingness is devoid of. In fact, the very word nothing is an oxymoron in that it describes something which, by definition, nothing is not.

As humans we have to step back from the brink of incomprehensible states and apply our paradigm wrapper to the complex in order to bring it to a level were we can understand it. Simply put, we are a label happy bunch that likes to have everything classified just so. While this works well for many things, the concept of nothingness is likely to never (a cousin of nothing) be one of them.

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Jason McDonald

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  • An empty set contains nothing… nothing is an absence of something.

    In terms of thought, thinking about nothing could happen in between the times you’re thinking about something (for some people this period could be longer than others).

    If you don’t exist before conception then you were probably thinking of nothing during that period and it’s probably safe to say a rock thinks of nothing. In other words, an absence of existence or absence of thought process is to think of nothing.

    ‘Nothing’ is only an oxymoron when used within a context (the context is important) that uses the word to produce a contradiction for rhetorical effect. For example, ‘nothing’ is an oxymoron in the phrase “he created something out of nothing” but not in the phrase “an empty set contains nothing”. The first of the above two phrases is not meant literally as only nothing can be created from true nothingness. :OP

  • That’s right, it’s impossible to attempt to think of nothing and actually succeed.
    The mind is but one tool among many that humans possess; and this particular tool is unable to transform itself into what nothingness really is.
    It is, however, possible to experience nothingness. This is the same as experiencing oneself, the only true identity. Through meditation, the identification with the mind can be severed and nothingness revealed.

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