Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
To describe the unique metaphysical qualities of zero requires painting a number of brushstroke ideas in an effort to reveal the larger picture. Each idea, in itself, might not be extraordinary but in totality they form an image that points to another dimension. The next few posts will represent the rational argument, a philosophical claim developed with empirical reason. And because the physical world is a world of opposites or in common terms 'a duality' a rational claim in itself is an incomplete explanation therefore later posts in this series will be a spiritual assertion.
Signs and Symbols
To maintain clarity it’s necessary to define the difference between signs and symbols. Signs give literal meaning whereas symbols have secondary amorphous meanings. Examples of signs are abbreviations; nouns in the English language are also signs. When I write ‘put the book on the table’ the words book and table are signs that refer to physical objects. Traffic signs such as a stop sign are signs and not symbols. The order to stop is a literal command and can be seen phemenologically in the action of stopping. Symbols, on the other hand, are objects that embody secondary meaning above and beyond their literal meaning. One example of a symbol is the cross as a symbol of Christian faith. Embodied in the cross is the story and the life of Jesus and the entirety of the Christian Faith. To look at the cross and to think of a physical body on a cross of wood is to misunderstand the meaning of the symbol. The meaningful aspect of symbols arise in your consciousness not from your senses. Other potent symbols are the yin and the yang, the Star of David, the Crescent and the Moon, and even the swastika. In my argument I am focusing on the special characteristics of Zero. The first unique characteristic of zero is it’s both a sign and symbol. The two are interlocked and cannot be separated.
Next post: Zero as Concept
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Zero is a concept that exists only in our minds. We can’t measure zero, we can’t experience zero, and it doesn’t have a physical presence. Yet this concept that doesn’t ‘exist’ has been instrumental in creating the world around us and is essential in the meaning of our lives. Over the course of the next couple of posts I will explore the connection between zero and ultimate reality, first in a rational argument and then in spiritual terms.
The sun, the moon, the sun, the moon, day after day we are experience the wonder of our existence. The most meaningful symbol of our lives is the circle, a timeless myth that exists in all cultures. A universal truth. Over and over we experience circles in the shape of the sun and the full moon. The significance of the sun and the moon are more than their physical presence. They signify the passage of our lives, new beginnings, peace, and nature, the creators of life. The circle is powerful symbol filled with deep meaning. When we create a circle we are creating a symbol that represents something else, the sun, a pie, a wheel, the concept of zero. In cultures with a shared history the meaning is conveyed automatically without the need for explanation. I propose that it isn’t a coincidence that we use the circle to represent zero but a profound connection between the physical and the non physical dimension. To support my proposal rationally I will begin by defining what symbols are, look at the connection between symbols and their meaning, give some examples of how they are used, and conclude by stating how zero is really a symbol for ultimate reality.