Reader comment on Paul Buchheit's passage ...

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    On Aug 26, 2011 Bill Miller wrote:

    There are two ways to interpret the concept of “nothing” in this context - and I think we often confuse them in the West. “Nothing” can mean “the absence of anything” or it can be read as “no thing” - i.e., a phenomenon that cannot be limited, narrowed down to, or identified with any particular subset.

    As applied to the self, I like the latter interpretation because it’s expansive, opening up a range of greater possibility. I dislike the former because it basically negates one’s own existence. I don’t think that is what we were put here for. In spiritual circles however, people sometimes fall into a mindset that denigrating the self is somehow the “holy” thing to do.

    And there is a mathematical precedent for the above! One formal definition the number zero is not “the absence of anything” but “the sum of all positive and negative integers”. In other words, zero is not nothing or a particular thing, but essentially everything.

    That’s how I like to view the human spirit.


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