A&O – PERCEPTION – Nothingness




Amongst our most compelling biases is the conviction that phenomena have causes.  Our perception of cause and effect, while occasionally wrong (the more so the longer the longer the passage of time), has served us incredibly well.  

Immersed as we are in an ocean of stimuli, when customary things are silenced, might other things may be heard? Might it be as when you stop dropping pebbles in the reflecting pond of perception and the ripples cease.  Is there always something?  Will our brains create fabrications, like dreams, to meet our need to fill this vacuum?   Are dreams themselves the side effect of the deprivation that attends deep sleep?  read A&O notes on “filling-in.” 

In our pursuit of insight about the causes and consequences of experience and in the absence of clear or intuitively obvious corollaries, EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES are attributed to inaccessible transcendent—often spiritual—forces .    

  • Was there anything before there was anything?
    here we have to look at CREATION described in every spiritual tradition, and THE BIG BANG:
    The issues of FIRST CAUSE



    Nothing produces virtual particles in pairs that quickly meet back up to annihilate one another, and if this happens on an event horizon, the pair are separated forever, cannot meet back up to annihilate, and thus become real particles with a permanent existence.

    [So] It turns out that not even nothing is truly nothing. In fact, absolutely nothing seems to be against the laws of physics. 

    (from POST on tehom)





“Silence and night together,” says David Sander,[1] together create pivotal moments in which human beings … are left alone with themselves and the enormity of their existential situation.”   He suggests the dread shuts down ordinary faculties “… resulting in an overwhelming feeling of the muteness of the universe, and of the divine itself.” (2008:14) [1]

In John Barrie’s words, “THE ELOQUENCE OF THE DEEPEST SILENCE echoes from the eternal. Originating there and reverberating through the ripples of time and space, it bursts forth in shimmering waves, forming light and color, shadow and dimension. But it remains unchanged. Never affected by the slightest permutation of outer phenomena, silence interweaves the temporal but is forever untouched by it. Ever abiding within and without, overlaid with the mutable patchwork garment we know as this visible universe, silence forms the woof and warp of all things seen and unseen. Yet at any instant it is immanent and accessible. To the mystic, silence is the ground, the core of reality. … All else relates to and emanates from it. The deeper elements in all religions point to this silence. (Barrie 2008)[i]




[1] David Sander 2008. The Last Third of the Night” Parabola 33(1):12-19 (p12)

[i] John Barrie (2008) The deepest silence.  Parabola  33(1): 6-11



Read POST on TEHOM, the deep, formless and void, before creation (?) and then the Japanese concept of MA and the A&O notes on the perception of nothing


“Space is substance. Cézanne painted and modelled space. Giacometti sculpted by “taking the fat off space”. Mallarmé conceived poems with absences as well as words. Ralph Richardson asserted that acting lay in pauses… Isaac Stern described music as “that little bit between each note – silences which give the form”… The Japanese have a word (ma) for this interval which gives shape to the whole. In the West we have neither word nor term. A serious omission.”


“Ma is filled with nothing but possibility. It speaks of silence as opposed to sound, of stillness and opposed to motion.’