Let me ask you a purely academic question: Hello?
— Dean Blehert

Thursday, January 19, 2006


If it's messy enough, it's neat: A butcher's knife or a grenade strews us with bloody, but recognizable bits. A nuclear blast leaves fine clean ash. Such overwhelming force compresses and explodes time, rendering the friends and family of the moment so dead that they are not dead, but historical, as physically remote as dioramas of ancient ancesters behind glass museum walls, leaving even memory a numb neat blank. Everything that was dear to you will fit in a single small urn on a mantel, if a mantel survives.

Destruction seems to be a lower harmonic of nothing at all. Nothing at all is neither neat nor messy. It's the instant of potential creating of any or everything. We try to return to that state (so that we can make things over? Do a better job of it?) by destroying so completely and indiscriminately as to make zillions of atoms and molecules and gamma rays and all the other special ingredients moving wildly every which way resemble, in their randomness, nothing at all, just as inconceivably disordered and random fast motion (like that of the molecules making up a rock) appears to be stillness, as the motions of colliding particles cancel out -- just as a business or army in which every individual is doing his own thing, with no co-ordination, is at a standstill.

That's probably why God in the Old Testament told Moses to speak to the rock, not strike it. Why add to the motion when the rock is already alive and just needs a purpose upon which all its particles can agree?

Odd how the experiences most of us associate with "nothingness" are experiences full of somethings, random explosions and fizzzipping of live wires, trash, bodies, stench and noise (and noise being too many meaningful sounds all at once). We call "white noise" silence -- or the thudding of one's own heartbeat. No amount of noise brings us silence. No amount of destruction brings us nothing.

Nothing, true nothing, is the absense of all the things we associate with nothingness. Can you hear these words in your own mind, as if some voice is speaking them? And your responses to them, are they not spoken even as we speak? Who or what is listening?

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