Friday, June 26, 2009

The Power of Silence and Zero

“Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to form himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God.”
- Isaac of Nineveh (AD 600)
A current affairs reporter was talking on TV about the Global Economic Crisis, and told viewers to brace themselves for "a whole lot of zeros", as she was going to talk about the 2.7 trillion dollars that have been lost on world markets. Seeing all those zeros after the 2 and 7 on the screen made me think about how important zeros are. Without nothing, nothing could exist. It's one of the apparent paradoxes of mysticism that to become truly nothing is to become everything.

One of my aunts mentioned that she has been reading a book called The Book of Nothing, in which the author reflects that Indian philosophy was unphased by the notions of zero and infinity, while Western schools struggled with them.

PS think of how many zeros that would be if you converted 2.7 trillion US to Zimbabwean dollars!
This 100 billion dollar note would buy a kilo of apples.

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