Notes on the Void

What exactly is “the Void?”

Well, for starters, the Void is philosophical object that is a manifestation of “nothingness.” It is discussed in various disciplines that define a certain way and perspective of purpose/living. It is the notion of emptiness contemplated — humans who are only capable of thinking of things that exist (I think, therefore I am).

Yet, it is significant.

While we live in a tangible realm, the very thought of the Void is a paradoxical pursuit. It is almost impossible to even speak about, as language is used to define; emptiness is the opposite of existence (non-being). According to Wikipedia’s page for the Void, it is “akin to Laozi’s idea in the Tao Te Ching that the Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao, or Wittgenstein’s “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent” in the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus.” [I highly encourage to seek out these teachings.]

The dialogical conversation that follows suit with our potential logic can never fully flesh out the breadth of the Void, elusive in its nature as it is not anything we can obtain, nor is it a single thing we can specifically describe. To experience this would be unknowing, ineffable. To negate one’s own belief in existing would be a pivotal point in reaching this infinite space. Yet to define both form and emptiness, the very ontology of each other must be recognized in relation to one another (the boundaries of physicality vs intangibility). Peter Matthiessen in The Snow Leopard speaks to this experience where “These hard rocks instruct [his] bones in what [his] brain could never grasp in the Heart Sutra, that ‘form is emptiness and emptiness is form’ — the Void, the emptiness of blue-black space, contained in everything” (1978).

Henry Kannberg in Uncertainty is Principal (2014) describes the Void as ubiquitous — the source of all being that cannot be described linguistically. His claim is that as we observe on an empirical basis, the phenomenal world cannot possibly describe all that is not happening, but can only hint at them (with the help of idiosyncratic inflection and projection of experience).

Ken Wilber (shoutout to the Integral Theory) in Uncertainty is Principal (2014) defines the Void as not just mere nothingness; thus, is distinct from Nihilism, but rather is “Reality before we slice it up into conceptualism” (think back to the absolute plenum in Notes on Nothingness being divided by borders to define understanding). He alludes to his exploration of Sunyata, which cannot be “called void or not void; or both or neither” but can only be referred to as the Void with lack of better utilisation of language.

The Void does not assume that it is non-existent, but rather the idea of non-being. Aether, empty space, neutrinos, black matter, etc. are examples of what nothingness might be represented as. This “nothingness” can also be a sense of presence, but — rather than a lack thereof— a negative amount of it. Virtual particles and antiparticles, potential and the death of could be from our unawares. Albeit dualistic in nature, it only stretches to defining the possibility of two dimensions that work in synchronicity, whereas there may be even more forces at work that we are not aware of.

So what is the Void? It is No-thing (I finally figured out why “nothing” is called “nothing”), which might be the absolute amalgamation of everything before it is cut into pieces of truth for the understanding of our limited mental capacity. The ego individualizes and contextualizes a certain point in time in the absolute plenum of nothing, thus creating experience; in order to reach this higher level of understanding, one must understand that he/she/they can be (and is/are) everything else. In my personal understanding and stance, nothingness and the Void is everything because when everything is considered, it is not a conscious being; yet it lives and breathes in a higher level that we cannot discern nor imagine. This breaks the dualistic fashion that compromises the definition and value of existence or presence. The orchestration of the entirety of existence has yet to be established, nor have we even scratched the surface of its rudimentary levels.

And yet, as humans, we still strive to understand the entirety of our being, to eventually become the Void, no-thing and how it relates to becoming.