The Vibrating Void: Contemplating The True Nature of Reality

The Vibrating Void: Contemplating The True Nature of Reality
By David Yanez

For thousands of years human beings have been confronted by conditions in their environments not always favorable to a peaceful and fruitful existence. Nature has thrown disastrous conditions at us regardless of our ability to prepare for or predict such conditions. Nature has been ruthless and has shown no signs of favoritism to its inhabitants. Those that have survived have done so through their ability to adapt to Natures ruthlessness. By understanding our environments, and observing every aspect of the world around us, we’ve managed to adapt, live within, and survive Nature, at times perhaps to predict it. By understanding Nature we’ve managed to stay one step ahead of it. This is a survival strategy that has helped us to survive since the dawn of our history. We hadn’t learned to control Nature we merely learned to understand it and by doing so we learned to avoid being destroyed by it. We learned how to use its resources to benefit the quality of our lives and the lives of our children. Our need to understand Nature eventually grew into a need to understand our place in the natural world. Our Paleolithic understandings of our place and role in the natural world saw the birth of primitive beliefs, which would eventually blossom into sophisticated religious cultures, from simple Neanderthal burials with flowers and antelope horns to grandiose spiritual cathedrals. In our search to understand Nature and the true nature of reality Spirituality was born. Joseph Campbell says that Spirituality is a search for the same basic unknown force from which everything came, within which everything currently exists, and into which everything will eventually return. This elemental force is ultimately ‘unknowable’.

The Void
What is more unknowable than the Void?

Creation from nothing is an idea that is thousands of years old. Many of the worlds Mythologies propose creation from the void. Parmenides said that it is impossible to speak of what is not, but contradicted himself by speaking of it. According to Plato, if we can think and talk about nothingness then surely it must exist. Ancient man found the concept of the void, nothingness, nonbeing, or the vacuum (also known to the Greeks as Chaos derived from the word Khaos, meaning, "gaping void") as perplexing as we do today. The void was a common concept in most creation myths and usually preceded creation.

If there is a beginning, there must be a time before the beginning; there furthermore must have been a time that preceded this very time before that beginning. If there is being, nonbeing must precede it; and before this nonbeing, there must have been a time where not even that nonbeing had started. Furthermore, another time before that which had not even seen the not-beginning of the nonbeing.

Ten thousand things under heaven are born of being. Being is born of non-being. Tao is a whirling emptiness, Yet in use is inexhaustible. Fathomless, It seems to be the ancestor of ten thousand beings. It blunts the sharp, Unties the entangled, Harmonizes the bright, mixes the dust. Dark, It seems perhaps to exist. I do not know whose child it is, It is an image of what precedes God.
-Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching

Then even nothingness was not, nor existence. There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it. Who covered it? Where was it? In who’s keeping? Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed? But, after all, who knows, and who can say, whence it all came, and how creation happened? The gods themselves are later than creation, so who knows truly whence it has arisen?
-Rig Veda, X, 129

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

-Genesis, from The Holy Bible, King James version

Of all things that are scientifically known of, the vacuum is the least understood. Humans could not accept the void as the source of all creation because it didn’t make sense. How could ‘being’ come from ‘non-being’? The ancients had to make sense of creation, and the void was a philosophical problem, so they came up with alternatives to creation ex-nihilo. (Creation from nothing) Greek philosophers could not accept Chaos as an absolutely empty void so they eventually endowed it with properties of substance; they further described it as the primordial ether or waters, which contained all the basic but disorderly constituents that would give rise to the universe. The official Catholic Church doctrine is creation ex-nihilo, but that it was God who created everything from nothing. The Rig Veda of India proposes that in the beginning there was neither Being nor non-Being, neither Humans nor Gods and the question asked was, how could being come from non-being? For them the answer was Brahman (which means growth or swelling), which is the eternal, the source of all reality and states, not a God but that, which permeates everything and is the origin of all possible realities. Brahman is neither Being nor non-Being and is Incomprehensible. Brahman does away with a beginning and eliminates the need to explain the void, as does the God of the Old Testament. Nothing came before God, apparently not even the void. Orthodox Judaism teaches that Yahweh is Ineffable or indescribable. Islam teaches that Allah is Transcendent, which also means beyond comprehension. Taoism teaches of the Tao or the Way, but like the others it also cannot be expressed. In Buddhism ‘Nirvana’ is the highest spiritual attainment, but when you look closely at what it means you come up with Bodhi/Enlightenment, which means Awakening. When you ask the question: awakening to what? The answer is: to become aware of the true nature of reality. And when you ask what the true nature of reality is, they have no idea. It is all the above.

“Nirvana, it is a word of such dubious etymology that a simple translation is exceedingly difficult. It has been variously connected with Sanskrit roots which would make it mean the blowing out of a flame, or simply blowing out (ex- or de-spiration), or with the cessation of waves, turnings, or circlings (vritti) of the mind.”

-The Way of Zen, Alan Watts

For ancient humans the concept of the void was unknowable and thus being unknowable it was too abstract a concept for some humans to grasp. Putting forth alternative concepts to the void that were acceptable like God, Brahman, the Ether, Tao, or Nirvana was necessary and gave the illusion of understandability. Understanding our origins or the true nature of reality has been an obsession with mankind ever since we started burying our dead in ritual ceremony. Pre-historic humans could not accept death as the end of us. They could not accept that their loved ones have ceased to exist. Perhaps this feeling of emptiness or void in their hearts after losing their loved ones triggered an ancient human to contemplate the void. We have been trying to understand the void ever since and in this age of science we are getting closer and closer to understanding the void and the nature of reality. Scientific methods it seems are helping humankind to answer questions that were previously unknowable and may shed some light on our ultimate spiritual understanding. Mathematics and Logic propose the idea of the set, which says that the whole of mathematics, from zero to infinity along with any unknown new numbers, can be created from nothing, which in mathematics is the empty set. Mathematics is meant to describe everything in existence through mathematical logic, thus mathematics can explain everything in existence as properties of empty sets that were derived from the first empty set, Nothing (the Void).

The Vibrating Void
The void it seems flapped its wings.

As Parmenides said how can we talk about the void if it doesn’t exist? It doesn’t make sense. Understanding the incomprehensible concept of the Void is difficult but not impossible. If we want to talk about it we have to contemplate it, and in order to contemplate it we need to assign it certain properties, as did ancient humans, and we have to understand modern day Chaos Theory, which describes the behavior of certain dynamical systems. If Plato says we can think of nothingness then we can also think of it as having the properties of a system. Consider the void, as being the simplest system that can ever be imagined. It is empty, has always been empty, and is predictably empty. It is deterministic. Chaos theory states that all systems can undergo unpredictable random changes and that complex systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions (the Butterfly Effect) and can evolve from the simplest of systems. Thus the simplest of all systems underwent a random change and shook, it vibrated. No hand of God or intention but the random unpredictable nature of a system. But what is shaking or vibrating? What once was nothing is now it’s opposite that which vibrates. Existence it seems has come into being. That which exists vibrates, and what it’s made of was the void. Thus the voids vibrating nature gave it properties, which created time, which transformed the Void into the Vibrating Void. Now this new vibrating system was also transformed by Chaos. Chaos it seems is the driving force for complexity. You can’t have complexity without chaos. This was a time before the Big Bang and chaos and unpredictability worked its magic upon these unsuspecting vibrations causing them to interact, smashing against one another creating ever more complicated frequencies of vibrations all heading for an unpredictable outcome. The vibrations that were closer together had a better chance of continuing to vibrate and exist a while longer. Each vibration had an effect on another. It was through the systemic dynamics of the primordial opposites the Void and the Vibrating Void that complexity arose. Knots of vibrations ultimately emerged capable of existing and having a gravitational effect on other close vibrations creating gravity and space-time, and what was left were pockets of densely packed systems of vibrations, which collapsed and created our Big Bang and possibly others. The void didn’t contain all the basic constituents, but rather randomly evolved into all that exists with unpredictable infinite probabilities of uncertainty.

“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence”.

"The more we know about our universe, the more difficult it becomes to believe in determinism."
-Ilya Prigogine

“The fluttering of a butterfly's wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet”
-Paul Erlich

The Nature of Reality
Everything is a wave: Everything is the Vibrating Void

Take the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in Quantum mechanics, which states that for a moving particle such as an electron “The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known, and vice versa”. Schrödinger's theory called Wave mechanics explains this by suggesting electrons behave like waves, “matter waves”. You can’t measure an electron because it is never in the same place at the same time; it is a moving wave of probability as is light. The de Broglie hypothesis suggests that all matter has a wave like nature. String theory suggests that all matter is made of quantum vibrations. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time, meaning the fabric of space-time itself is oscillating. Zero-point energy is the energy that remains when all other energy is removed from a system, and predicts that all of space must be filled with electromagnetic zero-point fluctuations/energy/waves. In quantum field theory, the vacuum state (also called the vacuum) is the quantum state with the lowest possible energy. By definition, it contains no physical particles. The vacuum state is associated with a zero-point energy. Einsteins cosmological constant is thought to arise from the zero point energy, or vaccum energy, which is now considered by many to be the mysterious Dark Energy, which is increasing the expansion of the universe. The universe consists of approximately 70 percent dark energy, 25 percent dark matter and five percent ordinary matter. Zero point energy also behaves like waves as does matter, energy, space-time, thus the vacuum as well. The universe can be explained as a Cosmic and Quantum Vibration. Even the workings of the mind, or brain are considered to work as “brain waves”, which are recorded by Electroencephalographs (EEG) chart recorders.

Our brains process the radiation it observes via our senses. The universe or existence is basically made of energy, vacuum waves, which have somehow come together to form matter. All matter is energy waves that have come together, and are very densely packed. Everything in the universe is made of vacuum waves and is basically all tied together, we are in reality all connected and one cosmic vibration, only with individual pockets of vibrating knots (called matter) that distinguish one grouping of vibrating knots from others. All matter and energy come from the same source, the void. Our eyes and brains take in multi spectral radiation, but in order to function as individual beings within this vast vibrating void we evolved the ability to distinguish the differences between these tightly packed vibrating energy sources that we live within. In our case we can only see the visible spectrum, as well as feel, taste, smell, and hear this radiation in limited ways. If you shut down the left side of your brain for a moment and experience the energy around us without the left side of our brains separating these different energy vibrations, it is often described as a euphoric experience. The universe is in essence one massive vibrating existence with individual vibrating components that have grown more and more complex and evolved the ability to experience existence through individual consciousness. The void evolved into individual vibrating life forms that are part of a bigger living existence we know as the Universe. Reality it seems is not individual separate life forms or components but a whirling vibrating magical substance that is all interconnected. Ultimately when you break down everything into their constituent parts energy and matter fall apart and what are you left with? You’re left with the Vibrating Void.

“The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view - one could almost say the essence of it - is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality.”

-Fritjof Capra,The Tao of Physic)

When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. ... Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... Since the theory of general relativity implies the representation of physical reality by a continuous field, the concept of particles or material points cannot play a fundamental part, ... and can only appear as a limited region in space where the field strength / energy density are particularly high.

-Albert Einstein

Chaos, Destruction and Unfavorable Conditions
It seems they are the creators of us all.

We already know that the universe is all one, and many people reflect on the transcendent beauty or peacefulness of it all, but the peacefulness of this euphoric state is a delusion. Existence is far from peaceful. When our brains lose the ability to process and distinguish the differences between these vibrations or waves, then we would perceive everything as a constant turmoil of colliding waves, transforming one another, and forever interacting via turbulence and unfavorable conditions. The vibrations that have come together and evolved into tightly packed systems of energy had a better chance of surviving this constant turmoil, which means they had a better chance to keep vibrating rather than fade away into the true void where nothing vibrates.

“I do not understand where the 'beauty' and 'harmony' of nature are supposed to be found. Throughout the animal kingdom, animals ruthlessly prey upon each other. Most of them are either cruelly killed by other animals or slowly die of hunger. For my part, I am unable to see any very great beauty or harmony in the tapeworm. Let it not be said that this creature is sent as a punishment for our sins, for it is more prevalent among animals than among humans. I suppose what is meant by this 'beauty' and 'harmony' are such things as the beauty of the starry heavens. But one should remember that the stars every now and again explode and reduce everything in their neighborhood to a vague mist.”

-Bertrand Russell

Existence is literally a struggle to exist against that, which will destroy it. The saying “Nature abhors the vacuum” is true because it is the vacuum, which destroys life and existence, but at the same time creates it and propels it. Existence can be seen as repelling the void and vice versa. Existence is a struggle to survive; it’s a relentless movement of energy, atoms, molecules, dust, rocks, planets, stars, galaxies, and life forms devouring, colliding, and destroying their neighbors. It’s a destructive burning universe. But although the vacuum destroys existence it also propels it; dark energy is that force. In the same manner atoms repel one another, and matter destroys its opposite. The universe repels the vacuum, which causes inertia, which causes things to collide hence destructive and unfavorable conditions, which drives evolutionary processes. Destruction creates more complex forms of existence, including life. Energy, atoms, molecules, stars, planets, life forms, and galaxies that come together via the strong force, the weak force, and gravity have better chances of surviving. Energy and matter that did not come together just faded away into the low energy state of the vacuum of space-time, and did not form into atoms, or galaxies, and stars, which adapted to the unfavorable conditions driven by the void. Natural selection favored that which was close together, which had a bigger effect on space-time therefore producing a bigger gravitational distortion, bringing them even closer together enabling them to exist a while longer; long enough to reproduce.

It may appear strange for the god of destruction to perform the dance of creation. Remember that the world of maya is one of opposites. The death for devout Hindus is nearly synonymous with rebirth, so when one dies another one is created. Thus, Shiva is not only a destroyer but also a creator. The rhythm he dances to is that of a world perpetually forming, dissolving and re-forming.

-Hinduism by Dr. C.P.Ramaswami Aiyar

When you think about all of the complex forms of existence in the universe besides those made by humans and wonder how they all came to be, one common factor they all share is that they all owe their existence to destructive incidents or unfavorable conditions of the past. The notion that Life’s complexities and that of the Universe owe their present state of being to destruction or destructive occurrences of the past and are continuing to be shaped, transformed and are evolving because of destructive occurrences is hard to believe, but one that I believe to be true. This belief is not a new one and has been contemplated by humanity for millennia. Even the evolution of Human Culture specifically ethics and morality have been shaped and molded by destruction, violence and unfavorable conditions. Ancient humans took the notion of destruction, which occurs naturally in Nature and associated it with humankind. Humans had become a destructive force. We had the capability to be destructive to the enemy, which was a good thing for ones tribe, but when we killed one of our own for no good reason then destruction took on a new meaning, we called it Murder, and the act Evil. We define evil with many words usually it’s something which is deliberate, intentional, at times violent and immoral, bad, hostile or unfavorable physically or mentally to human and animal life, and not in favor with the majority. In Nature, immoral or deliberate do not apply outside the animal world. Destruction is a natural occurrence, which is woven into the very fabric of the Universe. Murder as we describe it has been observed in the animal kingdom as well. Chimpanzees have been observed to murder other chimpanzees for no good reason other than they were from a different clan. We call this behavior evil because we as intelligent beings need to put a face on deliberate destruction but its actually just another name for destruction, which has been around from the beginning of time. We’ve used the term “Nature is cruel and relentless” to describe it but in actuality it’s not cruel or relentless, they are only human words that describe its destructive aspects. There is no evil in Nature or the Universe; there is only naturally occurring destruction. Evil only exists in the minds and acts of humankind or other intelligent beings. Whereas in Nature it is easier to argue that destructive incidents are responsible for all in its present state, Human history can only be said to have been shaped by destructive, hostile, immoral, and unfavorable incidents to a certain extent: a large extent. The difference being that humanity occasionally has had the power of choice, to avoid, plan for, and prevent some of these incidents. Does Nature also have a choice?

The Buddha is saying, “ Yes, all life is sorrowful. That’s the nature of life. Good and evil. All these names that you give things, that which is ‘good’ and that which is ‘evil’, it’s all mixed. And that’s the way it is.”
-Joseph Campbell, Transformations of Myth Through Time

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me: I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand".
-Deuteronomy 32:39, The Bible, King James Version

The evidence from all the human sciences overwhelmingly supports the view that humans are good and bad, cooperative and competitive, selfish and altruistic. The potential for the expression of both moral and immoral behavior is built into human nature.
-Michael Shermer, The Science of Good & Evil

I am the spirit that denies! And justly so: For all things from the void called forth, deserve to be destroyed. ‘Twere better, then, were nought created.
-Mephistopheles, Goeths drama Faust

I want it to be clear that I am in no way advocating that humanity and or life presently or in the future needs destructive or evil occurrences or unfavorable conditions in order to benefit or shape it’s future. I wish no lives to be lost or hurt or discomforted in any way. All I’m saying is that when these destructive or evil incidents occur, they ultimately have an altering influence on our future. Whether they benefit our future lives or not only time will tell. We owe our present state to circumstances and conditions in the past that have not always been favorable to human life and moral liberty and have been struggling to overcome these obstacles throughout our history. Does humanity and life need destruction or evil incidents or unfavorable conditions to shape its future? No, because we have the power to shape our own future and that of life on earth for the best, but whether we like it or not these destructive or evil occurrences will continue to happen, and future conditions may not always be favorable to support life as we are accustomed and we have to be able to adapt and survive these occurrences and conditions. Does the future of the Universe need destructive occurrences to shape and benefit its future? The answer to this question I wish were No, but unless a Devine hand keeps the universe as it is for eternity, then the dynamics of our universe will continue to favor Complexity from Chaos, which is sculpted by destructive or unfavorable conditions. This is how the universe has evolved and will continue to evolve by adaptation to unfavorable conditions. Not one element in existence today has not been shaped by unfavorable conditions down to the very atoms we are made of, which at some point in the history of the universe had been forced to join together from colliding vibrations inside the furnace of a star, or be forever scattered energy dissipating in the void.

Everything flows and nothing abides; everything gives way and nothing stays fixed. You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others go ever flowing on. It is in changing that things find repose. Homer was wrong in saying, "Would that strife might perish from amongst gods and men." For if that were to occur, then all things would cease to exist.
-Heraclitus, 5th c. B.C.

Lucifer is the dark side of fecundity, the cutting blade of the sculptor’s knife. Nature does not abhor evil; she embraces it. She uses it to build. With it she moves the human world to greater heights of organization, intricacy, and power.
-Howard Bloom, The Lucifer Principle

Life in the universe is caught up in an ancient battle between two opposites, one for the right to exist and the other not to exist. We are that which exists, we are the Vibrating Void, aware of our place in the larger existence observing and making choices in order to survive this great battle. If the very forces that try to destroy it are shaping the fabric of existence, what does this say about that which will destroy us? Are these destructive forces beneficial to existence? Is the Void, the progenitor of us all, and the very thing that shapes, keeps in harmony and ultimately destroys its opposite, Existence? Is the cycle of destruction between these two opposites infinite or will it have and end? Do we need this Battle? The answer to these questions is yes. The nature of reality is a struggle to exist and unless we all come together and try to understand the reality that we are a part of, our chances of survival are not very good.

The universe at large is fringed with nothingness, from which indeed (how else?) it must have been created, if created it was; and its beginning and end, like that of all change within it, must similarly be viewed as a passage from one nothing to another, with an interlude of being in between. Such thoughts, or others like them, have haunted the speculations of nullophile metaphysicians from Pythagoras to Pascal and from Hegel and his followers to Heidegger, Tillich and Sartre. Being and non being, as they see it, are complementary notions, dialectically entwined, and of equal status and importance.
-P.L. Heath, “Nothing”, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The interplay of yin and yang, the primordial pair of opposites appears thus as the principle that guides all the movements of the Tao.
-Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics

Ometecuhtli (the lord of duality) was the ancient Aztec Supreme Being who existed outside space and time He was the source of all life. According to C. A. Burland, in his study The Gods of Mexico (1967), the ancient Mexicans were quite sure that in everything there was a unity of opposing factors, of male and female, of light and dark, of movement and stillness, of order and disorder. This opposition and duality was an essential of everything, and they felt that it was through this principle that life came into being.

-Anthony S. Mercatante, Good and Evil in Myth & Legend

Copyright 2009 David Yanez. All Rights Reserved.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape