The Concept of Nothing

written by Aaaron Boluwatife

Nothing, as used in everyday speech, means the absence of something. For example, “There is nothing in my pocket” 👇🙀! In this post though, I will not be talking about “nothing” as the absence of something, but as the absence of everything.

Everything you know…
including yourself.

You’ve always imagined what this world will be without you in it, right? Now imagine the world without anything in it. In fact, imagine there is no world at all.
To think of nothing you first have to think of something, then forget about the things you are thinking about. 😂 Maybe that is nothing? You will even find out that the process of thinking of nothing is something itself.

!!“Nothing” is not the empty space. Although, this is the first thing people think about when they think of nothing. Science tries to explain it this way => imagine two objects suspended in space and are not touching. If space is nothing that means that nothing is between them and the two objects ought to touch. But these two objects did not touch… which means that space is something.

When you log in to Facebook, the first question that welcomes you – “What’s on your mind?” This means that they expect that something must be on your mind – at all times! But what if you thought of nothing in that moment? Does that mean that nothing was on your mind? 😉

The concept of nothing is an old one… For centuries people have tried to explain what they cannot see. This is one of the reasons why religion is an important part of our lives. The story of creation, according to The Bible, is that the world began from nothing (ex nihilo). But if you try to imagine it – nothing can’t produce life. Some religious people hold a different view, that although the world was formless at first it was not necessarily empty.

Away from the religious folks…
Let’s check the philosophers. 

Parmenides, who was a Greek philosopher of the 5th century BC, believed that “nothing” does not exist. Leucippus explained that for a motion to happen there must be a void. He believed there is a void and there is matter. The void is what he probably thought of as nothing. Aristotle also gave his own explanation: he said space does not mean “nothing” but rather a receptacle for the matter to be placed.

 Scientists think of “nothing” too!

What if a vacuum is a total void and the definition of “nothing”? According to the dictionary, a vacuum is an empty area devoid of matter. This would have made the theory of Leucippus to be true, but many scientists thinks otherwise. Vacuums are not truly empty. There is a constant fluctuation in energy and this can spontaneously create mass out of nothing. These are called “virtual particles”. This is not something you’re probably going to see, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

In quantum physics, this is called the uncertainty principle. It was first introduced by Werner Heisenberg. He said: “At any definite point in space, there must exist temporary changes in energy over time. Sometimes this energy is converted into mass, generating particle-anticipate pairs.”
Also, do not forget Newton’s law of universal gravitation! This law means that two particles that are separated in space are attracted to each other by the force of gravity = the space cannot be empty or contain nothing! 

It means, even if you can take away the possibility of quantum physics, the “virtual particles”, and the random energy, you will still be left with gravity. And even if you can take away every particle in a vacuum along with the energy and gravity, you still cannot stop the fluctuations in the quantum vacuum of the universe. There are particles popping into existence and are short-lived. They collide and they are not, again and again… This makes it impossible to truly have nothing.

At the end, I’d like to add, if nothing exists, then I’m sure you and I know (or have) enough nothing already 😂.


Next post – If this life all there is, what should we do with it?

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26 Responses

  1. I imagine that before the Big Bang, we had less than nothing.

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      😂😂😂 so funny! & true

    • George F. says:

      Stephen Hawking’s answer to what existed prior to the Big Bang goes something like, “It’s a moot point, because matter, space, time and physics didn’t exist.” Yeah, it’s mind boggling I admit, but you can Google it if I didn’t quote it correctly. Another good one I heard goes like this, “science relies on one big miracle, then they can explain everything else. What’s the miracle? Well, the entire Universe was created instantly from nothing in one big bang…now we can take it from there…” Yes, yes…mind boggling.

      • Victoria Ray NB says:

        It’s something to think about… especially if there’s nothing* in my head – I may come up with a really amazing nothing-theory 🙂
        But thx for sharing/mentioning, I’ll check.

        if seriously…I believe in the existence of universal field of energy that connects all things (actually, I read it was already detected by scientists a couple years ago, but they don’t know what is it or how explain it, so, they keep it quiet 🤫 … under mattress 😂

      • Leon Stevens says:

        Mind boggling, yes. Something from nothing? I don’t think the current human mind can make sense of what was before (if there was a before…) and what will be the ultimate end (if there is an end…). Arrrg! Where are we right now? Or now? or..

  2. George F. says:

    Akira recently commented “We are virtual particles.” After much research, I can tell you definitely there is “no such thing as nothing.” Yes, it is all energy. In fact, we could derive more energy from what we now call “empty space” but we lack the tools and technology to do so. Will we ever get there? Doubtful. But Akira may jump in and help…which is my way of saying…”funny you should bring this up….”

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Maybe. Or what if we don’t lack the tools & tech… I watched some doc series about world conspiracy 🙂 some smart ass people says that government is playing with us when showing old rockets 🚀 & how hard to get to mars & moon…

      We don’t know where we came from and what is mind & what is consciousness…. well, what can we possibly know about “nothing”? 🙂 only – nothing? :))

  3. Reminds me of the old song, “I’ve got plenty of nothing. Nothing’s plenty for me.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know I do. No wonder I often explore it in my writing.

  5. Sorryless says:

    Well, from my experience, nothing is always something.

    As in, “What’s wrong?” . . . .”Oh nothing . . .”.

    Yep, it’s something.

  6. kinkyacres says:

    There is ‘always’ something!! Quoted from my parents child rearing book!

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      On the day when we’ll figure out what is “something” – we’ll understand how universe created…

  7. Ha ha brilliant – as l like to say ‘nothing is everything’.

  8. markbierman says:

    I’m a guy, so I have a “Nothing” box in my brain. That means I can stare into space sometimes with nothing in my head. Or is that really just “something” that I think is “nothing”? 🙂

  9. masercot says:

    No matter means no space. No space means no time. No time means you’re late.

    Late? Well, no matter…

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