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something about, well... nothing!

We start, then, with nothing, pure zero. But this is not the nothing of negation. For not means other than, and other is merely a synonym of the ordinal numeral second. As such it implies a first; while the present pure zero is prior to every first. The nothing of negation is the nothing of death, which comes second to, or after, everything. But this pure zero is the nothing of not having been born. There is no individual thing, no compulsion, outward nor inward, no law. It is the germinal nothing, in which the whole universe is involved or foreshadowed. As such, it is absolutely undefined and unlimited possibility -- boundless possibility. There is no compulsion and no law. It is boundless freedom.

- Charles S. Peirce, "Logic of Events" (1898)


You can read more about this 'Jack of all trades, master of all here

om from an atheist




Om. A word that fires those neurons in your brain to summon up stereotypical images of chanting sadhus, the Vivekananda Memorial, nature, or even the Almighty himself. It might mean nothing more than a mere Hindu word to most, but when an atheist like myself decides to decipher its meaning, it should be good enough to tickle your curiosity.

A little flashback. I had written about this very idea a couple of years back, and decided (for some silly reason) to revive it again. Way back, on May 27th, 2005 to be precise, I had a philosophically-inclined argument with Radz (hallowed be her name) about the existence of God, ghosts and mystical creatures of the nether worlds. A verbal fight ensued, one between scientific proof of existence and naive belief. A topic that can be pondered on, argued upon, turned upside down, hung by it's toes to the fan, and beat into a bloody pulp by two people whose beliefs are like the far ends north and south pole.

And through this random charade of ours, two plausable conclusions were derived, namely on the origins of the divine "Om" and the existence of ghosts, both of which form the crux of this annoyingly long post.

Now, Om (aka Aum), in Sanskrit, plainly means the "representation of everything". My pop's side of the family were followers of Arya Samaj, so i was exposed to the chantings of the temple priest. Once, out of sheer boredom I suppose, I paid attention to what he said, and on some level it did make a lot of sense. The yagnas surprisingly had some scientific base to it's mythological beginning, which became the basis of my theory/argument.

According to him, and put into loose form by some research from my side, this is what I managed to conclude...

THE HISTORY OF OM:
Before the beginning, the Brahman (absolute reality) was one and non-dual. It thought, "I am only one - may I become many." This caused a vibration which eventually became sound, and this sound was Om. Creation itself was set in motion by the vibration of Om. The closest approach to Brahman is that first sound, Om. Thus, this sacred symbol has become emblematic of Brahman just as images are emblematic of material objects.
The vibration produced by chanting Om in the physical universe corresponds to the original vibration that first arose at the time of creation. The sound of Om is also called Pranava, meaning that it sustains life and runs through our Prana (breath).

WHAT I THINK:
The sound "Om" can be produced without any effort; just the opening and closing of ones mouth, during the normal course of breathing (or Pranava). And many, including me, see OM as a sound viberation. Or in other words, the simplest form of energy or matter.

And this little thought formed the basis of my second argument with Radz (hallowed be her name). An argument about ghosts.

Now, as we know, matter cannot be created nor destroyed. So what happens to the energy inside the human body after it ceases to breathe? Well, atleast according to me, it's simply converted into the simplest form of energy - the sound viberation. In other words, so called ghosts are nothing but simple sound viberations! Or to nudge this argument a little more, ghosts are Om and Om are ghosts. To sum it up in a single breath - the begining and end of life.

A well-known fact is that most animals (not just dogs as shown in movies) sense low frequency sounds (viberations). And they tend to get a little jumpy when in contact with a certain range of these frequencies, for example, dog whistles. Ignorant people take this behaviour as a sign of ghosts being nearby. And hence, the reason why, some people who are extra sensitive to these low frequencies believe they 'sense' ghosts, when the fact of the matter (pun intended) is, they have just come in contact with these sound vibrations.

So, the next time you 'feel' an apperation near you, remember that it just as well could be your grandpa's flatuency acting up again.


Read what wikipedia has to say about Om here