Thursday, October 14, 2010

Non Being

"na asat AsIt" -- "Non-being was not"
"na sat AsIt" -- "Nor being was then"

A poignant verse from the Rg Veda, and one of the most interesting sanskrit grammatical concepts - the idea of balance.  Everything has an opposite.  If there is dharma, there is adharma (not dharma).  The devas had the asuras, who, from what I recollect about ancient scriptures, were not necessarily evil, just their counterbalance.  Sanskrit philosophers understood Newton's third law well: for each action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

Which brings us full circle: if there is being, there is not being, which is altogether different from lack of existence.  Raising the question...what was there before being and the opposite of being (non-being)?

This is probably where the concept of zero also comes from - this philosophy of balance.  If there are numbers, what is the non-number?


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