Monday, July 04, 2016

Get In On The Ground Floor of Everything

Nothing is Impossible

NOTHING LIMITED is no joke. I have the scheme worked out in my mind. It is a promotion company that has tremendous potential to make Something of Nothing.

Nothing Limited shall be highly profitable - millions shall be earned every year.

Now you can get in on the ground floor of Nothing Limited! I have Nothing at this very moment, hence investment opportunities abound.

Investors may invest small or large sums. All investors will receive delivery of a handcrafted, numbered stock certificate, suitable for framing if not for papering walls. O. Henry advised confident men to provide investors with something substantial to hold on to, namely a gilded certificate. At least they will have something attractive to paper the walls with. Our handcrafted certificates should in themselves be worth at least the amount originally invested, and perhaps a great deal more if they become collector's items.

But the certificates of our largest investors will be unique works of art, expected to double in value in ten years, and much more than that if the company folds. But not to worry, for Nothing will not fold! We can have full faith and confidence in Nothing Limited: this enterprise to make a something if not a fortune out of Nothing will succeed

Being depends on Nothing, so  have faith in Nothing, for Nothing Really Works.

I have several exciting ventures already planned. They will culminate with a balloon tour across the United States and Austria. Now we need a small amount of seed money to get started. Then I shall:

1) Register the corporation in Nevada or offshore;

2) Design logos, purchase stationery and office supplies;

3) Pay the annual fee for an Internet web site, our Internet Calling Card;

4) Design and produce a small supply (samples) of products, including stock certificates - a secondary market for the designer certificates shall be, by the way, Ebay auctions, if the investor so chooses.

Now is the time for you to get in on the ground floor of Nothing Limited, dba The Nothing Company, and to make a fortune out of Nothing Limited. Give me a call right away.

Nothing Really Works!


David Arthur Walters

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Friday, February 05, 2016

On God and Nothing by Jakob Böhme

by Sebastian Ferreira

Read more »

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Something About Nothing for Muhammad Ali




There is nothing I like better than to equivocate over nothing. Since nothing is perfect, nothing and only nothing is perfect. Wherefore Muhammad Ali’s picture on the poster in the window at the World Famous 5th Street Gym on Alton Road in Miami Beach caught my eye. I met the prize fighter when he was Cassius Clay at the original gym on 5th Street, and as Muhammad Ali in the elevator of the Ala Moana Hotel, in Honolulu, where I was preparing to argue a case pro se before the state supreme court.

“Impossible is Nothing” quoth Ali on the poster, giving me cause to consider whether or not Impossible and Nothing are commutative terms.

Sometimes all the talk about nothing seems quite sensible to me, and even the mere mention of nothing excites me to say something about nothing. Of course my limited faculties condemn me to figures of speech or metaphors - sometimes I laugh at how the most abstract gods or gods negatively defined down to nothing wind up being a "He." One author threw me off with a "She" - imagine that!

I don't know why, but even my most abstract notions seem to be derived from sensation and perception no matter how much I fervently hope for immediate gnosis from the Transcendent Sphere Beyond or for some revelation not mediated by the limited forms imposed by my mental field or faculty.

Yes, I embarrassingly admit it - I am a frustrated mystic. Kant scoffed at the notion of the noun, 'Transcendent', which he distinguished from the adjective 'transcendental.' And despite the master's warning about the illusion of the transcendental logic, the New England Transcendentalists and others went wild over the idea that everybody naturally possesses not only an innate, transcendental or a priori faculty which imposes the forms understanding on sensation, a process independent of the things in themselves as well as of the recognized authorities, but they also claimed they had direct access to the Transcendent, or God, whom some called "Reason" because they were greatly pleased with their reasoning on the Subject of subjects.

Kant had specifically said that sort of thing is nonsense, and that reasoning about Reason, the god of the Enlightenment, has, at best, illusory results. His god existed as a practical absolute presupposition for the conduct of life's great experiment. It is practical to presuppose God, Immortality, and Free Will in order to do our highest duty, which is of course to overcome evil, and that, of course, has its source in desire.

God: we probably have the power to do our duty. Immortality: we have the time to do our duty. Free Will: we have the conditions to do our duty. The New England Transcendentalists were very practical people and they would have no doubt have appreciated the beauty of Kant's presuppositions if the translations had been at their fingertips.

Now I am moved to say more about nothing, but before I do so I am duty bound to confess that I am absolutely ignorant of its substance and nature - if it is a substance with a nature, which I seriously doubt. An popular analog for nothing is space. The early metaphysicians of modern science took up the subject, space, and were surprised to discover that its attributes were those previously bestowed by metaphysical thinkers on God.

As for empty space, physicists today deny there is any such thing as a void without at least some sort of particulate content. Space without objects, or absolute space, seems to be a logically absurdity. That being said, scientists still speak of space AS IF it were a thing separate from the material system, otherwise how could they talk about nothing? At least I think they do - I am not quite sure what physicists are talking about nowadays, if anything, when they speak of space, and, at my age, it is much too late for me to get ahead of the curve let alone catch up with it.

I occasionally reread the same sentences penned by Sir Arthur Eddington, I do not comprehend them, but I believe I am making some headway. I suppose his notions are passé by now, but I enjoy being mystified. For instance, I do not understand his discussion of the two possible universes posited during his day, the Einstein and the de Sitter universes; both are spherical, closed universes, and both are changeless - a frame or background for relative movement. He says it dawned on scientists that de Sitter's universe was a mathematical fiction, a "completely empty" universe, if his formula is taken literally, and that the only way he had avoided change was by putting no matter into it. Nothing exists after all. Thus Einstein's universe turned out to be the one form of material universe which is genuinely changeless or static. But then the choice between the two became irrelevant because a whole range of intermediate states between motionless matter and matterless motion were found.

I was relieved to know that! More significantly, Eddington speaks of 'space' as if it were a separate thing or substance, saying that space must expand before the material system can expand. But he says too much attention is paid to space. Whatever space is, it is curved, and that is a fact verified by measurement: for, over large distances, the angles of a triangle do not equal two right angles. Thus somehow space curves back on itself and the opposite ends of a line meet, leading us to suppose that space is not as infinite as we thought, but is rather like a strange sort of sphere with a fourth dimension to account for the view that each point of the points evenly dispersed throughout the sphere is at the center of the sphere - this analogy is drawn from the surface of a real sphere, which is a closed space.

Amazing! Space must be something after all. As for the universe, somebody told me that it is really a donut. I said that was ridiculous, for who would eat it? He asked me, "What does it mean when we say that a man who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones." What an ignoramus!

Anyway, my nothing is not empty space. No way, at least that is not my experience! I venture to say that it transcends ordinary 'nothing' and 'something.' I think Eddington recognized the difference, at least in terms of space alone, for he mentions the critic who complained that the common man's conception of space, as he 'experiences' it, is being ignored by scientists:

"It is no part of my present subject to discuss the relation of the world as conceived in physics to a wider interpretation of our experience; I will only say that that part of our conscious experience representable by physical symbols ought not to claim to be the whole. As a conscious being YOU are not one of my symbols; your domain is not circumscribed by my spatial measurements. If, like Hamlet, you count yourself king of infinite space, I do not challenge your sovereignty. I only invite attention to the certain disquieting rumours which have arisen as to the state of Your Majesty's nutshell."

I am moved by Nothing to speculate here: I think the nebulous YOU is personal (Quality) in contrast to IT or impersonal (Quantity); in other words, Subject versus Object. I opine the person is a synthesis of YOU and IT and has as its principle of origin Absolute Power, which causes me to mention, yet again, Nothing.

But what do I know?

Nothing, really.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Spinoza's God

Graphic by El Ricko


It is amazing how arrogant we can become in the name of an imagined god or indefinite divinity while we think we are being ever so humble. We have unwittingly hidden our pride along with our ignorance behind such names.

When our gods are criticized, we support them with our revelations or intuitions instead of the plain facts which any sane person could perceive, and we condemn the sheer stupidity of anyone who does not possess our fine wisdom—why such powerful gods need our support is a mystery.

When push comes to shove, the faithful, instead of pointing their fingers at names of gods, point their weapons at each other and prove their points; it soon becomes bloody obvious who the gods really are, and that their main interests are on Earth.

Any proposition we might faithfully refer to the arbitrary symbol, "god", no matter how ill conceived it may be, takes on the appearance of certainty; it seems to have the perfect clarity of absolute truth. It is really our own dignity that is at stake, therefore we might defend our ideas about our god to the last, convinced of the ignorance or diabolical malevolence of anyone who bothers to disagree. Hence the symbol stands not for objective truth, nor does it indicate the highest power, but rather denotes the demonstration of our blind faith in our pride and prejudicial ignorance. Those who know something adequately have no need for a name to excuse their ignorance; if they do not know something, an "I don't know" is adequate.

The Jewish philosopher Benedict Spinoza laid out his divine rules for adequate thinking in his philosophical tracts. For him, a perfectly clear idea is a true idea. A true idea is different from its objects, but corresponds to those objects just as the idea of a circle corresponds to all visible circles.

However, that correspondence is not understood or induced from observation of the objects themselves, but is rather deduced from the intrinsic nature of the idea, to the extent that idea is adequate to God, because God constitutes the essence of the human soul.

In other words, Ideas are true, clear, and distinct only when they are adequate to divinity, when they are divine. That is to say, the human mind, insofar as it possesses adequate ideas, is one with the divine mind.

In fine, true ideas are divine.

Our ideas are inadequate when they are partial or confused one with the other. But there is no doubt concerning a true idea: it carries with it, as its intrinsic nature or divine adequacy, immediate certainty. There is no absolutely doubt about it.

Spinoza made that perfectly clear: "He who has a true idea knows at the same time that he has a true idea, nor can he doubt the truth of the thing.... What can there be more clear and more certain than a true idea is the standard of truth? Even as light displays both itself and darkness, so is truth a standard both of itself and of falsity.... Our mind, in so far as it perceives things truly, is part of the infinite intellect of God; therefore, the clear and distinct ideas of the mind are as necessarily true as the ideas of God.... No one can know the nature of the highest certainty unless he possesses an adequate idea of the subjective essence of a thing; for certainty is identical with such subjective essence...."

We admire the circular thinking of our metaphysical geometrician as he approximates a perfect circle on his way to a monistic, non-dimensional point where the doubt arising from differences is entirely done away with. Yes, indeed, and may the skeptics be dismissed out of hand, for our object is not doubt but is certitude.

Spinoza's Ethics summarily disposes of skeptics: "If there yet remains some skeptic who doubts of our primary truth, and of all the deductions we make, taking such truth as our standard, he must either be arguing in bad faith, or we must confess that there are some men in complete mental blindness, either innate or due to misconceptions.... With such persons one should not speak of sciences.... If they deny, grant, or gainsay, they know not that they deny, grant, or gainsay, so they ought to be regarded as automatics utterly devoid of intelligence...."

The best argument against stupidity is a stupid argument. The best way to prove an absolute presupposition which is self-evident is simply to propose it and to call anyone who disagrees with it stupid. And perhaps they are stupid for even bothering to refute what really amounts to nothing in particular. Nothing is perfect, for how can Nothing be disproved?

Despite Spinoza's intuition of the divine clarity from which everything may be clearly deduced if the philosopher is adequate to the Subject, the proof of the existence of the Subject of subjects has not yet been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt. Living philosophy does not run along geometrical tracks to concentration camps. No Final Solution has been settled upon us once and for all, and may skeptics forbid it. Over-arching generalities all too often tend to be destructive partialities—let the skeptics have at them before they leave the station. Of course, the generality proposed might be Nothing; in which case we may for very good reason joyfully praise Nothing on a regular basis and proceed with our lives.

Spinoza suffered his time and circumstances. He was a creature of his god, a reaction to the popular one-god professed by his excommunicators. His god is much more skeptical than the customary idols of religious monopolies. Spinoza's god is the Being of beings, the eternal, infinite substance of reality; everything is good is god; there is no evil; there is nothing outside of god. In a word, Spinoza was a pantheist, which made him an atheist to theists who claimed monopolies for their exclusive gods. His god is everything, hence nothing in particular; his god is the substance of the infinitely good universe of which we know only mind and matter; there are an infinite number of other attributes we do not know.

To those who need seemingly clear definitions, Spinoza's pantheism does smell to high heaven of atheism, of no god at all under the mere pagan name "god." Yet no doubt Spinoza loved the god of his salvation passionately.

As for his pontifications on the clear understanding of true ideas adequate to his god, he might as well have praised Nothing. After all, since his divine intelligence is infinite and his true ideas are infinitely related as an infinitely complex machine, his few "true" ideas, which are perfectly clear to him because they are divine, amount to nothing in comparison to his ignorance of his infinite divinity. But he thought he had ahold of something divine, something necessary; something beyond good and evil for the good reason that necessity alone is good—mysticism is essentially amoral.

Nothing, although perfect with all the dirty beings extracted from Being, was not good enough for Spinoza.

Spinoza seemed convinced that his understanding of his god had its own reward, that his understanding automatically made him virtuous. His love for his god is intellectual, unemotional. The intellectual love and obedience to ‘god,’ compliance with the absolute power and law of the universe for the benefit of humankind, is the ultimate goal of ethical scientists. However, there is no possibility of universal empirical verification from those who know Being or Nothing hence have rid themselves of essents.  In the grand clarity of his true understanding, he felt he was in possession of divine wisdom, for which he wove an elaborate rational cloak.

We may find Spinoza’s unemotional mental calisthenics arid. After all, we are motivated or literally moved by emotions. Human values depend on emotions: he who has none is immoral. Still, Spinoza's geometry is rather elegant. He inspired German Romanticism, which had its arid, scientific aspect. Hard-headed Modernists like Ayn Rand were passionate about dispassionate scientific progress—see her Romantic Manifesto.

Spinoza still has his attractions. Many of his passages are beautifully expressed sublimations of the usual passions, including the desire to be God Almighty, a desire that would be expressed in another manner by existentialists to come in their worship of the transcendental ego. His true god may not be as abstract and impersonal as he might have believed.



David Arthur Walters

Honolulu 1999

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Heavy Metal painting by Sebastian Ferreira



He's Got the Blues painting by Sebastian Ferreira

The Opposition Painting by Sebastian Ferreira

Sold $1,850 September 2014


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nothing is Indeterminate



consult Terminus for more information

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grasping Aire by David Arthur Walters

I beg your pardon for beginning with my I, but it’s all I can try to cling to at this point. It is as if I were grasping thin air, clutching at a straw. It might suffice to say that I am that I am, and that’s about it for the moment, whatever it may be, if anything at all, yet, since my nothingness compels me to persist forever for the time being, I must say something more about what cannot be properly affirmed, the nothing that I am without another, in order to avoid my I altogether. If I said I well enough, you might be offended by my pride, and then, in all humility, I would be moved to apologize for the grandeur of my insignificance, and wish, for your sake, that I were less than nothing. But would not to be less than nothing make something of nothing, and something to be ashamed of?

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