Posted in Philosophy


Solve the following riddle:

It is greater than a god and more evil than a devil.
The poor have it while the rich lack it.
If you eat it, you will die.

To find the answer, you must look within yourself and travel against the flow of time.

The answer is “nothing”. Nothing is greater than a god or more evil than a devil. The poor have nothing and the rich lack nothing. If you eat nothing, you will die. Human beings are trained to think of all possibilities when problem solving but often forget the most basic answer. In fact, most people cannot fathom the idea of nothing and cannot answer the riddle. To solve the riddle, one requires modesty and must have thought about “nothing” at some point in life, understanding the true power of nothing.

To understand “nothing” is actually harder than it seems. Although it sounds like a simple concept – the lack of something – it is constantly shrouded by “something”. For example, how can one answer the question “How do you define the absence of something?” without thinking of “something”? To falsify “something”, one must think about it, thus entering a trap.

Nothing is paradoxically the purest thing possible in this universe. Nowhere can we find an example of “true nothing” – there are always traces of light, air, heat and sound (even space is not a true vacuum), with traces of dreams and thoughts littering the mind. Physics (second law of thermodynamics) prevents the destruction of matter and energy, only allowing the transformation from something to something. Even erasing a drawing from a piece of paper leaves faint lines and marks.
Ergo, “nothing” is the site of infinite potential; a place where anything can be created. A place without chaos is a place without anything.

The power of nothing is evident even in human behaviour. The more we attain, the more we seek nothing. A king will put himself in the clothes of a pauper to experience poverty. A child with an abundance of dreams and potential seeks to be an adult who lacks both. A truly wise man accepts that he knows nothing, for a wise man seeks the truth while a fool has found it. To seek perfection is arrogance, but to seek nothing is the noblest of tasks and the greatest achievement.

This leads us to ask the following question: if a god is omnipotent, then can he create a space where he cannot do anything – a place where he does not exist?

Can nothing be created from something?

Leave a Comment!