Nothingness and Physics

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Physicist Fritjof Capra became very well known for his work The Tao of Physics, in which he argued that "Being itself is the product of Not-being," a concept which is common to the laws of nature as described by by Lao-Tzu and modern quantum theory. At this point I would also like to introduce the views of Japanese physicist Saburo Honma, from his book Busshitsu no kyukyoku iva nan daro (What is ultimate matter?), in order to show how much frontier physics has advanced.

"Although no electron exists in Nothingness, an electron can exist if energy is provided. Thus, Nothingness, i.e., Not-being, is potentially able to transform Being. From this view, Nothingness is one manifestation of Being. As the Buddhists say, 'Form is Emptiness and Emptiness, form.' In other words, the phenomenal world, consisting of form, is equivalent to Not-being, and that Not-being is equivalent to the phenomenal world.

"Suppose an atom is as large as a dome the size of an Olympic stadium. There, an atomic nucleus would be the size of an egg, and a few electrons even smaller than a grain of rice. It would look almost 'empty.' However, this 'emptiness' can be considered as a dense space with transient electrons and transient positive electrons (anti-particles), which can give birth to electrons and positive electrons, only if energy is provided from the outside [Figure 24-3].

"At the beginning of the universe and the ultimate of matter, one of the latest theories in physics is that the universe, or matter, was given birth from Nothingness. According to this theory, in the world of Nothingness, where nothing spatiotemporal exists, immeasurably tiny space-time with inexhausible energy keeps appearing and disappearing. Time-space called the 'baby universes' potentially grows into future universes. It can be hypothesized that our universe happened to survive by the tunnel effect, when one of the 'baby universes' was passing through the wall of energy. The surviving "baby universe" developed to this physical world."

Election generated from vacuum


Electron particle 0


Anti-particle = positive electron

Collision between particles and anti-particles





Vacuum with high energy

Figure 24-3

Reaction of particles and anti-particles.

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