A philosophical exploration of the concept of Zero.

What does zero mean to you? Do you consider it to be a number, or perhaps an abstract concept?

Does it have any value, or is it simply a symbol of empty space, of absence, of no-thing… nothing?

We have, in our western numbering system, assigned the circle to represent the number zero. This is most interesting. A circle is universally recognised as a symbol of unity, wholeness, and oneness. Surely the circle would sit naturally as a symbol for the number one? Instead we have assigned this most beautiful and godly geometric shape, the circle, the endless rotating and circling round, to equal nothing, naught, no-thing, complete absence and emptiness.

What I find even more intriguing, is that these concepts which we assign to zero are actually rather artificial concepts, and I could argue that they don't actually exist. Let's look at some of these.

Can anything actually be completely empty?

We could argue that in a vacuum there is no air and in fact nothing at all. And yet if we look deeper into the science we will discover that even in a vacuum there are still particles to be found. Even if there were no particles, there might be other things, like light waves, or magnetic fields, or quantum particles. We could try and remove these factors also, however, as science advances we continue to discover subtler and subtler levels of matter and energy. So in fact, there will always be something there. On the physical plane there is always something. We hear about how outer space is made largely of a substance called dark matter, which we know little about, and yet it is actually a form of energy in one way or another, it is not nothing, it is something.

So, there is no such thing as nothing, as the void, as emptiness. These concepts are purely abstract, and don't really exist. In the physical universe (or universes), there is no zero.

Within time, does zero exist?

Let's look at a human life, spanning from birth to death. Is there any point that we can define as being zero? Before we are one year old we can say that we are 'zero years old' although we are actually one month old or whatever, before this we could be just a week old, or a day old, an hour, or even just a minute. In fact, a mere second, a millisecond etc., etc. This is in fact an infinite process of dividing time into smaller and smaller segments, but we never actually get to zero. Before birth we are in-utero, before this we are a fertilised egg, before that perhaps an unfertilised egg. On a purely physical level the atoms that make up your body existed as other matter before being formed into your present incarnation. So when did you begin? Can we actually find a time when you were nothing? Perhaps not.

When we die, when the physical body no longer has life force running through it, do we be-come nothing, become zero? Surely the physical body is re-cycled into nature, and ultimately into the universe. And our spirit and Soul lives on, although this is not yet proven by a science that is only in its infancy, in its exploration of the realms beyond physicality.

Is there ever a beginning or an end? Or does one simply flow into the other? A circle can be divided into 360°. But in actual fact, the point we call 0° is exactly the same point we call 360°, they are one and the same. Zero does not exist, it is always something else, and therefore, it is indeed something, not ever no-thing.

You may say that you have no money, your bank account reads 'zero' and you have no cash, no assets, and therefore you own 'nothing', have zero to your name. Can this ever actually be the case? You could be owed something, you could have a coin hiding in some far off recess of your life, some money owed to you by the tax department from 6 years ago, or whatever. You never have zero, you can't. We all have a skill, a capacity, an understanding, an insight, a way with life, a way of doing things, a quirkiness that is important, and only we can bring to life. Deeper still, we have an essence, the Divine spark inside, regardless of what our material success may or may not be... there is something about each and everyone of us that has a true value in this life, hence we can never be nothing. It is simply not possible.

Could the circle that we assign to this non-existent concept of zero actually represent a truth and an amazing connection that we are all part of? Could it represent a wholeness that we actually are?

It seems that the symbol we have used to falsely represent a concept that doesn't actually have any truth at its core is actually a symbol that truly is aligned with the end-less rhythms of life, the cycling of all that is, the wholeness of time and space. How demean-ing we have been to this sacred symbol, the circle, by assigning it to the false concept of zero.

What is the truth of Zero?

Science is beginning to uncover that it knows very little about most of the universe and is finally realising that the biggest questions and the biggest answers are not in actual fact found within the realm of matter, but are staring at us from the realm (or realms) that are beyond matter itself. Could the emptiness of space actually contain a truth and an essence that offers us a connection to our source and ourselves?

It now seems that 'nothing is nothing', and furthermore, with the breakthroughs of quantum theory, which show how a particle can actually exist in two places at once, it is now scientific to state that 'everything is everything'.

How magical in-truth is Zero, when within its seeming emptiness is found the all. If “nothing is nothing because everything is everything” (Serge Benhayon, Time Space and all of us, Book 1 – Time, p 237) then Zero and the Circle are in-deed unified in their connection to the essence of life, the universe and everything.

Could it be that Zero is the source that sources all life? And so, deep within the stillness of life, in the spaciousness in-between all matter and deep within time itself, is a realm where the most awesome potentials await to be birthed, and this place is indeed... Zero.

Filed under


  • By Paul O'Hara, BSc (Zoology , Biology), DipSecTchg(Science)

    I run my own organic store and café in the beautiful town of Wanaka, New Zealand. I have love of all things in the natural world and the heavens above.

  • Photography: Desiree Delaloye, Entrepreneur, Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Branding specialist ... and so much more

    Desiree loves expressing through visuals, graphics, colours and angles. She is a professional specialising in bringing that magic touch into corporate branding, book design and illustrations.