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St. Augustine and 0



St. Augustine has a great difficulty in that he wants to convince people that his one God is invisible—it’s everywhere, it’s nowhere; and that’s what makes it superior to the pagan gods, who are all embodied and, therefore, will die.


Why was it hard for Augustine to explain this to his contemporaries? Because the Romans didn’t have 0. They had had I, II, III, IV, V, VI (Ave!).


To get 0 as more than a placeholder—the Mayans and Babylonians had it is as a placeholder—you had to wait until the 5th-century AD and the Indian mathematicians Aryabhata and Brahmagupta. With them you find the numbers “270” and “50” carved into the temple at Chaturbhuj—the world’s “second-oldest” zeroes.


In the West, you have to wait until the 1200s and men like Fibonacci to appreciate the “0”—“the method of the Indians surpasses any known method to compute”.


Now, as discussed, the Ark of the Covenant was like many Egyptian arks except instead of an image of a god between its two wingèd angels it just had a space.


And that space made the Hebrews “as gods”, because it is “the God of gods”—because, though they couldn’t say it, because they didn’t have the concept, the space in the Ark of the Covenant is zero.


The Indians call zero “shunya” or “sunya” because it is the same as “the void” or “the nothingness” that Hindus and Buddhists seek to attain—and that is represented by the bindi dot, and so the bindi dot is zero; and hence the Hebrew God of gods, as represented by the Ark of the Covenant, is the same as the Indian bindi and the same as zero.


If you ask mathematicians whether “zero” is a real number, they’ll say it is because you can include it in mathematical operations, but if you ask them “does zero exist?” they’ll say “ah, that is a question for philosophers” (or, if you take it on trust, theologians—you could say, whether or not it exists, we can certainly work with it).


Because, of course, zero is and is not a number—it exists and it doesn’t exist, it’s everywhere and it’s nowhere; it’s eternity—it’s the non-numerical infinite, because infinity is not just to be able to count forever since you can always add another number that is +1 infinity, but you can’t do that with zero, because zero is everything and nothing at the same time; it is also the biggest and the smallest thing there is—as small as the grain of mustard and larger than the cosmos itself.


In short, the Hebrew religion and the Indian religion—and all religions—are based on connection with that with which we call “0” and which can make us become “as gods” if we identify with it, although there are different ways to do that based on racial characteristics; and, hence, the Jews and Arabs abase themselves before it, whereas the Aryan Buddhists seek to become unified with the Godhead (to put zero in the head, not bow before it).


And there are also ways to connect with it which may be dangerous to your stability and the stability of society, like running an electricity lead through a bucket of water, and that would be like Aleister Crowley, and that is what we call “Satanic”.


Obviously, the computer I write this on is not possible without “zero”—and that is a testimony to its power; and, perhaps, the cosmos itself is a torus, a doughnut, which is like a large zero, so that the cosmic animal is zero—and if you went to the end of the cosmos and fired an arrow it would just follow the curve upwards and around forever and ever in an eternal circle.


Which is why the eyes are the windows to the soul, being circular.


Augustine couldn’t explain himself because he had no concept for “zero”—he just knew there was “one God, above all Gods—a God that is everywhere and nowhere”.


This was incredible, is incredible, for many people—and it became even more confused because Augustine tried to interpose “a god” with a personality over it, a god who was like a stern master, like Karl Marx (Jewish patriarch, socially concerned). And so people asked, “How can this God be infinite and unlimited, but also constrained with a personality?”


Unfortunately for Augustine, because he didn’t have “0”, he went very far wide of the mark and inveighed against “those who walk in circles” and commended “only the straight and narrow path”—to walk in a circle is to be damned, but the God of gods he worshipped, the Godhead on the Ark of the Covenant, is 0 (it is a circle).


There are many ways to connect with the infinite—if you combine “1” god with “0” (eternity) you get the 10, which is why the 10 Commandments are powerful (it’s infinity embodied along with a moral code). In truth, you can combine many gods with the infinite—or you could interpose one god over it, like the Muslims and the Christians, or you could just unify with the infinite like the Buddhists.


So you’re saying that there are “many paths, one destination”, just like Guénon?


Yes. There is only one 0—except there isn’t, because how can there be one of nothing? But some men express that way, because the inexpressible seems to be like one thing—but like the Taoists say “if you think you’ve got it, you’ve lost it”; if you think you’ve found God, you’re far from God—if you’re lost in infinity, you’re closer to the mark.


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