Connecting some dots on this New Year’s Eve: I’m with a gift card I purchased Karen Armstrong’s “The Lost Art of Scripture” in which she says that the modern age as lost this art of interpreting scripture through the lens of the Zero. (I added the zero)
Let me explain. Last night I was watching a documentary on the history of mathematics and it was India that first discovered zero as a number. Up until then all the number systems of Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and China were based on countable forms. But the zero was empty, so whatever number it was attached to, that number was liberated from its form.
So here we are the last day of 2019. Tomorrow will be 2020. are we going to be liberated by adding zero to 22? We have been in Catch 22 for the last 50 years, and now we are just going to add zeros to the two. How do we get out of Catch 22? Just add zero.
So what does zero mean in my crazy mind. Zero is emptiness in Zen, or transcendence. The unnamed, unknown God. God is Zero. Getting back to Armstrong, modern mind has lost the zero in scripture. God hs become just a thing, a big number. But God as zero is not at the end of numbers but part of every number when you add zero to your mind.
Form is emptiness; emptiness is form is the Zen equation. When zero is forgotten, form is just form. Everything is just what it is, what it is defined to be, a fixed form. When everything is fixed, everything is set and defined, and the infinite dimension of your life is lost. We feel trapped, contained, and defined to the past and the known. Zero is the unknown potential in our life.
Armstrong is saying (I’ve only read the first chapter) that modern man locked in a material world of numbers without zero, cannot transcend himself, for his God is locked in there with him.
The literal interpretation of scripture is a modern deviation, a cul de sac, from scripture as art. When scripture becomes merely history, God has no zero. There is no window in the Bible. Everyone argues about what they already know. God has left the house.
Like ancient India, we have to discover the Zer0