Void, Zero, Circle, Cycle

Zero (0) is the void from which all creation emerges.


  1. Understanding The Concept of Zero.
  2. Zero as Complete Potential for Creation.
  3. Zero as Cycles of Creation & Destruction.
  4. Zero's relation to Pi and the Sine Wave.
  5. Transitioning from Zero to One. Creative spark!


What's the Big Deal with Understanding Zero?
The number zero may appear to be so "simple" that many who read these pages may think "I understand zero, it means nothing, zilch; now let's get on to something more important." However, when we look at nature we find that many things that appear to be simple which are actually rich in their complexity. Zero, because of its lowest status on the scale of integers, has often been brushed off as "nothing more than zero." But as we will see is true of all numerals, zero is woven into the fabric of the universe. The concept of zero is an archetype common to all humans. There is a much deeper significance to zero than simply a numerical tag we use in measuring (or not measuring) our physical universe. Many aspects of zero that are common to all of us are beyond the realm of physical objects, spaces, and times. These extended aspects of zero belong to the realms of our rational (conscious) minds, our subconscious minds, and our spirits. The information, instruction, and training which we provide seeks to inform others about these levels of our non-physical selves, as well as to apply TOL technology to the problems of our physical world.

We suggest that a continuous re-examination of where we are in our lives with respect to some "zero point" can yield information and answers on how to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. There is a very good reason behind why we should constantly re-evaluate our position with respect to zero. The reason involves how our human existence is limited in our ability to truly and wholly understand the concept of zero. At a personal level, imagining the "real essence" of zero is equivalent to considering how the self, combined with all other things in our physical universe, results in complete annihilation, or zero.

These may seem like lofty or whimsical things to ponder; however, there is useful information in the consideration of the deeper meanings of our integral archetypes, with zero being the source of them all. In the material that follows we will try to approach an understanding of zero from many different paths. Our goal is to correlate various realms of existing knowledge and theories by tying them all back to what many have termed a Zero Point Field (ZPF), or a common void from which our entire universe sprang. In accordance with these principles, our creative efforts here at Tree-O-Life.org are focused on attempting to help each of us, as individuals, understand the true meanings of zero in our individual physical, conscious, psychological, and spiritual realms of existence.

Classic Definitions of Zero Focus on "Absence of Quantity or Quality".
This type of focus tends to imply "zero something", in other words, there is some thing or some quality which is absent. For example, if someone were to approach you and state that "there are zero in your backyard", you might either think them mad, or inexperienced at communicating in the English language. However, once the object of the reference to zero is added to this sentence, the message of the communication becomes clear: "There are no (zero) dogs in your backyard." Clearly, the communicator is referring to the absence of a canine creature. However, just because one particular object or quality is absent does not mean all objects or qualities are absent! Thus, while there may be no dogs in the backyard, there just may be a cat or two, or perhaps a lawn chair, or maybe even a tree. So the challenge in understanding the deeper meaning of zero is found by questioning "what is absolute zero?" We encourage you to begin to consider zero as a total absence of ALL quantities and ALL qualities. Total zero. Totality of Nothingness. No people, no animals, no countries, no moon, no planets, no galaxies, no NOTHING. Yes, it boggles the mind to try and grasp "nothing" at such an absolute level. But this is where the mysteries of universal creation lie. Thankfully, we have many different examples through which we can approach this understanding.

Absence of Anything Implies Absolute Potential to Create that Anything.
Above, we have referred to our natural human tendency to associate zero with a measurement of something, so let's make use of this tendency to help us understand the kinds of things "absolute zero" may imply. Continuing with the analogy where no dogs are in the backyard, there are two distinct ways we can think about this situation:

1) The way things currently are, in present space & time.
(The "absolute zero" measure of dogs in the backyard right now.)

2) The way things may have been (past), or might become (future).
(The "total dog potential" of the backyard across all time periods.)

Many of us tend to associate our understanding and perspective of zero with the first of these two considerations; namely, the lack or absence of something in our current time of here-and-now. This is perfectly natural since, as physical beings, we live our lives and perceive objects and events over distinct periods of time. We are beings that live in the current moment, but can think outside the boundaries of the current moment. We base our perceptions of reality on the here-and-now, for this is the time in which our physical senses operate. The things that our senses tell us about the present state of affairs in our world become the basis for how we interact with our universe. So we see that it can be a very good thing that we tend to favor the "here-and-now" over the consideration of past or future potential. However, if we examine the alternate view of zero as "total potential" (i.e. "what may have been" or "what could become"), we will begin to reveal how zero correlates directly with the fundamental aspects of creation and creative forces which drive our universe. For the sake of furthering everyone's creative efforts, we will focus on the aspect of "total future potential" in the discussion that follows. We will leave the aspects of "total past potential" for some of our more detailed publications and seminars.

Creation of Anything Arises from Consideration of Its Potential.
If we are to consider the "what may become in the future" aspect of potential, we are considering the realm of creation through evolution. As physical beings living out our daily lives, we are constantly performing acts of creation. Truly, the process of creation is the single common thread that binds all life forms together. Our species evolves forward into time through the physical act of pro-creation, and we, as individual members of our species and societies, create physical objects and situations around us as we carry out our lives. All living creatures are here to accomplish certain, specific acts of creation. The "places" that we create from are the voids of total future potential that exist in our present of here-and-now. We observe a present need, and we seek to fill that need. Inventors create new products and processes because there is a void. Something that could exist does not exist. This total void of existence inspires the inventor to create, and thereby satisfy (fill) that void of total potential. In short, we point out that the creator of anything whatsoever could be considered "inspired by zero" through their recognition of a state of lacking or absence.

The Cycles of Creation & Destruction Describe Zero as a Force for Universal Change.
The creative process can be either extremely orderly or utterly chaotic. When creation is orderly, and focused on the attainment of some end result, we say that it is progressive. The chaotic side of creation is what we commonly call destruction, which most would classify as being regressive. The simple fact is that the individual concepts of creation and destruction are nothing more than opposing points in the endless cycle of a larger continuum. We call that larger continuum the circle of life, or the cycle of existence. The symbol of the tree is a powerful one for conveying the continuous cycle of existence. Trees bloom in the spring, mature through the summer, yield their fruit in the fall, and hibernate though the winter. In the spring the entire creative cycle begins anew. Based on this example, we see how it is fair to associate the cyclic nature of universal change with the mathematical aspect called zero. The various different descriptions and correlations presented thus far will begin to gel in our quest to understand the deeper, archetypal aspects of zero. We begin to understand how the number zero is associated to the concept of a void (a total absence, and therefore total potential). The form of a circle, which delineates the boundary of this void, symbolizes the void itself. The use of the circle is symbolic of the endless cycles of creation, destruction, and universal change that emanate from the void.

Could Zero be the Number of Our Ultimate Creator?
Once we begin to consider the forces of creation, destruction, and universal change, a discussion of an ultimate creative Being is usually not far behind. Some folks may refer to this ultimate creative Being as "God". Certainly, the concept of our creator being aligned with the number zero is not a new proposition. There are many spiritual and religious belief systems, past and present, who link their concept of God ("the Creator") to the boundless nature of the number zero. The nature of God is often described as "pure potentiality", or "formless and void." In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses "Where I am there is no thing." Therefore, if all creation emerges from a void, as so many others and we have suggested, then it is reasonable to associate the totality of the void (0) to the creative force that brings creations out of its emptiness.

Might Some of this Discussion Relate to the Big Bang Theory?
Many folks with scientific backgrounds, among others, would have no problem directly translating the above discussions of zero and creation into a discussion of the Big Bang Theory (BBT) of the universe. Indeed all of these concepts are interrelated, as the BBT proposes a time in our universe where everything existed in a single point. Prior to the appearance of this singular point, a reasonable person would extrapolate zero, or a void out of which the point emerged. However, there are not too many scientists who are willing to make that extrapolation to a Zero Point Field (ZPF), simply because they cannot explain (or prove) the transformation from no thing (zero) to some thing (one). This avoidance of accepting a void prior to the occurrence of the Big Bang can prevent many scientists and technical folk from seeing the value of "faith", or more simply "unconditional belief." Such a reliance on the rigors of science and formal proof manifest themselves as the perceived "separation and distinction" between topics of Science and topics of Religion (Spirituality). As we discuss in Words About the Word: Proof, total rigidity in demanding proof for everything is just as unbalanced as someone who believes anything without so much as a shred of evidence. Neither of these extreme positions furthers understanding of how Science & Spirituality work together for the purposes of creation.

Mathematical Definitions of Circles Describe Aspects of the ZPF.
For a moment, let's turn our focus away from the more esoteric (spiritual) aspects of zero. Let's begin to examine how some of the characterizations of zero, based on our geometry and mathematics of circles, describe the total creative potential of the Zero Point Field (ZPF). The most common mathematical concept which scientists attribute to the circle is that of the quantity known as Pi. Pi is a universal aspect of ALL circles, which relates the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, as shown at right. The implication of Pi is that the concept of the circle is scaleable to all possible resolutions. It matters not how large or small a circle is, Pi describes all circles with equal precision. By virtue of our previous discussions about circles and creation, this tells us that Pi plays a major role in the cycles of creation that manifest in our universe.

A Primary Aspect of p (Pi) is its Endless Precision of Resolution.
When we try to express Pi in decimal numerical form, it takes on the status of an endlessly repeating number. Computing Pi to the largest number of decimal places has become somewhat of a computational game to some folks involved in computing. The overriding message is that, in its decimal form, Pi is infinite, just like the infinite nature of the void from which all creation emerges. The concept of the circle, therefore, represents a means to understand Pi, without having to express it with exacting decimal precision. Many people will often approximate Pi by dividing the integer 22 by the integer 7 (~3.142857). This approximation is another unique aspect of Pi which has a deeper relationship to the mysteries of our universe that we will explore at length in other informative offerings; however, suffice it to say that (22 7) is not precisely accurate in assigning a value to Pi (3.14159.). Note the difference that occurs after only three decimal places in these approximations of Pi. Indeed, the precise decimal value of Pi can never be known because it is repeating, or as some choose to refer to it: "Pi is an irrational number."

Another Mathematical Expression of the Circle is the Sine Wave.
The form of a repeating, sinusoidal wave arises from the mathematical discipline we call trigonometry. Trigonometry is an entire branch of mathematics that is derived from the continuous cyclic nature of the circle. This particular discipline of mathematics describes circles (i.e. the ZPF) in terms of endlessly repeating waves, or cycles, which we have then related to the continuous cycles inherent to all creation. This tells us that the sine wave is a model for understanding continuous creation. The primary correlating factor between the circle of zero and the sine wave relates to the concept of wave frequency. Measures of frequency are pervasive in the everyday world of science and technology. Whenever we specify a frequency, we are actually specifying how quickly we can perform (update) a continuous, closed-loop task or function. A popular measure of frequency in computer technology is the frequency at which microprocessor chips execute their instruction cycles. Processors of today advertise in the hundreds of Megahertz processing frequencies. There is little doubt that this will lead to processors that will operate in the Gigahertz to Terahertz frequency ranges at some time in the future.

Zero is a Primary Focus of All our Sciences.
Science deals with measurements made by devices (instruments). These instruments specifically operate within the dimensions of Mass, Time, and Space, just as our human bodies do. Scientists collect data with instruments so they can analyze it and develop theories about the objects and events that the data represents. The goal of the analysis is to be able to develop the conclusions of the analysis into a model of the observed objects and events. Scientists and engineers will often build simulations to study the object/event. This leads to new cycles of data analysis and modification of the model to better describe the object/event. So here we see what is called the DESIGN (or DEVELOPMENT) CYCLE, and yes, it is circular. Any "good" design engineer will always admit that their design can always be made better, and therefore, the design cycle should be endless. In life, we all tend to seek betterment of ourselves. Enlightened folk will pursue continual personal improvement. This tendency to operate in closed cycles is that aspect of zero that is imbedded within our human architecture. This is the aspect of zero that we seek to install within our "artificial" creations when we consider the goals of "artificial intelligence." A machine or system that continuously seeks to improve itself is much more human than one that never learns, and never improves. For those systems which cannot improve themselves ("dumb systems"), it is our duty as their creator to continually improve them. We, the creator, must endeavor to make our creations safer, more efficient, more user-friendly, etc. There is an analogy to parenting that most people can infer from this discussion. Just as we are responsible for the welfare of any children we bring into the world, we must also be responsible for the welfare of the "technological children" which we bring into this world. To act ethically, we should seek to keep the Circle of Development unbroken, both for ourselves, and for our "offspring."

However, the circular nature of the design and development cycle is not the only way in which science focuses on Zero. For example, let's examine the process of analysis, which is part of the design cycle itself. A system design analyst uses frequency analysis tools to understand the FREQUENCY RESPONSE of any given system (mechanical, electrical, thermal, chemical....what have you). These frequency analysis tools are based upon the cyclic regularity offered by the mathematics of WAVE PHENOMENA, namely the Sine wave of trigonometry. Frequency response, wave phenomena, and trigonometry also play a vital role in the process of modeling a system, which is the next step beyond analysis in the development cycle.

So the circle we call Zero is deeply ingrained in the tools and fabric of Science. If you visit the Tree-O-Life.org Spirit Pages, you can also explore how Zero is a central focus of our human spiritual and religious establishments. Once again we will point out that many people before us have called for a "fusion of Science and Religion." Tree-O-Life.org believes that consideration of how both disciplines are governed by Zero (and the numbers which follow) can lead to such a balanced fusion. This can only come about through a cross-pollination of ideas and methodologies between these two schools of thought, and this is another element of our teachings within this organization. As we contemplate the power of Zero in every aspect of our physical (and non-physical) lives, we need to do so with a balanced set of tools. The disciplines of Science and Spirituality have such tools, and they complement each other quite well, as we will all come to discover in our study of the TOL.

How the Equation 0=1 Defines the Spark of Creation.
All of the discussion above has tried to provide explanations of how important it is to know and understand that Zero rules our universe. But now we wish to begin to understand the process by which a void gives rise to some sort of creation. To understand this is to know the "secret" of the creative process itself. Above, we have discussed how Zero, and its symbol in the circle, are generic archetypes which apply to all things which create. Zero is the "source archetype" of creation. When we view the process of creation as a "flow from source to sink", we would claim that if Zero (0) is the "source", then One (1) must be the "sink." The flow of creation proceeds from nothing-ness to something-ness. Just as Zero is an archetype of many things in our universe, so also is One an archetype with its own deep meanings and correlation to universal experience. Therefore, to help understand the flow of creation we can create a "compound archetype." We will represent this compound archetype as the equation "0 = 1". Now this equation may seem to be madness to many people, but have patience and please read on. We will come to understand this equation as representing the creative process, as showing the way from an absence of quantity or quality, to a presence of that quantity or quality.

A Thought Experiment: Visualizing How 0=1 Manifests our Point Of View.
On the subsequent web pages that discuss the archetypes associated with the number One (1), we will come to understand the importance of the singular Point Of View (POV) to the integral human experience. Our human POV is the end result of a creative process that was executed by some Being in the Void of Zero. This Being "pushed" the POV out of the Void, and in doing so, created us! As we move forward we must utilize our POV as a tool to understand the significance of "0 = 1". With the help of the POV and the Big Bang Theory (BBT), we will tell a story that will help us understand (and believe) that "0 = 1" is a completely valid statement of fact.

For the moment, let us suspend our scientific need for proof, and accept the belief that the BBT is truth. In other words, let us think about how the universe "looked" right before the Big Bang. In our Mind's Eye, we travel back to a time when ALL physical objects, spaces, and times in our universe were condensed into a single point. As we consider this singular, primordial point, we come to understand the most wonderful benefit of having our individual POV: The fact that our Creator has given us the freedom to choose whichever POV we wish to experience. In other words, we can place our individual POV anywhere (and "any-what" and "any-when") we wish to place it. Our ability to place our POV allows us to experience life in our universe from a great many vantage points. We are often encouraged to "see it from the other guy's POV"? Armed with this knowledge that our POV is mobile and transferable, let's reconsider the pre-Big Bang universe we have dredged-up in our minds. Since our POV is not solidly attached to the physical universe (it lives within our Mind's Eye), we may choose to place our POV anywhere we want with respect to the pre-BBT universe. It turns out there are two different POVs we may adopt.

The diagrams shown here exhibit the two different, distinct, and diametrically opposed places where we can place our POV (symbolized in these diagrams as the staring eye, or "I"). If we choose to experience the primordial universe from the POV on the point itself ("a"), what does the staring eye observe? The answer is that it observes nothing (0), because the POV is ON the point, and that point contains ALL matter and places in the universe. Therefore, the POV observes a total and absolute lack of quantity and quality with respect to itself. Now let's take up the alternate POV shown in "b". What does the staring eye perceive from this position? The answer is that it observes ONE point, and that one point contains ALL things in the universe, which is about to be born when the point divides at the moment of the Big Bang.

Let's examine what we have done with this thought experiment. We have defined two different states (or possibilities) without actually changing the entirety of the physical situation. Since all things physical are bound within the primordial point, the physical situation shown in both "a" and "b" are identical. The ONLY element that causes these two states to appear different from one another is our FREE WILL of where we place our POV. If we choose to perceive from the point itself, we perceive the universe as Zero. If we choose to perceive from off of the point, we perceive the universe as One. It's the same universe, but with two different perceptions of that universe. If you can accept these two possibilities of perception, than you should have no problem accepting the equation 0 = 1. However, in case you still do have a problem with 0 = 1, let's discuss the equation from a firmer ground of science and engineering.

The Energy Equation tells us that Zero Equals One.
There is an equation known to all scientists and engineers that can take on many forms, in many different scientific disciplines. However, the common theme of this equation in all of its applications is that it describes energy. We call it the Energy Equation. This equation results from theories of energy balance in the universe which say that "energy is never created nor destroyed, it only changes in form." The basic form of the Energy Equation from the discipline of mechanical engineering accounts for the potential and kinetic energy of some object at two distinct points in time. The following diagram shows two distinct times in the life of a ball, and relates the Energy Equation which balances those two points in time.

The Energy Equation, in this form, shows the balance between "before" and "after" energy conditions of the ball. The equation tells us that the total energy at time (1) is equal to the total energy at time (2). Of course, algebra allows us to transpose and collect terms across the equal sign, and if we collect all energy terms on one side of the equal sign, we would get :

0 = (P2 - P1) + (K2 - K1)
which can be further simplified to:

0 = D P + D K
(Change in Potential plus Change in Kinetic Energy) or even further simplified as:

0 = D E
(Change in Total Energy). And now let us assign a measure of UNITY to whatever energy change we are contemplating in our universe, and this would then give us:

0 = 1
Using the equations and methods of science, we have just "proven" that 0=1.
Do you believe (have faith) in it yet?

ENOUGH on Energy! Isn't it Almost Time to Eat!!???
If you have made it to the end of this page, and are still following along, you are doing great. But all this talk of creation and energy has REALLY made me hungry! Before we rush off to learn about the number One, let's practice a little of what we have learned here about creation and destruction being the Circle of Life. Let's take the time to actually LIVE THROUGH AND EXPERIENCE an entire cycle of creation and destruction. Of course, we do it every day whenever we create a meal and then eat it! So here is a recipe for creating Grilled Chicken a la Modena that I hope you enjoy destroying as much as I do! J

The Lesson of 0=1.
The equation 0=1 tells us something very important about our physical perceptions of our universe. Our choice of POV determines whether we see something as "0" or "1"... as one thing, or its opposite. Anything you perceive could actually be (and is!) the exact opposite of your perception when you change your POV. The lesson of 0=1 is then "be extremely careful of how you select your POV." Before you classify anything as "absolutely good" or "absolutely bad", you may wish to consider all POVs. Before you pronounce any single POV as your judgement on all things and all people, it would be good to consider the exact opposite of that POV. This focus on how we select our POVs in life provides a natural transition to our discussion of what the POV (=1) is all about.

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