Everything is nothing, with a twist.

Nothing + Twist = Everything

-Bhavesh Sherma

A little while back, I was on my usual run from work to home on a particularly tiring day. Just as I was thinking that some comfort food could help me out, I spotted the franchised store of my favourite brand of homemade cookies. Now that I think of it, these cookies taste no different than the grocery store brands; but for some reason they have always calmed my nerves. Maybe their chocolate fillings have opium, maybe it is the fancy packaging, or maybe it is the fact that two of those darn cookies cost about $9. It still somehow makes me feel nice. Damn you, capitalists!

As I stood at the counter, still deciding what cookie I wanted, I heard the strutting of high heels behind me. A woman, too scantily dressed for the weather, walked in front of me and told the man behind the counter that she wanted cookies. For some reason, I did not like her at the first look. It was probably because she did not remove her Prada sunglasses even though we were indoors. I was soon about to get a more concrete reason for not having liked her.”What cookies would you like, miss?” asked the man.

“I want everything!” said she. The man whipped out one of those fancy packets and gently started putting one of each of the seventeen mass produced varieties of homemade cookies they had. “Oh no no no. I want, like, EVERYTHING.” The man, too, noticed her Prada sunglasses, and without questioning much packed nearly twenty-five pounds of cookies for the lady, leaving none for me. Damn you, capitalists!

But, don’t worry. This is not nearly a post about capitalism, or cookies, or even scantily clothed women who wear Prada sunglasses indoors. This post is, kind of, about everything.

~ Kurt Vonnegut

Sure, if that twist is a parallel universe where completely opposite things happen and Adam Sandler actually makes funny movies

But what is everything? Is it only the sum total of all the physical matter around us. (The summation of which we don’t actually, yet, know). Or is it the summation of all things inside the minds of all of the creatures of the universe.  (The summation of which, also, we don’t know). And if there is so much ambiguity as to what the term actually means, how is it that we are able to talk about this idea so freely?

World renowned theoretical physicist, Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper would tell you that physics is the study of everything.

People say love is a strong word, don’t just throw is around, yet “everything” is thrown like clothes from that drawer your ex had simply claimed in your apartment.

Do you remember your dark teen years when EVERYTHING was… dark?

So, what now…?

Let’s consult this :

Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate
Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate
Om shaantih shaantih shaantih

This Sanskrit quote from the Upanishads seems more like a tongue twister than anything. Can you see how many words there are starting with ‘P’ in that thing?  Wait for it, the translation is even better.

That is complete, This is complete, From the completeness comes the completeness.
If completeness is taken away from completeness, only completeness remains.

Wait, chill, I got this.

One of the many things* this shloka (quote) speaks about, in a way helps us make sense of what we were wondering before. It says that there is a perceived knowledge of everything (which is complete), and there is an actual knowledge of everything (which is also complete). The former is a subset of the latter, and if one disregards this subset, they will only be looking at that actual, complete ‘everything’.

The inside universe and the outside universe may be complete, yet for our human pea-brains they are immeasurable. That is why, to make things easier we build categories and define ‘everything’ about them. What we consider our ‘everything’ is dependent on how we want our perceived universes to be sized. This will still be complete, in itself.

Nothing, may well be everything everything, if that’s how big you want your perceived universe to be. And on second thought, Adam Sandler movies are not that bad either.

That evening, when the woman walked out with ALL of the cookies in her perceived universe, I had to make do with a munchkin instead. I’m still kind of salty about that, though.

– Bhavesh Sherma

* That shloka holds one too many secrets. They will be explored in later posts.

Just in case you’re feeling a little low – This is quite AWESOME!!!


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