Emptiness is form and Form is emptiness
"The ancient Greeks believed that matter is composed of indivisible small elements with
certain characteristics, such as the characteristics of earth, water, air, and fire. They called
these elements atoms and they held that atoms were solid and fundamental, like microscopic
billiard balls. Ernest Rutherford invalidated the billiard ball theory by conducting an
experiment, which suggested that atoms have an internal structure. He established that
atoms have a nucleus containing most of its mass and that electrons orbit the nucleus.
Moreover, he established that the nucleus of an atom is only about one ten-thousandth of the
diameter of the atom itself, which means that 99.99% of the atom’s volume consists of empty space
. This is the first manifestation of
emptiness at the subtle level of matter. Not long after
Rutherford’s discovery, physicists found out that the nucleus of an atom likewise has an
internal structure and that the protons and neutrons making up the nucleus are composed of
even smaller particles, which they named quarks after a poem of James Joyce. Interestingly, quarks are hypothesised as geometrical points in
space, which implies that atoms are essentially empty
. This is the second manifestation of emptiness at the subtle level of matter.
The terms “quarks” and “points in space” still suggest something solid, since they can be
imagined as irreducible mass particles. Yet, quantum field theory does away even with this
finer concept of solidity by explaining particles in the terms of field properties. Quantum
electrodynamics (QED) has produced an amazingly successful theory of matter by combining
quantum theory, classical field theory, and relativity. No discrepancies between the
predictions of QED and experimental observation have ever been found. According to QED,
subatomic particles are indistinguishable from fields, whereas fields are basically properties
of space. In this view, a particle is a temporary local densification of a field, which is
conditioned by the properties of the surrounding space. Ergo, matter is not different from space
. This is the third manifestation of emptiness
at the subtle level of matter.
An important class of phenomena in the subatomic world is defined by the various
interactions between particles. In fact, there is no clear distinction between the notions of
phenomena, particles, and interactions, although interactions can be described clearly in
mathematical terms. For example, there are interactions between free electrons by means of
photons that result in an observed repelling force. There are also interactions between the
quarks of a nucleon by means of mesons, interactions between the neighbouring neutrons or
protons, interactions between nucleus and electrons, and interactions between the atoms of
molecules. The phenomena themselves -the nucleon, the nucleus, the atom, the molecule- are
sufficiently described by these interactions, meaning by the respective equations, which
implies that interactions and phenomena are interchangeable terms. Interestingly, the interrelations of quantum physics do not describe actual
existence. Instead they predict the potential for existence
. A manifest particle, such as an electron, cannot be described in terms
of classical mechanics. It exists as a multitude of superposed “scenarios”, of which one or
another manifests only when it is observed, i.e. upon measurement. Therefore, matter does
not inherently exist. It exists only as interrelations of “empty” phenomena whose properties
are determined by observation. This is the fourth manifestation of emptiness at the subtle
level of matter."
Here is a link to the document this is from. I found it to be fascinating, and hope you do too...it's excellent food for thought...particularly if
you're at all familiar with Quantum Physics...
13-9-2013 by SadistNocturne because: Needed a bit of cleanup editing...