Thinking About Nothing (Brain Teaser)

Last week I published a post in which I quoted Dorothy Sayers’ book The Mind of the Maker and I plan to do so again today! Whereas last week’s post concerned the activity of God in the creation/existence of Evil, this post is simply a fun brain teaser that is sure to cause a few furrowed brows from the readership!

If we propose of ourselves to “think about nothing,” we find we have engaged in a very difficult exercise. It does not seem to be quite the same as “not thinking about anything.” “Nothing” seems to remain nothing only as long as we refrain from thinking about it; any active thought is apt to turn it into a “sort of a something”—it acquires, in fact, precisely that vague and disquieting sort of reality that we are accustomed to associate with the minus signs in algebra. (pg. 98)

Like I said furrowed brows huh?! It truly is a pretty astounding thought activity. We can only truly perceive of “nothingness” when we aren’t really thinking about it. But, like Sayers says, as soon as we really try to think or talk about “nothing” we find that it eludes us. For in thinking or talking about “nothing” we are in fact addressing something!

Food for thought (in the truest sense of the phrase).



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