28 November 2015

May the Aught be with you

Reflecting on some of the last points in my previous essay, “A Universal Creed”, I started trying to think of a single word concept that would encompass my description of Something Beyond, which is more or less summed up in the next two paragraphs. 

Spacetime and energy are the fundamental building blocks of the Universe.  The Universe is formed of a single matrix called spacetime.  Everything in the Universe that is not of the matrix of spacetime is composed of energy.

If there is Something that was before all Time, is now, and will be even after the end of Time, with Time here being defined as the lifespan of the current Universe, it is beyond personhood, beyond being, even beyond effability.

After a week or so of research, I came across a word rarely used and often misused that fit my needs exactly.

* * * * *

The English word ‘aught’, primarily means “something”, but can also anything, everything, or all.  Many mistakenly use it for “zero”, clearly confusing it with ‘naught’.

Modern English ‘aught’ descends from the Old English ‘awiht’.  Awiht is a compound of the Old English words ‘a’ (ever, always) and ‘wiht’ (something, person, creature, being, anything).  The Proto-Indo-European predecessor of ‘a’ was ‘aiw’, meaning both vitality or life-force and always or eternity.  Its modern descendant is ‘aye’ (a long time, forever).  The Proto-Indo-European predecessor of ‘wiht’ was ‘wekti’, meaning cause, essence, creature, being, person, or thing.  Its modern descendant is ‘wight’ (living creature, human, wraith).

(‘Naught’, the word with which ‘aught’ is too often confused, descends from Old English ‘nawiht’, literally “no-thing”, derived from Proto-Indo-European ‘ne’ + ‘wiht’.)

So, here we have a word that basically means “eternal something”, and it’s even one syllable, and its carries connotations of being a life-force.  Let’s plug that into some of my descriptions from that previous essay and see what it looks like.

* * * * *

The Aught has no name.  It has no need of a name, for there is nothing else Other from which to distinguish itself.

The Aught permeates and animates all that is throughout the Universe and beyond.  It is the Source of all that is, the Force driving its emanation, and the Way guiding the flow of its manifestation.

The Aught was before all Time, is now, and will remain even after the end of Time.  It is both perpetual and ever-changing, transcendent yet immanent, metacosmic yet omnipresent, eternal yet omnitemporal, everything and nothing.

The Aught is One.  It is neither male nor female.  It neither takes sides nor has sides.  From it emanate both light and dark, good and evil, order and chaos, yin and yang, life and death, integrity and entropy, creation and destruction.

The Aught produces yet claims no possession; it redeems yet requires no gratitude; it sustains yet exercises no authority.  It needs no submission, obedience, penitence, worship, adoration, praise, prayer, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, benediction, love, or even respect.  It just is. 

The Aught doesn’t need us, nor anything from us.  No one can use the Aught against any other being on Earth—or in the Universe—because the concerns of individual beings compared to a Universe that is 213 duovigintillion cubic kilometers by 13.8 billion years are rather ephemeral. 

So don’t worry.  Try to be happy.  Love each other person as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want them to do to you.  That is all you need.

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