“There can’t be no nothing.” That’s a quote from my dad, who was 9 years old, in response to his Sunday school teacher’s explanation of where God came from. She had said that God came from before time, when there was nothing.
But what exactly is nothing? We say, “Nothing,” when someone asks us what’s wrong and we’d rather keep our thoughts to ourselves. We look through an immense amount of what appears to be “nothing” to see the sky and the clouds and the stars. We view a surfer riding waves in the distance, our eyesight is passing through particles so small that we fail to notice the air is full of electrons and neutrons and dust.
Scientists can’t explain everything about the concept of nothing, but at least they know something about nothing. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Einstein was the “first person to realize that empty space is not nothing.”
In 1905, he proved the existence of atoms in what appeared as empty space, and theorized that more space can come into existence because space contains its own energy, called “dark energy,” which is made up of smaller particles than atoms.
Current cutting-edge theories suggest that this dark energy comprises most of the known universe, while the matter we can actually measure with our instruments, or normal matter such as cars and trees, accounts for only five percent of all that is.
Therefore, the nothing we see can be more important than the things we do see. The very air we breathe, although invisible, contains oxygen crucial to our survival. We don’t need to see what we breath in to know it is real — to know that, with each inhale, we fill our lungs with a life-giving force.
Maybe we should place as much faith in our inner space, where knowing dwells, when it comes to the origin of the universe, of the idea of time and space, and how everyone and everything affects the whole — how we all feel the effects of a contaminated ocean and negative thoughts that spread through the atmosphere faster than a hurricane can make it across the Atlantic.
Perhaps our minds can expand like the dark energy alluded to by Einstein, and create new possibilities, or, at least, expand and create the space for fresh thinking.
Maybe we would all benefit from allowing our minds to drift with the clouds of possibilities, like a child marvels as a helium-filled balloon rises toward the sea of blue above, and envision our world — lovely and loving — the way we want it to be, and believe the thoughts we can’t see are powerful enough to make it so.
So, could God have come from nothing? Depends on your definition of nothing. If the nothing we are referring to is full of energy we have yet to discover, then, yes. My father was correct. There can’t ever be no nothing. Furthermore, nothing may be all there is and ever can be, a galaxy of endless possibilities. Enjoy filling your nothing with all the something you desire.
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County, Ohio, author of “Rain No Evil” and host of Life Speaks on AIR radio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.