On the 0=2 formula

by Tau Aleph

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

These Todd Rundgren lyrics provide a great starting point for a discussion of the 0=2 formula:

A handful of nothing is all that I need
It contains plus and minus everything
The odd combinations are what make up
The world that you see before you

In one hand I hold what people call good
The rest I hold in the other
But these are just symbols to the perfected mind
Of which we are but mere reflections

Like waves on still water the forms reappear
Quickly erasing the ones before
But forms like these are born only to die
But the life in them lives forever

One meaning of the 0=2 formula is that everything is made of Nothing or manifests spontaneously from Nuit. In a vacuum, pairs of particles, matter and anti-matter, are continuously being created out of nothing only to come together again in annihilation. As Aleister Crowley elaborated on the 0=2 formula, 0=(+1) + (-1). Thus “a hand full of nothing” and “plus and minus everything.”

Of course, we all know that matter is not really composed of particles, but rather of waves that sometimes appear to be particles. Thus, form manifests in its positive and negative phases, figure and ground, “like waves on still waters.”

Finally, all is impermanent as described most accurately in Buddhism.

One is also reminded of the words of Bahá’u’lláh:

The story is told of a mystic knower (ma’arif), who went on a journey with a learned grammarian as his companion. They came to the shore of the Sea of Grandeur. The knower straightway flung himself into the waves, but the grammarian stood lost in his reasonings, which were as words that are written on water. The knower called out to him, “Why dost thou not follow?” The grammarian answered, “O Brother, I dare not advance. I must needs go back again.” Then the knower cried, “Forget what thou didst read in the books of Sibavayh and Qawlavayh, of Ibn-i-Hajib and Ibn-i-Malik, and cross the water.” The death of self is needed here, not rhetoric: “Be nothing then, and walk upon the waves” (51-52).

There are quite a few metaphors here that it can be useful to contemplate. Light consists of waves in space, writing consists of waves on paper, meaning of (thought) waves in mind, and all arise from the manifestation of opposites and ultimately dissolve back into nought.

Love is the law, love under will.

See also

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