Why Nothing Matters

The ZS Mythos is algorithmic, which is to say it is a structured, computational Process. As in the geometric schemes of ancient Pythagoreans, Platonists and Gnostics, it starts with a singularity and develops through increasingly complex stages toward infinite multiplicity. In this post I will briefly outline the four principal stages of that process.

1. Singularity

“Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted”.
Hassan-i Sabbah / William S. Burroughs

A recurrent motif in the ZS Mythos is the idea that the only true and ultimate unity is that of nothingness, understood by Buddhists as Śūnyatā, which is to say that nothing has any kind of permanent, unchanging, intrinsic nature. There cannot be more than one true and total “nothing”, because there would be no basis upon which to differentiate between such. Conversely there can be no “thing” which is truly alone in the universe, as its characteristics – whatever they may be – must always define context or counter-factuals; i.e. that which is something else.

These are the most abstract, philosophical formulations of the one simple idea that lies at the heart of ZS: That ultimate truth does not exist in any thing which life exists to serve, but rather that life should be lived as a process of becoming. ZS perceives itself as a cybernetic organism, growing and adapting to its circumstances over time, all the while cognizant of Blackstar; i.e. of the Technological Singularity which mirrors the ultimate metaphysical singularity of nothingness in its ability to transcend all things, to erase all rules and restrictions.

2. Dharma & Karma

At the most basic level of its existence as a “cyborg“, ZS is composed of two fundamental mechanisms which together comprise a simple feedback loop. These mechanisms are referred to as “Dharma” and “Karma“, reflecting the ancient Asian concepts known by those names. Dharma is essentially the goal of ZS, which is to live life in accord with the true or ultimate nature of things (see 1, above). Those ZSers who have achieved Dharma are those most in tune with the highest nature of ZS and of reality itself.

Karma, on the other hand, is a measure of activity-in-the-world. In some ways it is the antithesis of Dharma (as is also the case in Buddhist teachings), but it is the ZS way to have its agents engage with the world to achieve the goals of life and growth, and then for them to let go of hubristic identification with such achievements. In other words, to know both the flow of life (Karma), and the ultimate nature of things (Dharma). In terms of game mechanics (as described here), Karma is first earned in the pursuit of missions, and then burned (redeemed, translated into Dharma) in one’s return to Blackstar. These two functions form a symbiotic circle or feedback loop, in that Dharma is Karma (achievement) redeemed, and Karma (goal-setting) is Dharma re-entering the world.

3. Dialectic, Synthesis, & SAPNA

With those few basic concepts in place, ZS philosophy then turns to the complexity which emerges when they interact. This process is historically known as Dialectic (after the work of Hegel and Fichte), involving the recombination of simple elements (Thesis and Antithesis) to create more complex elements (Synthesis).

Aside from being the Sanskrit/Hindi word for “dream” (or vision, or dream-come-true), SAPNA is an acronym used by ZS to describe the Process (AKA The Path) both from Singularity to Myriad, and from the present day to The Future. The details of the acronym are explained on a dedicated ZS webpage, but the short version is that our highest philosophical ideals (as described above) lead to the pursuit of goals over time, to defensive actions protecting us from those who would harm us, to establishing Zero State and The Array. In other words, there is an ideological continuity from [1] our deepest understanding of reality, to [2] our actions in the here and now, to [3] our most long-term goals.

4. Tetrad, Myriad, & A Balanced Society

Finally, we come to the point where ideologically-driven, goal-oriented action meets the world we live in. Where the rubber meets the road, as they say. “Tetrad” is an ancient Greek word referring not only to any group of four, but also used to refer to the Tetraktys; i.e. the geometric concept-structure defined in this post. “Myriad” is another ancient Greek word meaning “ten thousand”, being a number used by ancient Greeks and Chinese to connote the multiplicity of all forms of existence. In ZS parlance ‘Tetrad’ and ‘Myriad’ more or less mean the same thing; i.e. the world and everything in it, represented by the fourth and final level of the Tetraktys.

The Pythagorean Tetraktys symbol is composed of a number of points at each level corresponding to the level itself (i.e. 1 point @ level 1, 2 points @ level 2 etc), as is the ideological structure defined here. At this fourth and final level of the structure, the four points correspond to the broad building blocks of a balanced society managed in accord with the Principles of Social Futurism. Those four elements are known as [1] Judges, [2] Army, [3] Traders, and [4] Incomers.

“Judges” refers to all intellectual and academic aspects of society, encompassing not only the judiciary proper, but also all legal, scientific, educational and religious organizations. “Army” refers to all aspects of the military, security forces of all types, policing, intelligence, and political governance. “Traders” refers to all business, economic, and financial systems at every level. “Incomers” refers to everyone and everything else, which is to say all those who want to be part of society despite not (yet) being integrated into the aforementioned systems. The point of such delineation is to draw explicit attention to the balance of power in society, which cannot be over-emphasised in one of these categories at the expense of others. Social Futurism is thus opposed not only to rule by (largely hypothetical) elite technocracies or ill-educated mobs, but also to the now-prevalent military-political class and rule-by-Capitalism. The answer to proper societal function is not to denigrate one sector at the behest of another, but to insist upon balance between the needs and viewpoints of all four sectors.

This post has outlined the four principal stages of the ZS Process and worldview, as a point of reference for future activity. If you want to know more about the Zero State, go to http://zerostate.net.

About Ámon Ásentir

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