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By Mai-Thi Ho December 9, 2021

Zero: to Infinity and Back Again

1. The Field

All begins from Zero

What contains everything begins from nothing

From Zero were light and darkness engendered

One chases after the other hoping to contain it

From Zero were chaos and order created

They battle one another to infinity

From Zero were life and death born

Heads and tails they follow each other

On the verge of destruction, creation follows

Never does one element conquer another

The endless wrestle, eternal chase


From the space of Life comes all animals and insects, plants and flowers

Along with Life comes Death

A game of hide and seek

Anti-animals pursue animals

A fleeting dark shadow in thin air

Slowly creeps into breathing beings

Waiting to clutch the beam of light


Zero gazes from outside and above all

At the never-ending game


As life multiplies itself, Zero keenly watches

Lions in the savanna, bathed in sunlight, drenched in blood

Crocodiles in the mud, patient eyes piercing curtains of light

Ants along wooden branches, silent and enduring

The complexity grows as creatures intersect

Sucking in air and burning sunlight

Flowing in water and pounding earth

More intersections Zero awaits



11. Birth and Death

In a far-away valley energy grows dense

A creature infusing elements

Absorbing all that surrounds it and groping for more

A creature is in its creation

Zero watches with eyes of interest

Human, it calls out

Human, Zero whispers, what will you do with my world?

Out of the burning sphere stand three creatures

Who call themselves Hya, Hein, and Ori


Hya, Hein and Ori spend their days strolling on grassland

Picking fruits and catching fishes

When days go dim, they find cozy shelter and sleep

When rains fall, they hum and dance soaked


One day Hein falls into eternal sleep

When breath becomes constant

The fingers of death prevail

Darkness crouches over Hya and Ori

The tip toe of death echoes in minds


Gone are the days of carefree strolling

Hya falls into despair

“We will die too!” she cries

Ori stands by her side.

“No, we will survive.

Light and darkness battle each other.

To survive we consume both life and death, chaos and order.

Containing opposites, harboring balance, we will live on.”



111. The Quest

And so begin Hya and Ori on the quest

To consume earth and air, water and fire, metal and grass

To breathe the night and roam the days

To head on adventures and suffer proudly

To harbor violence, mercy, and kindness

To overflow with love and be ravished by hatred

To take lives and bring out children…


Soon, Hya’s shadow catches up, then Ori’s too

Holding onto the legacy, their children

Grope for life

Build structures out of nature

Yet again, they fail and the shadow takes hold of their life

Relentless their children’s children try and try


They build a civilization, a society

As a species, humans climb to the top

Eyeing the animals down the ladder

As a species, they’ve grown so powerful

They trample on all that had been a burden

In the quest for immortality

Their lifespan doubles and triples

Consuming and housing opposite elements

One day that will be enough, they hope

To wrench free of the struggle, to escape the chase


But again and again the shadows catch up

Swallowed in shadows, one human after another

And again and again they rise up

To stay on the trail to the ultimate destination


In the end the ultimate rule prevails

Everything shall return to zero

From outside, Zero watches and grins

How the complexity blossoms

How the intensity shines

Wonderful world.


Photograph, Night Sky above the city, by Assandruuh, distributed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

About the author

Mai-Thi Ho is a 1st year student in Pure & Applies Sciences

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    Yiming Qi

    January 21, 2022

    this paragraph reminds me of a Chinese traditional saying by Laozi : ‘ the Dao begets one, one begets two, two begets three, three begets all things.’  the Dao is saying a ultimate regular and a law depicting the entire world, or a way( the directly translation of Dao to English is the way) throughout everything. It seems to express a infinity as a singularity where emerges everything, and it appears to be against author’s theory: Everything form the Zero. Nevertheless, the singularity( the Dao or The zero) is inexpressible and indescribable before everything is. Once everything is, to born things are. From perspective of human, before the singularity makes everything and we therefore understand the world or the specific things, we can not feel anything wether it is everything or nothing, infinity or ash. what everything emerges is like to draw a wisp from a ball of yarn, And a wisp twines it self to a ball of yarn, again and again.Everything‘s origin and end are between a inhale and a sigh.

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