Atman and Anatman

Whether there is nothing has caused considerable debate.  If you take something, and keep dividing it by half, you will never have nothing.  You cannot divide anything into zero parts.  Can zero exist?  The existence of negative quantities has also caused debate: If you have 10 apples, and owe 20 apples, you pay the 10 apples you have and do not have negative 10 apples: you have no apples.  But wait! What is this "zero" apples?

Numbers are themselves constructs used to describe quantities.  Digital numbers are a recent mathematical development, and while they permit better understanding of real quantities, they also require construction of concepts which are imaginary.

Do two opposites combined create a whole quantity?  If I owe you an apple, and you owe me an apple, we each have one apple: -1 x -1 = 1.  But if you lack an apple and I have an apple, and we share to combine these quantities, we each have a half apple: (0+1)/2 = 0.50 - is this a whole?  Only if having and not having are opposites, only if digital numbers are integral, which logically they are not.  If you owe an apple and I have an apple, and we combine them by me paying your debt, we both have no apples: -1 + 1 = 0.  It would seem they make nothing at all.  Quantities are constructions: if all is nothing, and nothing exists, then it can be said, opposites create whole quantities.  There are no opposites except when we define them to exist: who is to say there are opposites in having and not having, debting and crediting, doing and not doing, black and white, right and wrong?  Who is to say there are an infinite quantity of integral numbers?

There has been considerable debate on the existence of atman, or the validity of anatman.  The fundamental flaw in proponents of both systems of logic is that they are exclusive, instead of conditional.  The laws of Newtonian physics break down at the atomistic level, but this does not make them invalid.  The mathematical method of calculus reveals illogicalities present in algebra, but that does not make algebraic calculation any more accurate than the arithmetic that algebra demonstrates is illogical.

The nature of logic is that it is conditional.  In its most basic sense, it is a question of "If, then?" When the premise of conditional reaction is assumed simultaneous to the co-dependent co-arising nature of reality, it must be accepted that no single system of digital numerical logic can describe the totality of reality.  Logic is presently a means of discovering reality - not defining it.

People did not always use numbers.  Tallys (ex. IIIIIIIII = 9) led to numerals (ex. IX = 9), numerals led to numbers (9/1 = 9), then the numbers became digital (9.0).  We are on the cusp of a new understanding of reality.  And just as digital numbers permitted the Buddha Gotama to define negatory logic to permit conditional reasoning, the new system of quantification will likely reveal a more total understanding of reality and presently incomprehensible means of reasoning.