1216

Nonentity.

Every quantity is intellectually conceivable as infinitely divisible.

[Amid the vastness of the things among which we live, the existence of nothingness holds the first place; its function extends over all things that have no existence, and its essence, as regards time, lies precisely between the past and the future, and has nothing in the present. This nothingness has the part equal to the whole, and the whole to the part, the divisible to the indivisible; and the product of the sum is the same whether we divide or multiply, and in addition as in subtraction; as is proved by arithmeticians by their tenth figure which represents zero; and its power has not extension among the things of Nature.]

[What is called Nothingness is to be found only in time and in speech. In time it stands between the past and future and has no existence in the present; and thus in speech it is one of the things of which we say: They are not, or they are impossible.]

With regard to time, nothingness lies between the past and the future, and has nothing to do with the present, and as to its nature it is to be classed among things impossible: hence, from what has been said, it has no existence; because where there is nothing there would necessarily be a vacuum.

[Footnote: Compare No. 916.]

Taken from The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci edited by Jean Paul Richter, 1880.

XVIII * XX
. . .
1196,
1197,
1198,
1199,
1200,
1201,
Politics.
1203,
Against Speculators.
1205,
Against alchemists.
1207,
Against friars.
Against writers of epitomes.
On spirits.
1211,
1212,
1213,
1214,
Nonentity.
Reflections on Nature.
1217,
1218,

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