Nothing.  Zero.  Death.  Oblivion.
From this came all that is,
and to this all one day will return.
It is thus the first and greatest enemy
of all existence.
Which is better — existence or oblivion —
is a question that, if it has meaning at all,
is beyond my scope.
But in order to drive back nothing
there is endeavor — or, more generally, movement.
Planets circle.
Stars burn.
Plants grow.
Lava boils.
Humans strive.
Without movement —
Without energy —
Without endeavor —
Life in its broadest sense is not.
This is absolute zero.
But let us move beyond physics.
Let us speak of the human race.
A human is a subtle creature
Possessed of intellect and will
As well as movement of the gross order
Of the stars.
While the very existence of so complex a creature
Is a great victory of something
Over nothing,
It opens the way to a great many —
Shall we say — smaller battles,
Battles of mind and of spirit.
These are the sort of which I treat.
To avoid the nothing of the mind
Humans raise up ideals —
That is, they strive and fight and seek and want.
These ideals may be represented
Realistically enough
As gods.
These gods are the mountains immovable
On whose slopes we exhaust our strength
Yet the very permanence of these gods
Is their undoing, for immobility
is a form of nothing.
To strive for ideals is something
To attain them is to reach nothing.
But wait!
It is all well to say
that the meaning is not in the finding
but in the seeking
but what of those people –and the happiest
and by no means empty and dull
who take joy in every part of life
without trying?
They have not become
Their nature is strong, fixed,
rich and glowing
as that of the continually
will never be.
Thus, somehow,
satiety, stillness, rightness,
need not be barren — there
is a sort of Order
that is not nothing.
What allows this?
Love, I answer.
Love for self, love for others,
Eros, we shall call this thing.
Very well.
So we strive for ideals —
for order — to save ourselves
 from the nothing.
But when the ideals themselves
are nothing — are not illumined
by love —
the struggle loses its objective.
Thus one may see the lack of light
upon the ideal
and declare (often) the ideal
Then begins another sort of striving —
striving not to reach
the ideal but to tear it down.
This tearing down, this movement
not constructive but destructive
is chaos, begun either by malice or disillusionment.
This leads to nothing as well, of course,
and rather faster, more completely, and
more certainly
than striving for a dead ideal.  Yet
sometimes, when many ideals
ARE dead, nothing but chaos
will open the way for love
to reenter.
Indeed it is said that from chaos sprang
all things.