A soldier came to Hakuin and asked "Is there really a paradise and a hell?"
"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.
"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.
"You, a samurai!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard?...
I feel that it was reflective of a particular view [...] at the time.
It makes some sense to assume that before there was 'something', there was nothing.
I liked that it parallels the idea of vacuum: the separation between the "Earth" and the "Sky" (the stars), and also the Zen/Buddhist idea of contrast/inter-conditioned existence which by being so is suggested to be 'empty'/'delusional'.