an intense kind of nothing

The nightmare of the self: whatever you discover, it will never actually allow you to say anything about the foundation of things. Each discovery will only open up another scale, which, probed, will almost immediately begin to imply a further scale, a finer-grained space. The very small always has something smaller inside it. Whatever you find isn’t the end, it’s only ever the beginning of something else. Worse, the characteristic of these successive foundational states is that they’re composed increasingly of emptiness, of the gaps between things. Everything diffuses out into nothing. And the tools you develop operate only at the scale for which you develop¬†them–though they have just enough sensitivity to alert you, as you push towards each outside edge, to the possiblility¬†of the need for another, yet more subtle, toolset.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “an intense kind of nothing

  1. Brendan

    Relax. We’ve found the literary Higgs boson years ago. Didn’t you know there are only two kinds of stories? Somebody comes to town or you go on a journey. It’s so simple, you might as well not write anything; it’s all been taken care of long before you began mewling on this plane. So relax and get to work providing some content and/or critiquing others’ brands.

  2. uzwi

    Oh, ok. Sorry. A journey, you say? Maybe I could do something with that.

  3. DH

    This reminds me a bit of Daniel Dennett’s bit about how there’s nothing particularly selfy about the self.

    Maybe the nightmare of the self is that it is just the empty space between actual, real things – none of which are particularly selfy either. It’s a prison with no scale. The lack of scale necessitates the endless reification of the self. And the endless reification of the self makes storytelling as compulsive as trichotillomania. But slightly more fun.