Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Dust of the World, Part 6 (of 6)

There exists, then, a disparity between tenses - one primarily for the future, one more all-encompassing, almost a universal decry. That is the difference between the two variations on the sentence, "The dust (will) of the world fall(s) on the world itself." Both, however, are primarily concerned with an elsewhere, the first with a definite future happening, and the second with a universal principle of happening.
The dust of the world will fall on the world itself.
The dust of the world falls on the world itself.
Even if the second one lays claim to a full and accurate description of the present, it shows that it then relies upon a paradox to sustain itself. That is, it is a metaphor, attempting to describe full presence. And yet, a metaphor stands in the place of something, in the place of an experience, perhaps, and it makes it more understandable (or otherwise).

The second one also seems more profound than the first one. That profundity and paradox share this strange relationship is perhaps less surprising when we think of certain Eastern religions, or mystery religions, Buddhism even, and see that there is a similar strange relationship with enlightenment, the godhead, etc. and nothing. Nothing and the infinite share a relationship on the tip of our tongues, on the tip ...

And perhaps that is the nature of the infinite, the profound, to some degree. It resides within paradox.
The dust of the world (will) fall(s) on the world itself.
What does this remind me of? It reminds of of something I wrote a while ago, on this blog, about the nature of the signs of the Mind and of Language, how they cannibalise themselves somewhat, how they can refer to themselves and only themselves. I wrote that I knew of no other two that could do this.

And Borges, in his essay "The Superstitious Ethics of the Reader", speaks of how literature seems to "court its own demise." And perhaps because of these things, of thinking about loops, things that go back in on themselves, and then of paradoxes, and metaphors that lay claim to the universal, I came, in some way (with a pop, by a certain supernatural happenstance, explainable only in its incompleteness) to the sentence that I think needs no reiteration.

What of the difference between settling and falling? But a few moments, I presume, and very different actions, but ones that follow on from one another. Connected, yet different.

And after all that, I thought of something, an image I had seen before, something ancient: a snake that eats its own tail. Something that feeds upon itself, falls into itself, like the dust I thought of. It was Ouroboros, an ancient Greek symbol for eternity. Or was it? This brought me crashing back to the world, the present, and I thought of its own special paradox, how it eats itself in Derrida and beyond. The eternal eats itself, presents us with its own paradox, which lies within. Perhaps it is  within the paradox lies something eternal. We can never say that it does not exist, neither the eternal, nor the paradox.

Mind, Language and perhaps literature (perhaps other things too - how far can we go? How far would we be willing to go?); these are all things which we hold so very dearly, which cannibalise themselves and allow their own dust to settle upon themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment