There are no machines in the Integesic Universe. There are no machines, no algorithms, no models, no methods and no procedures. Reality doesn’t exist in separate categories here – there’s no in and out, no before and no after. Desired outcomes don’t exist separately from undesired outcomes. All outcomes exist side by side. Only they are not ‘outcomes’ at all really because – as I have just said – there’s no before and no after. Causes and effects exist simultaneously in the Integesic Universe…
There’s no way to build a machine that can return us the Integesic Universe when we have left it, therefore. There’s no mechanical way back. Machines are strictly linear in their operation – the mechanical process starts at one point and finishes at another, different point. There is no starting and finishing in the Integesic Universe, however. There are no different points – there are no points at all. Machines work on the basis of logic and there is no logic in the Integesic Universe. There is nothing logical about the Integesic Universe, nothing predictable, nothing that can be modelled, nothing that can be computed, nothing that can be made sense of. There is only enigma.
How am I ever going to return to the Integesic Universe, I wonder, as I stare at the confused shapeless mass that is the spaceship. It looked rather like a surrealist sculpture made out of molten glass, it occurred to me. The aesthetic of flight was still there, in some abstracted form, but all functionality had been lost in the translation. It was a frozen metaphor, constructed in the baroque idiom of a bygone era of mechanical engineering. Perhaps I should try to sell it to the Tate Modern, I thought to myself. That’s all its good for now.
And even if I could get it fixed what good would that do me since, as I have said, no machine – however sleekly functional – can ever return me to the Integesic Universe? When you have left the IU no device can ever return you there. No exile was ever more final than this, I lamented – no means, no procedure, no protocol can ever reverse this process. It’s irreversible – it’s a one-way ticket. I knew that it was only a matter of time before even my memories of the IU grew faint and indistinct, like a dream that has long since fled. A dream of something impossible, unthinkable, too fantastical to believe; a dream that will have no place in my new life here in this poor two-dimensional shadow-realm.
Our very way of thinking about the catastrophe that has taken place compounds the problem, solidifies it, makes it more real. Thought becomes a machine for obscuring all trace of the Heartlands. Thought creates its own version of the truth – a version of truth that is made out of lies. This quickly becomes a titanic structure for the blocking out of the light, endlessly convoluted and intricate. This however is the intricacy of death, the intricacy of eternal stasis – a pattern to get lost in, a pattern that leads nowhere but back to itself, via all sorts of deceptive ways. This pattern – the pattern that feeds on itself – is the Exegesic Universe, the false world that blocks out all traces of the true one. The Exegesic Universe is the form that obscures the emptiness, the facile commentary that talks over the unspoken truth. The more we argue and fight with the Exegesic Universe the more it becomes us, and we become it. Until eventually there is only it, and we are no more.
The ship murmurs softly in my mind. It does not communicate in words but in living multidimensional symbols. The communication becomes harder and harder to hear and I know that the long night is about to begin.