The Great Negation

‘When you truly understand about reality my son, then you will be a man.’ I still remember my headmaster telling me this, in his kindly but crusty way. He was a crusty you see – complete with top hat and tails, and a fine big beard. One of those unusual beards that has a fork in it. A forked beard like the tail of a swallow. He was a Holy Man, a Sacred Ascetic. That made no sense at all to me at the time of course and it still doesn’t. They were always on about reality in my school though – always exhorting us to examine very carefully the nature of what we perceive to be true. Always urging us to ask the question ‘what is the nature of reality?’ Only not, of course. When you understand about reality then you’ll be a man but will I ever understand? I’m painfully aware of my own immaturity – my life is a triumph of immaturity over good sense, you could say. It’s an embarrassment, in other words. I’m embarrassed by my life but at the same time I know perfectly well that it never happened. There is a paradox for you! A sad sort of paradox, I suppose. Although can a paradox really be said to be sad? I would have thought not, somehow – that seems to be missing the point, even though I don’t actually know what the point is. When you understand about reality my son then you’ll be a man, as the man said but will I ever. Always harping on about reality, always banging on about the Super-Negation. ‘Get to the bottom of it my son’, my teachers told me, ‘wrestle with it and see who wins!’ ‘Well who did win?’ you ask, impressed despite yourself. ‘That sounds like one hell of a struggle…’ In the darkness it’s impossible to tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. Your words hang ambiguously in the air between us, like a bad smell. If it comes to me that I don’t exist then this insight, this realisation that I don’t exist, also doesn’t exist and that’s the Super-Negation for you right there. If I don’t exist then how can I have any sort of insights or realisations after all? Obviously I can’t. And so if the insight doesn’t exist then how are we to trust it? How are we to take it seriously? There are drugs to do this as well of course, drugs that act by triggering the great Super-Negation that lies dormant inside each and every one of us like a bomb waiting to go off. You take the drug and then the next thing you know there is this refrain going around in your head like an echo. Or the next thing you know there’s this echo going around and around in your head like refrain. Going around and around and around. It’s a Great Big Reverberation, a Giant Reverberation – World-Shaking Reverberation. A World-Dissolving Reverberation, really. You are going under with a nose full of chloroform and all you can hear is this noise, the noise of the reality-dissolving reverberation. ‘You know that you are, you know that you are, you know that you are…’ it says. The Giant Vibration is mocking you. And then the refrain changes to ‘It never happened, it never happened, it never happened…’ and you can’t tell knowing that it’s true. The refrain goes on forever and there’s no getting beyond it. The refrain refers to what did just happen, which is my life. Which never happened. My life which didn’t happen and which wasn’t my life, therefore. Which wasn’t my anything, or anyone else’s anything for that matter. Why do I think of it as my life when the life in question never happened? Why do I feel haunted by this sense of loss? I’m sitting here listening to the words echoing around my head, unable to believe them but also unable not to see that they are true. ‘You know that it did, you know that it did, you know that it did…’ What ether drinker or chloroform sniffer doesn’t know this? It repeats because it’s meaningless, or it repeats meaninglessly. You will know the difference. ‘You would if you could, you would if you could, you would if you could…’ The Hall of Echoes. The Great Vibration. The Great Negation, if you want to put it like that. I’m sitting slumped over in a chair, my head in my hands, listening to the Great All-encompassing Reality-Dissolving Reverberation – ‘It never happened, it never happened, it never happened…’ There’s nothing for it but for you to rock back and forth and back and forth in the chair, waiting for the effects to pass. There are drugs that will do that to you, you know. There are for sure. Like Australian Zombie Grass. You’re walking up and down the corridor, hoping that the effect of the drug will pass, and also hoping that when it does you might be lucky enough to forget all about it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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