In that case, is not every dispute pointless as to whether the First Cause is thus or thus, whether it is God, Ether or something else? If it is not pointless, then the dispute is in fact about something else: as to whether, for example, the definitive word of tomorrow will be that of Mark or Marx — his word and my opportunity — or someone else will evaluate and take the measure of one and the other (and any one else you care to mention) — the measure theirs, and I'm in a tight spot. The dispute is as to whether I shall simply remain bewildered, without range or scope — me, and not god-the-father or someone's son — or muster the courage in time to take my own risks and live a life without bowing to someone else's quotations and dogmatic beliefs. Yes, this is an ideological, political or simply psychological dispute between believing and belief. At best, it is a dispute about some linguistic error or other, whether or not this has led to a possible logical error, about how to reduce the margin for misunderstanding to a minimum, or also a methodological dispute in the broadest sense: how to feel, comprehend and experience with man's preconditioned mind and single heart something which is unconditioned and which is All — Infinity. It then becomes comprehensible that an infinite First Cause can be nothing other than Infinity itself, that one and only, true, absolutely indeterminate I n f i n i t y, a n d n o t j u s t a n i n f i n i t e s e r i e s, some of them sharing the same connotation. Otherwise the First Cause would be finite, i.e. by not being a result or a simple cause, it would be limited. Even as the endless warp and woof, it would still be bounded and therefore finite: just the warp and woof and not something else. To insist that the First Cause is mere Matter as such, and go on giving descriptions of it until the cows come home, is just as ridiculous as claiming it as Idea. For if Matter must not be Idea, then it is limited by Idea, as Idea is by Matter. In this case neither matter nor idea is infinite. But if nonetheless they are, if they really are, then the dispute is only about which word is the more suitable for what is exactly felt and premised in any given scientific or historic circumstances you care to mention. A word, which itself cannot be finite, but is now Air, now Number, Fire or Spirit and which must encompass All, Infinity, is certainly not easy to find. Nevertheless, if one had to be found, found at any price, it would seem that it would be best for this absolutely i n d e t e r m i n a t e I n f i n i t y, this i n f i n i t e I n d e t e r m i n a t i o n, to simply be called:

N o t h i n g.

Could people really ever agree on this Nothing? Could they really ever call it God or Matter?

And then again, is it worthwhile arguing over Nothing?

Nothing — that is, absolute indetermination and vagueness, therefore everything. A b s o l u t e  P o s s i b i l i t y, in the final analysis.

Is it not better that each should extract his own fortuity, his own symbol, his own word from this inexhaustible fountainhead? Shall we not, after all, understand one another?

It was settled long ago in the face of all odds that two and two in any combination is four, and that you cannot demolish a stone wall by knocking your head against it!


translated by Alice Copple-Tosiζ)

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