Saturday, October 11, 2014


How then is it possible to count from one to two, when between them lies an infinity of infinities? How can there be a road that does not end; but if it does not lead to God, where else could it lead?

When we find that space is served up in discrete chunks, the continuum is dead forever. The real numbers become another irreality and we will have to tell ourselves that we have once more proved bigger than the world we inhabit.

How then is it possible to step down a path of innumerable steps, that once we have begun we can never find an end? How many steps would we be willing to march before we are able to say that we were wrong -- sometimes even if you have the unshakeable conviction that you are right, it is better to accept wrongness and be content.

Do you ever feel that if you cannot know you would rather be dead? Is this why -- if you dove deep into whatever makes them -- young men are willing to die? Or do they simply fear that the endless procession of empty days may never end?

One, two... one, two... you can do it if you pretend the world is simple, that it has no hidden depths, that there are no secrets to be revealed; you can step over the countless count of the abyss.

When you are young, they tell you that pi is 22 divided by 7. Which almost makes sense and you can find comfort in such a sensible ratio. Then one day you learn that pi never ends, that if the universe existed for a trillion trillion years, pi would not have ended, that there could be a trillion trillion universes of a trillion trillion years, and still the countless count would march on.

But you can take pi and times it by the diameter of a circle and get the circumference. Somehow the unending digits of a number that cannot be contained in a trillion trillion universes of unimaginable age can be contained in the ring of the smallest circle.

Yet the circle too is uncountable. Each, regardless whether it measures an inch across or a lightyear, has the same number of points within it. Each portion cut from it, be it however small, the same number.


Perhaps a cruel god, knowing that his creation would wish to know itself, punished the vanity he himself created by making creation divisible into eternity, so that nothing was ever truly knowable, and we, driven always to know more, would become insane as our finite brains tried to contain an infinitude that even he, himself infinite, had been driven mad in trying to contain.


At 1:04 pm, Anonymous Looney said...

The numbers might be infinite, but we are not. I'm content to keep counting till I give out, not because I think I'll finish, but because what I do manage to find is so terribly fascinating.


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