December 28, 2008

Life's Two Greatest Provocations

Life is too short and so I’ve decided time is my second greatest provocation. Like my first great provocation—desire in its forms of passion and appetite—time is essential, if only to enforce discipline and demand choices. Without it, we could postpone our difficult decisions indefinitely. And if it weren’t for time’s constraints, there would be no sequences (and therefore no consequences to suffer). For we could see the results of our actions while we still had the opportunity to do something about them. In that way, the steady flow of seconds into millennia can be a grim encumbrance.

Sometimes I dream of a world in which time refuses to flow sequentially. In fact, it sometimes does not flow at all. The inhabitants of this timeless world, choose their universal coordinates. They vector to and from age and place, unbound by calculations based strictly on rational numbers. For they can, if they choose, exist in quadrants marked only by imaginary or irrational ciphers. In this non-Euclidean world of higher-order infinities, there are no moral dilemmas. The inhabitants simply vector away to an age and place where they can eliminate the circumstances creating each, and all, of their dilemmas. They got to where they are by harnessing the first great provocation and, by so doing, proved themselves worthy to rule the next. They have created a heaven and we call them exalted.

No one wants a lazy, undisciplined angel. That would be a dangerous thing. But if I had it in me—if I could step out of sequence and vector away the compromises that constrain me—I would want to revisit our wonderful, albeit too-short, place in time again.

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