Yes and No are not true opposites, says Bergson (Creative Evolution), and I agree. Every No is a swallowed Yes . . . or may we say that some Nos are pregnant with a Yes? Atheists are such monists; the gods they don’t believe in are all the same, like the black stone of the Kaaba to the deniers of idolatry. Listen carefully: Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge (Psalm 19:2). The very first twins are Time and the Word; before them, tohu-bohu: formless, dwelling in possibilities. Definitely not chaos – that aristocratic nightmare of a world without up and down. Eventually some people ventured an accounting of this, which has “more being than any other being in the world, but since it is simple and all other simple things are complex in comparison with its simplicity, in comparison it is called Nothing” (David ben Abraham ha Lavan, quoted in D.C. Matt, Zohar: The Book of Elightenment. Paulist Press, 1983, p. 34). But the less said about that, the better. Selah!


“Protiston mein ariston kai Nuktos.” Parmenides’ Poem

Translation: “First of all things there was Night.”

– Phila B.


Thanks. Yet another example of the usefulness of quoting out of context!

I cannot resist adding parenthetically (but all my thoughts are parenthetical) that, in my view, Parmenides’ infamous poem marks the precise point where Western philosophy took a wrong turn down a 2500-year-long blind alley. Self-identity the sole attribute of reality? Give me a break! Take away the grammatical copulative and the whole project of Being vanishes like smoke. Or should I say like smoke and mirrors, with the mirrors positioned to face each other and the impossibly transcendent (male) Thinker improbably multiplied ad infinitum . . . ad absurdam . . .

– Dave

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