Friday, November 20, 2009

The Absence

I just realized that I have not discussed my new ideas pertaining to the Absence. In the past month, a month of silence brought on by the death of my computer, I have had several revelations, all of which pertained to an idea I have been slowly developing over the past year or so: the importance of Absence.

Reading Plato's 'Apology of Socrates' brought the concept of Absence to my attention through the mention of Socrates' daemon. Socrates' daemon was a voice that Socrates heard since childhood(ish), and it guided him away from dangerous actions. Now, when Socrates was sentenced to death, he had no fear, not because the voice told him everything was okay, but because it had remained silent. Socrates thought that had he been engaging in dangerous behaviour through the method of his defense, the voice would have surely spoken and warned him. Thus, Socrates was reassured of an afterlife NOT by the Presence of the voice, but through its ABSENCE. This made me realize that the Presence can be found only THROUGH the Absence. In the same way Hindu philosophers say Shunya (emptiness) is full of something we cannot perceive, the Absence is full of the Presence, and it is only when we experience the Absence in its entirety that we are able to begin to understand the Presence.

I thought perhaps that this is why we, in this time, are so aware of the Absence of God; we feel the Absence everywhere and in everything, and mistakenly believe that the Absence is Void, that it is nothingness. BUT nothingness must have some substance we can use to qualify it, or how would we be able to experience it? Indeed, nothingness is that Other substance through which we expierience life. It is the principle of what is not that leads us to undertand that which is. Our entire existence, or rather the collective understanding of that existence, is dependent upon that dichotomous relationship, and it is only through the acceptance and understanding of nothingness, of Absence, that we can experience life in its entirety. Perhaps the reason we feel the Absence of God so intensely is so that we are given the opportuinity to experience the Presence more fully.

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