Let’s take time as a triangle: here is the familiar line of time, past and future stretching out, but now the present moment sits on that line, heavy and immobile, drawing it down. We have a V. The infinite past and future, though, are connected by what we could call the eternal, the universal, the timeless. But if the present hangs in there like in a hammock, held in the air by strings supposed to be infinitely strong, what are the nails that give us such an unyielding anchor? And what lies beyond these nails, the trees, the forest that we contemplate from our cozy resting spot? Does the universal not need its own universal that not only ties everything together, but also keeps it from falling in an equally universal void?
A fun paradox, and one we find every time the transcendent tries to touch the immanent: what connects the connection? And what connects those connectors? An infinite regress of adhesives and adapters, and, like any good drawer assigned to storing adhesives and adapters, it soon becomes tumultuous.
But what if this is not a just a Carroll-esque regress – an entertaining nonsense – but is in fact the violence of the universal? It’s contact, in infinitely proliferating formal, logical concerns, creates a turbulence that we must undergo and suffer. The summons of duty as an unentanglable draw of glue and cords that we must grapple with. The promise? That the eternal is quiet and clean and calm. The actuality? It’s a maelstrom of endlessly proliferating regresses we can only silence by acting, once and for all. But acting, we know, has a double sense: it is our imminent transformation of the universe, be it the mere dissolution of sugar in water, but it is also the role that is assigned to us by time itself…