“Hence, the world-machine will have its center everywhere and its circumference nowhere, so to speak; for God, who is everywhere and nowhere, is its circumference and center.” Nicholas of Cusa, De Docta Ignorantia, II, 12, Trans. J. Hopkins.
“For the geometer all movement is relative: which signifies only, in our view, that none of our mathematical symbols can express the fact that it is the moving body which is in motion rather than the axes or the points to which it is referred.” Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, trans. Nancy Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer, Dover Philosophical Classics, 2004, p.255.
“Our self-consciousness does not take place in a merely closed-up, windowless self. It consists in the fact that the self, by transcending itself, faces and expresses the world. When we are self-conscious, we are already self-transcending.” Nishida Kitaro, Last Writings: Nothingness and the Religious Worldview, trans. David A. Dilworth, University of Hawaii Press, 1993 edition, p52-53.
With the Sun now beyond the Lethe behind him, and the Acheron curling like smoke above the Earth’s shoulder, the Moon begins another lap in Cancer, which nobody—neither the Divine Geometer of the Northern Temperate seasons nor the IAU geometers of contorting 19th Century Constellation boundaries—will deny, for they’re a jolly good fellow, and so say all of us!
‘Everything is connected to everything else’ is a truism ubiquitous at every level in our highly specialized and compartmentalized, not to say fractured, societies, and might well be an unconscious saboteur of its nemesis, social distancing. How is it influencing many to modify their behaviour for the sake of others, and seducing some to refuse to do so? It is clear that some people forget themselves, and others forget everyone else.
The post-COVID duration may overcome cynicism towards the life-expectancy of the aged, and panic concerning the career prospects of the young, settling into a new normal, but I have the uncomfortable feeling that a new normality will resemble the world I was born into, saturated by post-war earnestness, and a dreadful commitment to the finite and personal, so indifferently wounded by the historical, by ideologies and moralities which had so recently thrown their young and innocent recklessly and traumatically at each other.
It may be that Gaia has been groping for this coronavirus for a long time, as long as upheaval has been sucking tectonic plates together. Perhaps we have now had our turn and been outplayed. It may be that the rule changes which kept legends playing into old age stupefied the crowds into disaffection, and somebody playing Apocalypse did something accidentally on purpose. Perhaps the therapy-mongers who made fallow the fields of narcissism were right: we should have worked through skin hunger long ago.
Something must be remembered into being for the first time, intuiting the imperatives which the world awaits from us, who are its creation, not inferring them into the Jacobin templates of demolished order. The roads everyone must use never mend.