The pleasure suffusing his body called for darkness. That darkness was pure, perfect, thoughtless, visionless; that darkness was without end, without borders; that darkness was the infinite we each carry within us. (Yes, if you’re looking for infinity, just close your eyes!)
… But the larger a man grows in his inner darkness, the more his outer form diminishes. A man with his eyes closed is a wreck of a man. (Milan Kundera)
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (St John)
My aim in this chapter is to draw together the main ideas that have now emerged, to tie up loose ends, and to combine these into a coherent whole. The focus of the chapter is human finitude, human finitude having been, in its own way, the focus of the whole enquiry.
I am metaphysically finite.
What does this mean?
It means that I am cast into a world that is not of my own making. That world does not in any way depend upon me, though I do depend upon it. I depend upon it for my very being. I am precariously balanced on a knifeedge of existence: a minor rearrangement of the particles inside my body would be enough to annihilate me.
It means that I find myself in the midst of (up against, constrained by) something which is other than me. There is a reality out there which impinges on me in such a way that I am conscious both of it and of the distinction between myself and what is not myself. (So I can conceive of my never having existed without thereby conceiving of nothing’s ever having existed. It is, in a way, remarkable that I can do this. )
It means, or rather it has as one of its most graphic aspects, that I am spatio-temporally (mathematically) finite. I am a particular parcel of