There was darkness before the light, we’ve heard it before and recognize the Biblical heft even though few would know the meaning. Even among those who’ve studied and know the meaning there are other people who’ve studied and arrived at a different meaning and the idea behind a 3000-year-old metaphor has probably been lost.
But the direction is there: there was darkness, then there was light. One was there and then the other. Whatever light might’ve meant and whatever dark might’ve meant there remained a temporal shift, a change.
If something is to exist it must exist within. The square you drew is only there because it’s on a piece of paper; you aren’t you without others. Without a continent there wouldn’t be a nation and without a system there wouldn’t be a planet. If it exists, it must exist within.
So what do we exist in? For a time we believed gods ruled a kingdom above the clouds and then we poked our tools and found emptiness. We called the emptiness space and gave name to its boundaries, solar systems and galaxies and universes. Demarcations to space, apparently limitless so long as we continue to look.
But still the question remains: what lies beyond? What must we be within? Existence can’t be without something beyond — a troubling prospect. Why does existence, exist? Only in the presence of absence.
There’s a troubling tendency to yield to our dichotomies. An easy way of seeing the world stark, black and white. But we comfort ourselves with space; it is time that avoids our easy ethics, the moment more rare than any mineral.
It is time we have forgotten, or time we have rathered ignored: any second must be within a minute and every eternity within something much more grand. So what is it?
As space can be drawn over time so can history be drawn lengthwise: the future isn’t just one. Any one line of time is on a plane so much bigger. And for some reason there I find some comfort, that all has had a chance to be on what is then a long spectrum of possibilities and only the choices that divide them.