Space is irony. It’s as simple as this – space is pure irony, irony with nothing added, irony with no added extras. It’s irony all the way… The self-construct doesn’t like irony, however. The self-construct is entirely non-ironic – it’s non-ironic through and through!
This is a problem therefore. The self doesn’t do irony – and more than this – irony constitutes a spoke in the bicycle wheel as far as ‘the self getting on with its self-type activities’ is concerned. Irony isn’t part of the game that it is playing and it absolutely can’t be.
Space opens up many possibilities of seeing the same thing and so the very phrase ‘the same thing’ ceases to mean anything in this case. Nothing can have identity where there is space – if we try to present identity to space (so to speak) then we simply won’t get away with it. We will be called on it. It’s as if space is saying “Oh yes?” to us. It is as if space is laughing at us. “Who are you trying to kid, sunshine?” it asks us, with a big smile on its face….
A thing only gets to be ‘the same thing’ when we have got only the one way of looking at it; the identity only gets to be the identity when there are no ‘pluralities of perspectives’! For the same thing to remain the same thing there must be no perspective; the identity to get to be the identity all the space has to be taken away. There are no two ways about this – that’s the deal in a nutshell.
Space doesn’t argue with the existence of the identity, doesn’t say ‘no’ to the concrete identity. If it did this then it would be reinforcing the reality of that presumed identity. If it did that then it would be taking that identity seriously and that is exactly what it doesn’t do. Space doesn’t deny the identity – it gladly and unconditionally affirms it at the same time that it gladly and unconditionally affirms every other possible way of seeing things. Space agrees equally with everything and it plays no favourites. Space is unbiased, space is symmetrical…
Space is generous rather than mean and that’s not what we want! Instead of denying anything, it allows absolutely all possibilities (with the exception of none). We’re always looking at ‘a full house of possibilities’, as far as space is concerned. Everyone is invited to the party. In space there is space. In the dusty old filing cabinets of the thinking mind there is no space for reality, but in space there is space for everything. When Bruce Lee said “Be like water my friend…” he might equally well have said “Be like space”.
But what kind of a thing is ‘a full house of possibilities’? What does it look like? What characteristics does it have? The more ways of looking at something we have the more aspects it has and when all ways of looking at something are allowed then that sums up to an infinity of aspects. No aspects are excluded. No matter what we look at therefore, it will have an infinity of aspects to it and this is just another way of saying that when we look closely enough at anything it becomes everything.
When there is space therefore then any single ‘thing’ that we look at ceases to be ‘particular’ and instead becomes ‘universal’. Whatever we look at becomes gets revealed as a ‘node’ in Indra’s net. There’s nothing that exists that isn’t revealed by perspective to be ‘a node in Indra’s net’. Each node in Indra’s net reflects every other node, and each of these nodes in turn is also reflected in every other node. No node can ever be separated from the Totality therefore and so every node is the totality. This is ‘the net of Indra‘.
This sounds wonderful course. It is such a magnificent philosophical revelation – that the Totality of everything is to be found in whatever morsel of creation – however humble – we look at! Every single particularity opens itself up to reveal the Universality – whatever that is! This isn’t what the fixed identity wants however – this is very far from being what the fixed identity wants! The identity doesn’t want to open up to reveal the Universality that it hides behind it because of it does this then there is no more identity…
We live in a world that is made up of ‘limited appearances’. We live in a world of limited appearances and we ourselves are presented (and understood) as ‘a limited appearance’. This limited appearance that we present ourselves as being (and perceive ourselves to be) is the ‘everyday self’, the ‘concrete identity’. We never (or at least very rarely) see beyond this world of limited appearances and the concrete identity doesn’t want to either. The very last thing the concrete identity wants us to do is to see through the world of limited appearances – this happens to be its greatest fear, its greatest nightmare…
The self is supremely ‘non-ironic’, as we have said. It’s not that the self isn’t particularly given to irony, or doesn’t really ‘get it’, but rather that it is absolutely lacking any trace of irony whatsoever. This point is worth emphasising – if we can understand this then we can understand all that we need to know about the everyday self, all that we need to know about the egoic identity. The self says ‘I am this’ – it identifies with something or other. When the self says ‘I am this’ it is being very earnest, very literal indeed. It really DOES mean what it is saying. This is not a joking matter, as far as the self is concerned. There is no irony or metaphor in the statement whatsoever.
We live in an ironic universe however and that is the problem facing the literally-understood identity! The identity says ‘I am this’ in its utterly humourless way but in this universe it’s not just not possible to be utterly humourless; we might adopt a posture of being completely humourless but when we do this we have actually created humour. We’ve said something funny! We probably won’t see that that we have said something funny but it’s funny all the same. We may not get the joke (we don’t at all get the joke) but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. That doesn’t mean that we ourselves actually aren’t the joke.
In an ironic universe it is impossible not to partake in that irony– we can either partake consciously or unconsciously, wittingly or unwittingly. We can either ‘go with it’ or ‘fight against it’ but when we fight against it it’s not as if that’s going ever going to change anything! All we can ever do is eradicate our own awareness of the universe being ironic and become dumb as a result. This is the only power that is given to us – the power to make ourselves dumb (which is of course a power that we use an awful lot). The universe is still as ironic as ever, but we just don’t know it. All there is is space, all there is is irony. The joke is still there no matter what we do, but now it’s on us.