To Between or not to Between

Here is now and there is then.  Time and space are an indissoluble unity. Every destination remains there until it is here, and then the journey is a was there. It is only the journey that is perpetually here. Arriving at a destination is cumulative in the moment of arrival. There is no extension. It is not even linear; it is a point. We have to re-imagine space. We have to apprehend it differently than we do. Space in the mind, space in the world–what then? What we see is always going to be ruled by the limits of perception. Perception is not always the best verifier of the real.

Where am I now? Now is here; now is never there. There cannot be possessed by or of now. Here is here in every language; there, there. Aqui/alli; ici/la. Here is not there; there is not here, of course. Ici n’est pas la. What is there though between here and there. Is there a between? We do say there is nothing between them, meaning two objects that are side-by-side in a way that is right next to, up against. There begins where here ends is easy enough to comprehend, but to perceive it is another thing. We do have trouble imagining what we cannot see; we are overly determined cognitively by our brand of empiricism.  Where is this ending, heading is another variable. At this beginning and ending lies the between? Where then is this between, we could ask? I am always between one here or another and there? Pre-positions do coordinate space.

The between is a place; it exists. Where it is and how big or small it is,whether it is microscopic or only metaphysical is yet another series of questions for us to answer before we can fully understand what we are seeing when we say we see, what we know when we say we understand. The limits of knowing and what can be known are due for an expansion. To between would then be an action, the action of situating oneself in the between. How many times do I between myself, I could ask? I would then be two. How can I be two? I cannot be here and there simultaneously, or can I. I am not petitioning for Sainthood. We have determined here and there as a mutually exclusive pair. Night and day share something in common with here and there, but day and night do have their evening, to even or not to even, that is the question every day and night must face.

Rimbaud had spoken of how he had once twoed himselfje me deux, he said, I two myself. The Self divided against itself? What is there between one me and another? I is we I have said before; the many selves Self, you know. I look in the mirror and I say “I;” I look again and I say “you; but I cannot recall if ever I had said “he?” You and I . . . do I say we in the mirror? I have come to say I am we. I have come to mean it. Who am I to become hesitating to be?The mirror; I am in the mirror there as I am outside the mirror, here, everywhere I step is my here, everywhere else is there. There is always in potential; here is always actual. Hereness has something in common with God, the godly always present. God is pure actuality, never in any part potential. God has no part. I am potential and actual simultaneously; I am and I become; to be and not to be, to become the extent of my existence? Whenever I become, I am not, I am between what was and what will be, almost between what was and what is.

In French, ‘between’ is entre, thus ‘to enter’ is to between, or at least to cross the between. Every entrance somewhere neither here nor there. Every entrance a threshold, to thresh an act of violence as in threshing wheat, also a variant in Old-English for thrash or the German dreaschen. To be held in the thresh, every threshold a thresher, destroying one here for another here the one that was there, there and here something like matter and anti-matter. I wish I knew for certain where was is, where was goes in the future. An interesting anomaly of all being is that what is becomes was in a future time; tense is not time. Verbs describe verbs, not actions in space or in time; time and space an indissoluble unity.

Between is to be tween, to be twain, to be two, to be twice over in one. Between is the unity of here and there, now and then, what is and what was, what will be and what was having in themselves together a between that excludes what is.

I am is not I become; every becoming not being but betweening.

 

II

Every question concerning whether to be or not is a question of suicide, or so it seems upfront enough to conclude from Hamlet’s soliloquy, at least from how it gets played, or how it has been taught.  It would also appear designed for other answers.  To be cannot be answered fully until we understand just what it means to become.  Where becoming begins and where it ends is essential for all questions concerning whether I am or not.

Being and Becoming mark the boundaries of one another; marking where and when my being ends and my becoming begins is essential in my own to be or not to be. It is essential in understanding one to the other: who I am, how I am, what I am, too; all of these and more. For whom I am what, to whom I could be when, are questions that are also asked. The limits of one or another or another in comparison with any other has in it the essence of ending it all, of course, but as much the essence of all coming to be because whenever I do become I am not at that moment I am. To be is a destination in anyone’s becoming. On the train to Montauk I am not in Montauk. Whenever I am coming to be, I am not; whenever I am, I am not likewise becoming. Of course, there are stages of becoming and states of being that are exclusive of the other, mutually. Of course, I can be one thing while I am becoming another, but Becoming ‘a’ is not being ‘a.’ 

I am and I am not has for a long time in human history brought on other questions of living and dying. To die, to sleep, I say as Hamlet said, says again in a thousand variations under my breath.  In all queries to the heart of living and dying are questions that arise in any discussion of suicide. But Hamlet’s to be or not is not simply whether it is the point of his bare bodkin he might use to end it. Being of course ends becoming, once again, his not to be as it is mine. The limits of my being, as the limits of Hamlet’s, are essentially drawn categorically; the lines drawn around my humanity and his humanity and any other person’s humanity are clear and distinct in our choices. If I lose my choices in any degradation of my person, the result is like killing myself. The suicide Hamlet speaks of is the living death, the undead state of not choosing, of therefore not being human when human is a choice, a result of choosing. His vacillation leads to what is in effect a suicide, his not choosing, his failure to act, his not to be.

Outrageous fortune is luck outrageous; luck is fortune as fortune is also chance. Chance is what is taken or rejected. To take a chance is to choose toward one’s fortune. Our riches are in our choices, our choosing, our living the life engaged which cannot be if one remains static, refusing to choose, rejecting the opportunity to choose, failing to take a chance.

III

The arrow does not move; motion is impossible? It is not only arrows that do not fly from point A to point B; we do not ever get anywhere, always somewhere perpetually between. The arrow does not fly from A to B except via the midpoint, once again, between A and B, and to this midpoint, except via another midpoint, again between, and so on and so on until there is no motion at all, no movement, no getting anywhere, always remaining between was there and will be there, nevertheless, here and here and here, perpetually, always, as the arrow in its impossible flight is always where it is, and where it is is here.

We have to re-imagine space. We have to apprehend it differently. What we see is always going to be ruled by the limits of perception. Perception is not always the best verifier of the real. The world is flat in my eyes. The railroad tracks that converge on the horizon reveal the parallax. The parallax is not an illusion; it shows us the truth of curved space. The world is not flat. Space in the universe is curved. This is what is meant when we say the universe is parabolic. A parabola is an arc that extends infinitely.

Where am I in this curved space, on this globe that is round, on a ground that appears flat? Everywhere I am is here and not there. There is somewhere else, everywhere but the place I am. There are concentric circles of here; outside each circle is there. How am here and not there? There is there. Here is not there; there is not here except for God,  but there is no God in our beliefs anymore.

Where is the between? Is there a between to be in, a between I can enter and exit as I do through each between that separates here from there. I walk through an entrance; each entrance is a between, the French etymology of the word enter is entre, and that’s the French preposition ‘between.”

I am never between here and there; pre-positions, coordinate spaces. Yet, the between is a place; it exists, but we never enter it. or so we assume? In physical space, we are never between; the between is another there from here. To between though is an action that takes place in the m ind, in the soul, in the Self, the selves of the Self. The action of situating oneself in the between is a noumenal act, not a phenomenal one.

I destroy myself in all my journeys; it is not the destination, but the journey; it is only the journey that is perpetually here. The destination remains there until it is here, and then the journey is a was there, time and space are an indissoluble unity, here is now and there is then. I am perpetually between was and will be.

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