The Only Question

By Kai Tao

“I have said, you are gods”;
you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mortals;
You will fall like every other ruler.”
-Psalm 82:6

I remember when the moon cracked in front of me, feeling like a toddler. I remember the precision and rigor of the calculations to dislodge the moon from its oblong orbit, seeing the centrifugal force upon it overtake the gravitational field that had held it for so long. I remember drifting through space in lunar cities of sterile aluminum and glass— so clear and ephemeral that it reduced the aesthetic of the cold lunar world to grey metal. It felt like a chance to find God hiding out in the greater universe. A time of soft flesh, fragile bone, and flowing blood.
Now my skin is hard like mussels’ teeth, pounded by hostile winds and radiation, and forged by bombardment with unspeakable weapons. Under my skin are ligaments like carbon nanotube; likewise my bones and muscle have been clawed to my wish by fingernails like diamond and teeth-like knives. My blood is 0.0002 degrees Kelvin and my heart is formed into a sonic black hole, its fluid moving faster than the sound waves passing through it, to be used as a model of greater singularities.
My advice in this work: my own description and that of my path: I have cut and molded my brain; the thoughts within the space of my perceptions, (my internal world)—like sets of a topology: its inscrutably unsayable structure, the “rebar in the concrete”— define a beautiful, simple question not by the distance but relative position, “closeness”, of its constituent parts, thus I exist regardless of deformation, (change with time). My will stretches so far to past and future that the point at infinity—present in all directions—has allowed my grasp to loop itself back through the beyond like a ring around a globe, as if I might walk in a straight line and find myself in my original starting place; the grasp of a god. With a corded whip, a banished worded thought from my body(equivalent to) temple to existence, (it has no way to say the things of which a truth or falsity cannot describe)! It is thus grudgingly that I use words and language to write this…

In my worship I tore the “neither-true-nor-false” from the undefined regions, the divided by zero, unthinkable, and infinite, and once I tore “{screaming void}” from outside my reach/domain—as if I were an open set in the Euclidean plane and my quarry were its complement, the closed set R^(n)\X—its mere existence and definition invited paradox as division by zero reduces arithmetic to identity: 1=2, “congruence modulo(0),” and contradiction implies the truth of any proposition. This religious, (truly religious, for I defined the metaphysical), experience brought the border of my sight, “{}” into view, and thus curved my domain into unity, just as adding a point at infinity to the plane folds-topologically Euclidean space R^(n) to a spherical manifold/quotient space:
xR^(n)|(i=1n(xi)^(2))^(½)=r, as [0,1]/{0,1}, (the interval with identical endpoints), is deformable into a circle. Yet that faith which moves mountains, that simplest knife, allowed the indefinite to become meaningful, (non-tautological), and define definite relation between paradox and reality.
My survival is by faith alone, the simple knife: the type of ruthlessness Kierkegaard described in Fear and Trembling, the faith that kept Abraham from the reputation of infanticide. Only through this faith are our motivations truly pure enough to cut our path into the universe at large. My long years have rendered my love and faith identical, as were Abraham’s when he stood holding the knife and shaking upon mount Moriah. This is my purity of heart: my wretched qualities burned away by my acquaintanceship with entropydeath.
Such is my responsibility: to desire eternity! How could one deny themselves infinity and responsibility? How could one betray the cause of life, of entropy, which is that responsibility? The one true constant, the only thing that gives the word “constant” any meaning, for only entropy as a variable of a whole system is dependent on time, (Q_1/T_1Q_2/T_2)! Cry of metaphysical ethics, “thou shall not have eternity”, yet you say nothing; the “eternity” you decry as selfish does not exist for you, you cannot see it; it is the vicious circle problem of Principia Mathematica! Eternity doesn’t fit in the finite words you use to decry it, only those who can see its beautiful pattern know even a ghost of its glory. On this account one is not free from death, equivalent to entropy, thus equivalent to life. In order to live one must have a death, else their life is just a static crystal across four dimensions; death is the end, the end of you, and you are the end, which is the end of death: modulo(0) appears one last time and is split by the simplest knife.
If such things don’t rouse your understanding and passion think of the question thus: “is a unit of Planck time, (the smallest measurable moment), how long it takes to die?” Think of this wretched concept, the life of infinite potential, not even given the dignity of a death on its own terms but on the terms of a cold number! Will you submit yourself to this, render yourself automata? Will you accept the universe how it is? Or will you work, with all your love, to break it? Asking the only question: “If you think I am you but you are not me—contingent upon you in the way of a subset—then prove it! Prove that I am the cancer to be cut out and you are the host! Else I prove it to you!”

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