April 23, 2015

Anything is possible, but not everything.


[This text was written for the performance One Thing Leads To Another by Emma Murray.]

Anything is possible, but not everything. Thinking you know exactly what is going to happen next is the easiest way to be wrong. Of all the things that are possible, among which we might even include many things that are relatively impossible, rather few are likely. It is possible that the next sentence in this text will be about dinosaurs, while it is likely that it will not. It is possible that human beings will become extinct much sooner than was previously thought.

Of the things that are possible, it is difficult to arrive at a percentage that might be generally understood to be desirable. If human beings were to become extinct, it might be said, from differing perspectives, to be both desirable and undesirable. After you, as an individual, are gone, why would you exactly care what does or doesn’t happen? But it is possible that you do. Or at least a part of you does. What might be the best way to understand this particular part?

Desire can be understood in terms of sex, but it can also be understood in terms of everything else. For example, the desire to be alive, or to continue living. The desire for the impossible, far from being a contradiction in terms, is in fact extremely common. Things that I desire that I am frequently, or at least implicitly, told are impossible: an end to war, an end to capitalism, powerful people treating those they have power over with enormous kindness and generosity, etc. But, of course, all of these things are essentially as possible as anything else. I see no proof otherwise.

It is possible that one thing causes another, but it is equally possible that it does not, or that we have the cause wrong. However, whether the cause is clear, unclear, or misleading, the desire to find and know the cause for any given thing is not difficult to understand. Every moment is a mystery waiting to be solved. Or a pleasure screaming to remain unsolved. A pleasure screaming to remain lost. Understanding everything completely and perfectly is the death of all pleasure. Fortunately this is impossible, and there is also of course great pleasure in learning, in coming to understand something. As every conspiracy lover knows all too well, almost everything happens for a reason, but then, every now and again, something beautiful happens for no reason at all.


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