George Spencer Brown
Gesetze der Form

Übersetzung: Thomas Wolf
Bohmeier Verlag 1997


Spencer Brown GdF 192

Last Word
Existence is a selective blindness.

Use „blindness“ as paradigmatic of any sense, e.g.“deafness“, „tastlessness“, etc.

We notice one side of a thing-boundary at the expense of paying less attention to the other side. We notice a dish to be washed up in the sink by paying scant attention to the not-dish universe that our definition of the dish-boundary equally defines. Were we to pay equal attention to both sides, we would have to attribute to them equal value, and then the dish boundary would disappear. The dish‘s existence would cease, and there would be nothing to wash up.

Wenn wir sagen, wir spülen das Geschirr, tun wir diesem tatsächlich überhaupt nichts: Wir tun es dem Rest des Universums, welches wir abkratzen, um dem Geschirr eine saubere Grenze zu geben.

We do exactly the same with ourselves. When we die the self-boundary eventually disappears. Before it did so, we described a huge value to what we called „inside“ of ourselves, and comparatively little value to what we called „outside“.

The death experiences thus ultimately the loss of selective blindness to see both sides of every distinction equally.
This is by definition is absolute knowledge or omniscience, which is mathematically impossible except as equated with no knowledge at all.
In the ascription of equal values to all sides, existence has ceased altogether, and the knowledge of everything has become knowledge of nothing.

The well-known, and often-attested, ecstasy experienced as an end of existence approaches is occasioned by the relief from the heavy constraint of our senses, that all exististential modes demand, when the confinement of body-location is at last lost altogether.

In other words, the difficulty of maintaining what we call „life“, which all beings experience, is precisely the difficulty of maintaining the appearance of any particular mode of existence, so that it continues to appear recognizably the same. In protecting our physical bodies, we protect, identically, the universe that each of them creates. Desire to be immortal is a desire that this universe shall never change, and once we see the desire for what it is, we see it not only as impossible, but also as undesirable.

The knowledge of nothing, which is what the knowledge of the form discovers, is the potential for all further existence that might arise from any selective application of value anywhere anytime. (As we selectively applied it in this book.)

Suppose there to be but one being who is, and applies, values selectively, according to this being‘s original disposition. The „outside“ universe that appears to it is evidently (by definition) and exact reciprocal of its selection...

page 193
The negative side of death is that there is no future in it for the dead being, simply because no universe whatever can appear except as a selective attention of some being. If the being itself cannot be found, then nor can the universe.

The positive side is, Well, if the dish disappears, we do not have to do the washing-up.

Religions are various fictions to make the negative side seem less unpalatable. They emphasise the „no more wahing up“ side, at the expense of ignoring the „there wont be any you to do it anyway“ side. They are not ultimately comforting because, deep down, we do not believe them. It is much more comforting to admit the mathematical inevitabilities and to realise that in this is complete community with all beings, who all, at some level, know it to be the same.

Boe: karuna

You came into this world as and with nothing, and well assigned a value of being given a name, dependent on which all other names then had a meaning.
As our deepest tradition has it, you cannot, on leaving this world, take any of it with you. Not because it is no longer there to take, although this, as far as you are concerned, is mathematically evident, but more fundamentally, because there will not, eventually, be any you to take it with.

You cannot have it both ways. Either you can see an apparent universe by being selectively blind, or you can see it all equally in which case it must disappear and so must you.
Since both in reality are equally possible, but no more than possible (the laws of form are not more than the laws of the possible), there is really nothing to choose between them.


Spencer Brown

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