Light before darkness

Light before darkness. Always.
No time without light, no darkness without time.
Time, light, action.

No being without movement.
No light without time.
No nothingness. No everythingness.
Movement, time, the changing light.

Only the changing light.
Always the changing light.
No outside this inside.
This inside not inside anything.
Always not forever. Always not the same. Never forever.

No light without darkness. The changing particularity of every thing is the conclusive argument against all totalising worldviews. Clearly, we have something, not everything. Clearly, we have change, not eternity.

Shut up.


The piece of writing above alludes to the Biblical notion that darkness preceded light, and suggests instead that light came first. Before there was light (think Big Bang), there was no time, and before there was time there was nothing, not even darkness.

Once there is time, there is action. Nothing before the Big Bang, and since the Big Bang, constant movement and change, in a universe composed of bits and pieces in which there is no complete fullness and also no complete emptiness.

The writing plays with the word ‘always’. Always, like forever, like the infinitude of the universe, starts and stops somewhere. Something existing always is strangely conditional upon the existence of other things.

If there was only light, there would be no light. There is a concept buried here that is difficult to articulate clearly, which is that we can only distinguish things because of their incompleteness, because of their changeability. The fundamental reality of change and incompleteness is a profound insight, coming as it does against the conventional ‘totalising worldviews’ which imagine something eternal, unchanging, endlessly integral as existing and having a greater reality than the things that come and go. What if there is nothing more fundamental than the things that come and go? This is exactly the world we live in and study, but ephemerality boggles minds.

The writing plays with the idea of inside and outside, for obvious reasons. It is common to imagine that if we are inside the universe, there is something outside the universe. This is not how it goes, the writing suggests.

The implications of cosmology are uncertain and far removed (in terms of logical connection) from the moral philosophies that are so readily assembled like brick walls upon an ocean beach.


Nothing stays the same forever. Therefore, God is nothing.

Shut up.

© 2020 Craig Bingham

Read something similar:

There’s nothing really similar to this piece, but maybe the Debatable intro page is related in one way, and What is it like when we die? [opinion] in another.

Read something different:

Reviews of old books [memoir – review]
On free trade in people [opinion]
Turning points [opinion]
Five very short stories [fiction]
Off track [fiction]

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