Whole

We are all aggregate forms, made up in part of a vast number of discrete parts. Those parts to are made up of discrete parts and this chain of logic seems to run on ad infinitum – just like some atomist version of the infinite god regress. Much the same can be said for the rest of the forms within the natural world; that they are at most aggregates, both in so much as they are composed of smaller parts and that they are themselves smaller parts of a greater whole. The world is not only said to be made up of parts though. There are also the relations between the various parts. Here is the point were we either choose to view these parts as being truly discrete and bound together by an intangible network of relations; or we view these parts as simple sub-wholes, arbitrarily carved out from the greater whole by some function of the intellect.

Popular science tends toward the atomists view, generally because of the descriptive power of that particular system, but it is fundamentally agnostic as to the existence of relation. Relation is to science just another pragmatic way of accounting for and replicating events – just another tool on the shelf, to be dusted off when it fits the purpose at hand. Religion has given little direct attention to the issues related to form and knowledge, while Philosophy and Metaphysics have gone to great lengths to arrive at an answer, only to – in every instance – prove that we know less and less about more and more. Personally, I am of the opinion that we, you and I, have cut ourselves out from the whole mass of existence through an act of subjectivism wrought out by the intellect. As such we are unable to live without arbitrarily categorising everything we encounter – grouping together things that aren’t apart of the “I” of the intellect – the “I” being the most rudimentary example of the in-group versus out-group paradigm.

Perhaps that is why the whole as an expression of a physical infinity, just like the void, is completely incomprehensible to the intellect. Given that we are prone to this subjectivity perhaps a good way for us all to define ourselves would be as follows:

We are all examples of that group, comprising the portion of the whole, which views itself as being distinct from itself.

Surely, if the whole is truly a whole, then it must contain every absurdity.

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Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making

Marked Passages
― But as between religion and arithmetic, other things are not equal. You use arithmetic but you are religious, Arithmetic of course enters into your nature, so far as that nature involves a multiplicity of things. But it is there as a necessary condition, and not as a transforming agency. No one is invariably “justified” by his faith in the multiplication table. But in some sense or other, justification is the basis of all religion.Your character is developed according to your faith, This is the primary religious truth from which no one can escape. Religion is force of belief cleansing the inward parts. For this reason the primary religious virtue is sincerity, a penetrating sincerity.

― You cannot abstract society from man; most psychology is herd-psychology. But all collective emotions leave untouched the awful ultimate fact, which is the human being, consciously alone with itself, for it’s own sake.
 Religion is what the individual does with his own solitariness. It runs through three stages, if it evolves to its final satisfaction. It is the transition from God the void to God the enemy, and from God the enemy to God the companion.
Thus religion is solitariness; and if you are never solitary, you are never religious.

― It is not until belief and rationalisation are well established that solitariness is discernible as constituting the heart of religious importance. The great religious conceptions which haunt the imaginations of civilised mankind are scenes of solitariness: Prometheus chained to his rock, Mahomet brooding in the desert, the meditations of the Buddha, the solitary Man on the Cross. It belongs to the depth of the religious spirit to have felt forsaken, even by God.

― The emergence of rational religion was strictly conditioned by the general progress of the races in which it arose. It had to wait for the development in human consciousness of the relevant general ideas and of the relevant ethical intuitions. It required that such ideas should not merely be casually entertained by isolated individuals, but that they should be stabilised in recognisable forms of expression, so as to be recalled and communicated. You can only speak of mercy among a people who, in some respect, are already merciful.
 A language is not a universal mode of expressing all ideas whatsoever. It is a limited mode of expressing such ideas as have been frequently entertained, and urgently needed, by the group of human beings who developed that mode of speech.

― The life of Christ is not an exhibition of over-ruling power. Its glory is for those who can discern it, and not for the world. Its power lies in its absence of force. It has the decisiveness of a supreme ideal, and that is why the history of the world divides at this point of time.

― It is not true that every individual item of the universe conforms to this character in every detail. There will be some measure of conformity and some measure of diversity, The whole intuition of conformity and diversity forms the contrast which that item yields for the religious experience. So far as the conformity is incomplete, there is evil in the world.

― This question of the ultimate nature of direct religious experience is very fundamental to the religious situation of the modern world. In the first place, if you make religious experience to be the direct intuition of a personal being substrate to the universe, there is no widespread basis of agreement to appeal to. The main streams of religious thought start with direct contradictions to each other. For those who proceed in the way, and it is a usual form of modern appeal, these is only hope – to supersede reason by emotion. Then you can prove anything, except to reasonable people. But reason is the safeguard of the objectivity of religion: it secures for it the general coherence denied to hysteria.

― This universalisation of what is directed in a particular instance is the appeal to a general character inherent in the nature of things.
This intuition is not the discernment of a form of words, but of a type of character. it is characteristic of the learned mind to exalt words. Yet mothers can ponder many things in their hearts which their lips cannot express. These many things, which are thus known, constitute the ultimate religious evidence, beyond which there is no appeal.

― It is a curious delusion that the rock upon which our beliefs can be founded is an historical investigation. You can only interpret the past in terms of the present. The present is all that you have; and unless in this present you can find general principles which interpret the present as including a representation of the whole community of existents, you cannot move a step beyond your little patch of immediacy.

― The actual world, the world of experiencing, and of thinking, and of physical activity, is a community of many diverse entities; and these entities contribute to, or derogate from, the common value of the total community. At the same time, these actual entities are, for themselves, their own value, individual and separable. They add to the common stock and yet they suffer alone. The world is a scene of solitariness in community.
The individuality of entities is just as important as their community. The topic of religion is individuality in community.

― Standardised size can do almost anything, except foster the growth of genius.

― The limitation of God is his goodness. He gains his depth of actuality by his harmony of valuation. It is not true that God is in all respects infinite. If He were, He would be evil as well as good. Also this unlimited fusion of evil with good would mean mere nothingness. He is something decided and is thereby limited.

E.M. Cioran, Tears and Saints

Marked Passages
― Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.

― There is a whole race of melancholy: it begins with a smile and a landscape and ends with the clang of a broken bell in the soul.

― No matter what we say, the end of all sadness is a swoon into divinity.

― Job, the organ’s cosmic lamentations, and weeping willows. Open wounds of nature and the soul. The human heart, God’s open wound.

― Joseph, the father of Jesus, is the most compromised person in history, the Christians shoved him aside and made him the laughingstock of all men. Had he told the truth at least once, his son would have remained an obscure Jew. The triumph of Christianity originates in a virility that lacked self-esteem. The Virgin Birth originates in the world’s piety and one man’s cowardice.

― God has exploited all our inferiority complexes, starting with our disbelief in gods.

― Weininger used to say that epilepsy was the criminal’s last solitude. Having no more ties with the world, all he has left is the fall. 
The saint’s swooning is no less a breaking of their ties with the world, but they fall into heaven.

― God’s greatest advantage is that one can say or think anything about him. the less you connect your thoughts, abandoning them to contradictions, the more you risk coming near the truth. God benefits from the peripheries.

― The answer saintly women gave whenever their parents begged them to marry was invariably the same: they could not marry because they had promised Jesus their maidenhood. the wrenching truth is that Jesus does not deserve so many renunciations. Whenever i think about the infinity of suffering to which the saints’ perverse transcendence has led, the agony of Jesus strikes me as merely sad. The cross broke apart and fell into the saints’ souls, and its nails bore into their hearts all their life, not for just a few hours on a hill. The ultimate cruelty was that of Jesus: leaving an inheritance of bloodstains on the cross.

― So many young lives were crucified because they were born of eternity’s hysteria, and followed the heavenly example of a demi-God! Jesus must have a very heavy conscience if he has even an inkling of his responsibility in the face of so much suffering. Heavy red and black crosses will rise from the saint’s inhuman suffering on the Day of the Last Judgement to punish the Son, Dealer in Pain.

― As long as one believes in philosophy, one is healthy: sickness begins when one starts to think.

― When I think of the loneliness of nights, and the agony of this loneliness, I long to wander on roads unknown to saints. Where to, where to? There are abysses even outside the soul.

― Becoming is nothing more than a cosmic sigh. We are the wounds of nature, and God is doubting Thomas.

― The only explanation for the creation of the world is God’s fear of solitude. In other words, our role is to amuse Our Maker. Poor clowns of the absolute, we forget that we act out a tragedy to enliven the boredom of one spectator whose applause has never reached mortal ear. Solitude weighs on God so much that he invented the saints as partners in dialogue.
I can stand up to God only by confronting him with another solitude. without my solitude I would be nothing more than another clown.

― If truth were not boring, science would have done away with God long ago. But God as well as the saints is a means to escape the dull banality of truth.

― Without our intimations of the approaching night which we call God, life would be a cheerful twilight.

― Each time weariness with the world takes on a religious form, God appears like a sea of forgetfulness. Drowning in God is a refuge from our own individuality.

― The creation of man was a cosmic cataclysm, and its aftershocks have become God’s nightmares. Man is a paradox of nature, equally removed from it and from God. The order of things in heaven and on earth has changed ever since the creation of consciousness. With it, God appeared in his true light as one more nothingness.

― Adolescence is an intermediary stage linking the paradise of childhood to the inferno of failure.

― “Suffering is the cause of consciousness” (Dostoevsky). men belong to two categories: those who have understood this, and the others.

― No matter how educated you are, if you don’t think about death, you are a mere fool. A great scholar – if he is nothing but that – as inferior to an illiterate present haunted by the final question. generally speaking, science has dulled people’s minds by diminishing the metaphysical consciousness.

― I am neither unhappy enough to be a poet nor as indifferent as a philosopher. But I am lucid enough to be a condemned man.

― The ultimate goal of all religions: life as a diminution of the soul.

― I could easily convert to a religion which preaches that to die is shameful. Christianity has flattered too much the most intimate part of ourselves, turning death into a triumph of virtue. Agony is Christianity’s normal climate. Everybody dies in the religion, even God, as if there were not enough corpses already and time weren’t the slaughterhouse of the universe!

― Children scare me. their eyes contain too many promises of unhappiness. Why do they want to grow up? Children, like madmen, are graced with innate genius, soon lost in the void of lucidity.

― Life is a state of inebriation crossed by sudden flashes of doubt. Most normal individuals are dead drunk. One wouldn’t dare breathe if one were sober.

Cioran, The New Gods

Translated from French to English by Richard Howard, nonetheless much of the poetry of this books exists within in the sentiment as opposed to the choice of words – admittedly the two are hardly separable.

Marked Passages
― With the exception of some aberrant cases, man does not incline to the good: what god would impel him to do so? Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil. And each time he succeeds, he provokes or humiliates his Creator. If he managed to be good – no longer by effort or calculation, but by nature – he owes his achievement to an inadvertence from on high: he situated himself outside the universal order; he was foreseen by no divine plan. It is difficult to say what station the good man occupies among what we call beings, even if he is one. Perhaps he is a ghost?

― We were happy only in the ages when, greedy for obliteration, we enthusiastically accepted our nothingness. Religious feeling emanates not from the acknowledgement of but from the desire for our insignificance, from our need to wallow in it. How will this need, inherent in our nature be satisfied now that we can no longer live in the wake of the gods? In other times it was the gods who abandoned us; today we abandon them. We have lived beside them too long for them still to find grace in our sight. Always within reach, we heard them stirring; they watched us, spied on us: we were no longer at home. Now, as experience teaches, there exists no being more odious than our neighbor. The fact of knowing him to be so close in space keeps us from breathing and makes our days and our nights equally unfeasible. Try as we will to brood upon his ruin, he is there, hideously present. To suppress him is the impulse of every thought; when we finally determine to do so, a spasm of cowardice grips us, just before the act. Thus we are the potential murderers of those who live beside us; and from our incapacity to be the actual ones comes our, bitterness, dilettantes and eunuchs of bloodshed that we are.

― If, with the gods, everything seemed simpler, it is because their indiscretion was immemorial. We had to be done with it at all costs: Were they not too cumbersome to be endured any longer? Hence none of us could fail to add his little voice to the general hue and cry against them. When we think of these age-old companions or enemies, of all the lords of sects, religions and mythologies, the only one we are reluctant to part with is this Demiurge, to whom we attach the very evils we so much want him to be the cause of. It is the Demiurge we think of apropos of each and every act of life and of life itself. Whenever we consider it, whenever we examine its origins, life amazes us, alarms us; it is a dreadful miracle which must proceed from him, a special god, a case utterly apart. There is no use insisting he does not exist, when our daily stupors are there to demand his reality and to proclaim it. Even if we argue that perhaps he existed but that he has died like the rest, those stupors of ours will not be gainsaid. They will busy themselves reviving him, and he will last as long as our amazement and our alarm, as long as our intimidated curiosity before all that is, all that lives. We may say: “Conquer fear, so that only amazement remains.” But to conquer fear, to make it vanish, we should have to attack its very principle and demolish its foundations, to rebuild nothing more or less than the world in its totality, nimbly to switch Demiurges, confiding ourselves, in short, to another creator.

― [Julian] Not that he would have smothered Christianity, but he would have compelled it to more modesty. We should be less vulnerable, for we should not have lived as if we were the center of the universe, as if everything, even God, revolved around us. The Incarnation is the most dangerous flattery of which we have been the object. It will have granted us an excessive status, out of all proportion with what we are. By hoisting the human anecdote to the dignity of cosmic drama, Christianity has deceived us as to our insignificance, has cast us into illusion, into that morbid optimism which, despite all the evidence, identifies progress with apotheosis.

― Now, intolerance was once Christianity’s raison detre. To its misfortune, it has ceased to be monstrous.

― Since it is granted that the gods are true without distinction, why stop halfway, why not preach them all? That would be, on the Church’s part, a supreme accomplishment: she would perish bowing before her victims. There are signs to indicate she is not unaware of the temptation. Thus, after the example of the ancient temples, the Church would make it a point of honor to collect the divinities, the derelicts, from everywhere. but, once again, the true god must efface himself in order for all the others to rise again.

― Now more than ever, we should build monasteries . . . for those who believe in everything and for those who believe in nothing. Where to escape? There no longer exists a single place where we can professionally execrate this world.

― One sign of enlightenment is to have the obsession of the aggregate, the ever-increasing feeling of being just the place where certain elements come together, welded for the moment.

― The knowledge we convert into an idol is corrupted into a unknowing, as the Vedic wisdom already preached: “They are in the depths of darkness, those who give themselves up to ignorance; those who delight in knowledge are in a darkness deeper still.”

― Suicide is a sudden accomplishment, a lightning like deliverance: it is nirvana by violence.

― So simple a fact as looking at a knife and realizing that is depends only on yourself to make a certain use of it gives you a sensation of sovereignty which can turn to megalomania.

― Isn’t regret a sign of precocious aging? If so, I am senile from birth.

― If he didn’t believe in his “star,” he couldn’t perform the merest action without an effort: to drink a glass of water would seem a gigantic, even a deranged undertaking.

― The proof that this world is not a success is that we can compare ourselves without indecency to Him – Who is supposed to have created it, but not to Napoleon or even to a bum, especially if the latter is incomparable of his kind.

― The only true solitude is where we brood upon the urgency of a prayer – a prayer posterior to God and to faith itself.

― We are all deep in a hell each moment of which is a miracle.

The Linguistic Capital of Platform One

The Conversation
My life has not been filled with gripping dialogue and if I am to dredge up from the past, or to look at the conversations I have in my everyday life today, I am not spoiled for choice. Nevertheless, there is one exchange that I recall vividly enough to describe with reasonable accuracy.

It was a few years ago now, but I am sure that I remember it distinctly. It occurred as I was leaving the platform at Frankston train station, where a woman attempted to jump the ticketing gate just as I happened to be walking through it.

Her leg was caught as the gate closed behind me. Having leapt with a reasonable amount of force, she was stretched out horizontally in mid-air by the time she came into contact with me. For a split second the laws of gravity played foul as she was suspended by her own momentum just long enough to realise she was falling. A dull thud followed, accentuated by sharp crack.

I swung around defensively, trying to figure out who had hit me. Only to find what looked to be a forty-year old woman in a track-suit. She was lying face down, presumably stiffened by surprise, but appearing no less retched now in my minds’ eye, even after years of tempered sympathy.

‘What was that about?’ I asked, not really speaking to anyone in particular. I looked around to see if anyone else was acknowledging what had happened. In the meantime an old woman rushed over and helped fallen woman to her feet.

One of the stations ticket inspectors rushed over, he was asking frantically what had happened. I was still standing, watching and feeling only marginally involved.

‘I’m alright, I’m alright, it’s just my finger’. The woman held up a finger bent backwards at a horrific 90 degree angle.

Obviously not, I thought to myself as she brushed off the old woman. The ticket inspector bid her to come with him and sit down. But in an instant marked by a spark of electricity behind clouded eyes, she made a decision and the next moment she had run away, holding her finger to her chest and leaving her shopping bags on the ground where they had fallen. I noticed that one of the bags contained a pair of dirty looking trainers.

‘What are you doing?’ I asked the ticket inspector.

‘Huh, what do you mean?’ he still looked frantic.

‘Her finger was broken, you should have grabbed her or run after her’ I wasn’t sure why I was saying any of this.

‘What could I do, she ran off’. He was watching her still running slowly down the exit ramp leading out of the station.

‘She fell over because she tried to jump the gate’ I said blankly, glancing back and forth between the inspector and the direction the woman had run.

‘Oh she jumped the gate’ he repeated what I had said as if to confirm it with me, but the tone of his voice was so hollow it may have been an echo of my own.

At this point another commuter shouted out from behind the gates, ‘she didn’t have a ticket, she tried to jump the gate’.

‘Yeah, she ran off because she didn’t have a ticket’. I added, now speaking to nobody in particular again.

Seeing as the protagonist had departed and people just seemed to be repeating themselves and one another, I walked off down the ramp.

Stepping out onto the wet streets of Frankston, I looked around trying to catch sight of the woman in her track-suit. She had disappeared, but I can still see her in my mind’s eye, quickly shuffling towards the hospital, or had she slipped into one of the greasy fast food joints, around the counter and down some rabbit hole of urban malaise. More likely she was just running around in abject fear desperately looking for a familiar face.

Each time I think back to that scene I can see a druggy; a mother; a daughter; a wounded animal and I am no less certain that we are, you and I, confused.

The Analysis
Attempting to understand the exchange described above in terms of linguistic capital is not a simple undertaking. In fact, I chose that conversation because it was one of those conversations wherein everyone speaks, but they say nothing. Furthermore it shows how capital linguistic or otherwise, is worthless when incapable of soliciting the desire of others.

There was in this scene an attempt at creating linguistic capital within that microcosm of the Frankston train station platform, between the inspector, bystanders and myself. Wherein each person repeats the fact that the injured woman had fallen and then again that she had run away. The choice of words seen to be worth repeating are telling in that they were descriptive, which is to say that there were three people standing around describing to each other what had happened, rather than saying ‘Let’s go get her to the hospital!’. Statements of action had a very low value on that station platform and they were not able to evoke a desire for repetition or action even when expressed.

The Meaning of Life in 140 Characters or Less

The act of reaching into my pocket and pulling out my phone has, over the last few years, become pathological. Well, it might be considered pathological if it was not for the fact that everyone else seems to be suffering from the same neurosis. There is nothing I can do about it and I am barely aware that I am even doing it. The reason why I am doing it is simple enough to explain, in that I am lonely, so I pull out my phone and I try to connect with someone, anyone. Moreover, I want to be titillated. I could be standing in a room full of people but still feel disconnected; titillation eases that low ache of existence that so often accompanies moments of forced introspection. But that isn’t what I want to talk about here at all. I’m just forming a bridge; as it was a moment just like this one when I stumbled upon the following tweet:

‘Can Liberalism be saved from itself?’

While reading this question, my brain slowly began to turn over and with a single forceful clunk a response was passed forward to the conscious part of my mind, which in turn took the answer in hand and cast it out into the Twitter Abyss.
It is an innocuous question, as well as a self-referential one, which is never a good sign. Nevertheless my reply was:

‘I don’t think humans can adequately comprehend negation. So Liberalism will likely exist in one form or anothr [sic]

It was only on later reflection that I realised I had, through 140 characters of deconstruction, stumbled upon something fundamental. What did I discover? Well the difficulty here is that by its approximate definition it defies all comprehension. Like asking yourself:

‘Are there answers without there being questions?’

So should this record of that discovery become confused with the words and thoughts of others. I fear this is not only due to my being forced to write this testament within the pages of Life’s grotesque epic, it is because somewhere in here, this dark sea of scattered thoughts and wasted words, it has been written before. Even as I write this; even now within the blank spaces between the lines of type, I read what I have written and cannot distinguish a break in the narrative from one to the other. Everything I write here is absorbed into the Whole in an instant and that terrifies me.

The Anatomy of Deconstruction

The question asserts the truth of three clear assumptions. The first assumption being that humanity could, if so inclined, achieve a consensus on one particular version of Absolute Truth. The question also implies that this would be a meaningfully negative outcome. The second assumption implies that the current Western paradigm of Liberalism is better than any other similar outlook that might eventually supplant it. The third assumption is that it is conceivable that there could exist a social state wherein humans with conflicting views, could en masse, accept that this conflict implies that they are both incorrect; this is obviously an absurd assertion and coexistence and therefore Liberalism is unavoidable as a result. Not until the Scientists, Priests, Philosophers, Mystics, Economists, Politicians and Prophets of the world all convene and admit to the rest of humanity that they know nothing of any great consequence to the cosmos. Not until that day, when humanity openly admits to its position of utter ignorance, will it reach its closest approximation to Absolute Knowledge.

My full response is split into three self-contained arguments, though my initial response carries with it all of the same implications and is, as such, also a complete deconstruction of the question. Nevertheless, when viewed in part or as a whole neither perspective is an adequate an approximation of truth. This denial of Absolute Truth forms the first of the three limbs of my argument.
Following this, we pry apart the continuity of perception from consciousness; the soul from the body and reality from its colloquial position within multidimensional space, with the destruction of Absolute Knowledge. Finally we will discuss the failure of language to address absence, negation and the urge to conjure everything from nothing.

The Destruction of Absolute Truth

It must be accepted that with sufficient computing power, virtual reality will become indistinguishable from reality. These virtual environments should also have the ability to run simulations within themselves, as can be achieved on a smaller scale today. It must also be granted that should any being be in a position where they may play God, there is no reason to imagine that they would not choose to do so.
Given this, there is a possibility that you, I and everything around us is part of a simulation, taking place in a reality, of which the qualities have been obfuscated from us. There is no reason why this supra reality could not itself be nested within another greater reality, the characteristics of which it too is obfuscated ad infinitum.

Before scoffing, it might be worth noting that I have made no statement here that goes beyond those of Descartes as he reckoned on the implications of dreams nested within dreams.

What we have described here is an infinite regress; as can be seen in Fig1, if we were to find ourselves in ‘Simulation 3’, of a near enough to infinite set of simulations, there is no way for us to perceive any characteristics of the simulation in which we are nested within, namely ‘Simulation 2’. Nor can any other simulation layer perceive anything of any other strata, except that for which it is the direct creator.
We as mere components of that simulation, may have been designed by the creator of ‘Simulation 3′, incapable of perceiving any aspect of a supra simulation. However all simulations may too be equally blind to some form of ultimate reality that has instantiated this near infinite set; the only commonality being a thread which reaches down from that ultimate reality – that being the expanse of absence, within which all of these simulations do extend.

The sentiment of this view of reality is expressed by Jean Baudrillard as he paraphrases James Elkins:

‘The symbol of a living dispersion, the ideal spider, which spins its web and is simultaneously spun by its web. Or better still, I am not the spider who weaves the web. I am the web itself, streaming off in all directions with no centre and no self that I can call my own.’ (Baudrillard, 2009)

Can another thread from that ultimate reality, which reaches down through that infinite regress, be Absolute Truth? In that reality which defies all cognition, could there be such things as we can know not? Surely that must be assumed to be so. Could absence be in that place more than just a precept, but a pragmatic device, by which they have loosed this web of existence through a mechanism not at all exotic to them, proving themselves to be holders of a more complete truth than is available to us? Or are they all blind giants, drifting in a void and on occasion colliding, we being the result of such fiery conflagrations.

Now we see the limits of our perceptions and our understanding. Beyond which we must rely on the art of wild speculation and a decent into one or another hyperbolic spiral. Here Absolute Truth is shattered and though it may exist somewhere, perhaps amidst the drifting giants, it cannot be said to exist as anything more than a definition here.

The Destruction of Absolute Knowledge

Just because our experience of reality appears to consist of a series of continuous instances, it is not to say that the continuity of those instances need to follow one another in an unbroken chain.
For all we know, between the blink of an eye a near infinite amount of time has passed.
The only way to rule this possibility out entirely is to deny the existence of a linking agent between two instances set apart in time, as well as an extra physical substance with which these linked instances might act upon, namely absence.

However this linking agent could be extra dimensional. An entity that looks in on our dimension as we look in on a 1st or 2nd dimension, but which we cannot perceive directly, just as we cannot perceive a 5th or 6th dimension.
Our experience is made up of our perception of multiple dimensions. This is a fact and appears to support the idea that extra dimensional beings could exist. My supposition is that we are those/that extra dimensional being(s) perceiving either itself solipsistically or other such beings through the medium of extra dimensional space.

Alternatively, we could say that an instance of consciousness simply waits for the next instance that follows on from the previous to a satisfactory degree, in a mechanical fashion. Like DNA replicating itself, unaware of the war for survival that rages on a plain orders of magnitude above as a result.

However, in a cosmos where the arrangement of matter is infinitely diverse over an infinite period of time, we can skip the mechanics, as there would be allowance for the random creation of an instance of consciousness, which is primed with the experiences of prior existent, randomly generated, instances of consciousness. The fact that these instances appear to have some kind of continuity, really being an outcome of chance playing out over infinite space and time.

All of these concepts are so intractable as to transcend the meaninglessness of metaphysics. So much so that they almost need a new category defined, within which they can continue to struggle for existence, without consequence and without implication. Here Absolute Truth is destroyed again by way of the intractable nature of perception and the resultant collapse of Absolute Knowledge.

The Mathematics, Metaphysics & Logic of Absence

I want to know if a number exists when there is no one around to count it. Does thinking about a number, conceiving of it, imply that it exists? Furthermore is a number that is not associated to a set of actual objects just a chimera, where we concatenate distinct and separate impressions. For example, piecing together a mystical animal out of the body parts of animals that actually exist. So if we say that we believe that a number exists when not associated with an actual object, our statement is equivalent to stating that we believe a unicorn is real simply because you can conceive of it.
If that is the case, I suppose that would imply that numbers are more than just linguistic, symbolic structures. It would also mean that we live in a world inhabited by unicorns and fairies.

I am no mathematician or zoologist, but I look around me and something tells me that the implications of our previous assertions do not appear to have much bearing on reality.
To be honest, I have never understood mathematics. I can use a trivial amount of it, but I hardly understand it.

In truth, I think that some of the fundamental axioms that underpin mathematics smack of the meta-physical and the mystical. I assume there is just an awful lot I do not understand. So, humour me while I try to figure out the basics on my own here:

When we enumerate 1 and then 1 we get 2, correct? But what is that 2 supposed to be representing, two real world objects or two numbers? Are the symbols referring to two chickens or are the numbers referring to themselves? The later proposition does not mean anything as far as I can tell, because 1 number 1 is a redundant statement, 1 Apple explains something. We have placed on that apple the attribute of being 1 of something generally described of as an apple. But 1 number 1, explains nothing; how could a number explain anything when it is just referring to itself?
So unless a number is an extension of an object then it is basically a self-referential statement, which has no value beyond it being a linguistic construct. Meaning that the purely abstract number 1 is essentially an empty set ({}) with the potential to hold and be attributed to 1 object, 111 to one hundred and eleven objects and so on.

I feel like I am probably mixing up different fields of mathematics, but I do not see a problem with the logic above as of yet. Sets are groups or numbers which represent objects. {Apple1,Apple2 ,Apple3} represents the number 3 or the statement, ‘I count three apples’. That seems to make sense, but what if we start filling sets with purely abstract numbers. Numbers we have already decided represent empty sets when not attributed to and thus holding instances of objects, so that: The number 3 can be represented by { {},{},{} }, which is a set of three potential objects. This number 3 could then be simplified by just indicating the absence of objects in a set by saying {}. Yet we already said that the number 1 or any other purely abstract number can be represented by {}.

What does that all mean? Well I do not know honestly, as I said I am just trying to figure it out as I go along. I am sure there are children out there with a better grasp on this stuff than me, but let us just keep going and see what conclusions are drawn. I suppose that the most obvious implication of this logic would be to say that, any number that is not an attribute of an object or set of objects, is essentially representative of the absence of value and meaning. Represented by {}, which is essentially a placeholder for absence as true absence is beyond our comprehension.

That would mean that unless there are an infinite number of objects in the universe, then there cannot be a meaningful use for numeric infinities. As once the last object has been accounted for in the universal set, once you add an empty set of 1 to that, you lose all meaning and you end up with a rather large number representative of nothing, which can again be represented as {}, or if we want to be more accurate we just would not refer to it with a symbol at all.

Essentially, you cannot just add one to the highest number you can think of, because unless that number is representative of distinct and unique objects or collections of objects, then it is meaningless and thus represents absence.

Another result of this logic would be that all distinction of objects as unique and definable as atomic instances of a certain type, namely an ‘apple’, is completely arbitrary. As ‘Apple1’ and ‘Apple2’ could be different sizes, density and they will more than likely have more or less atoms in one or another of the two apples. Yet we put them in the same set of objects, {Apple1, Apple2}, and represent that with the number 2. Not a particularly accurate measurement and furthermore, we have just shown that counting is merely a mental construct, wherein we generalise and group objects together. My point being that if there is no entity around to do the counting. Then numbers do not exist independent of thought. It seems that numerical infinities are contingent on the existence of an entity capable of counting for an infinite length of time. So even if an infinite number of objects do exist then numerical infinities are still in doubt.
I agree that something does not sound right here. Nevertheless, this is my very long way of pointing out that common sense is a biological constraint, it would be foolish to imagine that the Cosmos should be consistent with what seems right or good to the human race.

In Conclusion

So, in answer to the question:
‘Can Liberalism be saved from itself?’

We have seen that liberalism results from the inability of humans to attain Absolute Truth, instead humanity is relegated to collecting and drawing inference from fragmented and negated Truths. As put by Baudrillard:

‘…Hell of simulation, which is no longer one of torture, but of subtle, maleficent, elusive twisting of meaning…’ (Baudrillard, 1995)

We have also shown that irrespective of what shard of truth we might choose to cling to we do know and can know nothing of the whole. Moreover all surety, the foundation of belief was removed through our destruction of Absolute Knowledge.

The destruction of liberalism is an absurdity and those admirers of this particular incarnation of that social organ of humanity – they are no better than any other, nor is the relative goodness of a man bound to his liberality:

‘With the exception of some aberrant cases, man does not incline to the good: what God would impel him to do so? Man must vanquish himself, must do himself violence, in order to perform the slightest action untainted by evil. And each time he succeeds, he provokes or humiliates his Creator. If he manages to be good-no longer by effort or calculation, but by nature-he owes his achievement to an inadvertence from on high: he situated himself outside the universal order; he was foreseen by no divine plan. It is difficult to say what station the good man occupies among what we call beings, even if he is one. Perhaps he is a ghost?’ (Cioran, 2013)

Yet our inability to comprehend these negations; to fathom the absence of truth and meaning or even to reframe from expressing this absence; these are all attributes indicative of a biological imperative to exist and to create. As put by E.M Cioran;

‘who does not feel the right to assert everything in the void, before the world vanishes in the dawn of an absolute or a new negation?’ (Cioran, 2000)