Cultivating Darkness


Although the world of darkness remains fundamentally alien in essence, the human being is no stranger to its icy touch.

There are moments in life when one realises that one is immersed in a dense darkness, so thick that it seems to preclude any return to the light. These are moments of mourning, despair, or depression; moments suspended over the chasm of madness, when the world falls apart and life seems to have lost all meaning. From a philosophical point of view, this means that the representation of the world that we have received from our loved ones, or that we have constructed along with them—and which we have often shared with an entire community—turns out to be false, limited, or too narrow. As it falls apart, ‘our’ world, which had until then revolved like a planet around the sun of an I or a We, shows itself to be no more than a collection of fragments from which, like a collage, it had emerged.

If there were a lesson to be learned from such moments, it would consist in the bitter discovery that there is always more than one world and that, even from the same fragments, it is possible to construct totally different worlds. Although there is undoubtedly a ‘shared world’ held in common with others from time to time, it is not hard to see that this one world—a world for all worlds—is always teetering on the edge. …