One good way of explaining the Nullity is to say that it is the fate that befalls us when we spin-doctor reality so that it conforms to the way we want it to be. As soon as we do this we get trapped in a meaningless world that we can’t seem to be meaningless, a terminally uncreative world that we can’t see to be uncreative. This is not a good thing to do, therefore! Another good way (which is actually the same way) of explaining the Nullity is to say that it is the result of us imposing our will on the world so as to create a certain specific situation. When we control all the parameters then we create the Null World – creating the meaning that that a situation or the world in general has (and controlling the physical particularities of that system or of the world in general) are the same thing, in other worlds. It’s all control, it’s all about us enforcing our will.
Physical controlling is only a small part of the picture however – the ultimate form of control is where we get to say what things mean, where we get to say what reality means. Even if we find ourselves in a situation where we would think that we don’t have any control at all we can still control the meaning of what’s going on for us – which is to say, we can still judge what’s going on. ‘Judging’ is how we control. No matter what’s happening we can always evaluate it in accordance with our own viewpoint, our own angle, and once we have judged or evaluated our situation this judgement / evaluation becomes a reality for us. It becomes the final word on the matter, so to speak. We make our own version of reality with our judgments and, no matter what these judgments may be, the outcome is always the same – we end up creating the Nullity.
Obviously enough, if I create some sort of private world based on my evaluations, based on the forceful enactment of my unexamined prejudices, then that world is going to be a meaningless one. It’s not true, it’s only true because I say that it is, because I have decided, however involuntarily, to see the world in this entirely arbitrary way. I can do this for sure – I can do it all the time in fact – but the price I pay is that I have become trapped (as we have said) in a meaningless world but I cannot see to be meaningless. This is what playing games is all about, of course. No matter which way we look at this, therefore, this is a prohibitively high price to pay for what we want – it simply isn’t worth paying, not by any stretch of the imagination. In traditional religious times, it might be said that we are selling our souls to the Devil for the sake of some supposed benefit that is to come our way. We have sold our birthright for a mess of pottage. This isn’t a deal therefore, it’s an outright swindle…
What we’re actually saying here – if we were to cut to the chase – is that what we get out of this ‘deal that isn’t really a deal at all’ is the bestowal of this thing called ‘personal will’, which we might define by saying that it is the will or volition that comes out of the idea of ourselves, the mental construct of ourselves. Personal will (our controlling) comes out of our idea of ourselves and – in addition – our mental construct of ourselves gets to continue existing as a ‘going concern’ as a result of it being (apparently) able to control, of it being (apparently) able to exert or enact personal w-ll. This is ‘the package’, this is how the Extrinsic Self comes into being, paradoxical as this may sound.
When we say that the self-concept only gets to continue existing (as it seems) as a result of it apparently being able to control, or of it being apparently able to exert personal will, this little word ‘apparently’ is crucially significant – it isn’t real controlling (not that there is such a thing!) that we’re talking about here because the outcome we are controlling for only gets realised at the price of us incurring the equal and opposite outcome, which is how the Nullity gets to be the Nullity. It wouldn’t be the Nullity otherwise! We can enact our personal will in a way therefore, but it is a strictly limited way. We can enact our PW (which is very important for us to do (or rather seem to do, as we said earlier) but only in as much as the ultimate result of us doing this is the perfect reversal – a bit later on – of what we actually wanted to achieve as a result of us exerting our will. We’re achieving the result we wanted, and we’re also achieving the reversal of what we wanted. It’s good news and it’s bad news. The enactment of our PW always results in us ‘travelling around in circles’ in other words, which means of course that our ‘will’, our ‘volition’, is actually an illusion.
The existence of my personal will is an illusion it is true, but it is a necessary illusion if I am to continue believing in the viability of the self-construct, if I am going to be able to continue acting out of this apparent basis (which is very much what I do want to do). My whole existence depends on this, after all. What this comes down to is the business of ‘opposite blindness’, as JG Bennett calls it, is that when we ‘chase after a positive’ we can’t see that we are at the same time chasing after the corresponding negative. This blindness (or this ‘one-sidedness’, as Jung calls it) is what allows for the apparent existence of the self-concept. This is of course why we can say that the Nullity is ‘a meaningless world that we can’t see to be so’ – if the Nullity were to reveal itself as being wholly redundant then this would be synonymous with us not being able to believe in ourselves anymore. We’re told to ‘believe in ourselves’ but in this case we wouldn’t be able to! For the self, the Nullity is not the Nullity, but rather it is ‘a field of possibilities’, both of the advantageous and the disadvantageous type. It is the fact – therefore – that the self perceives the Nullity not to be the Nullity that it can continue to believe in the illusion of its existence.
This allows us to say very clearly what exactly this ‘deal with the Devil’ is all about – the deal that we are being offered seems very attractive to us when we’re in the terminally blinkered position of being identified with the self because there would seem to be all these wonderful possibilities in store for us. There would seem to be the possibility of us ‘winning at the game’ and of course this all seems pretty wonderful. In order for us to see these possibilities in all their wonderful attractiveness (and believe that we can realise them for ourselves) we first have to agree to look at the world through the eyes of the Extrinsic Self however. This is, we might say, ‘the condition’. If we accept this condition then we do indeed get to believe in all of these great possibilities. We experience very great attraction to these possibilities and because of this very great attraction we strive as hard as we can to secure them and this is the first part of the deal.
It is the second part of the deal that causes all the trouble. In the first part it seems that we’re getting exactly what we wanted – we get to see the Nullity as not being the Nullity, we get to see the attractive possibilities as being real and as being actually realisable. We have obtained the convincing appearance of potentiality and this is exciting, this is generative of a great deal of euphoria. It’s as ‘good as real’ in this respect – we really believe that we’re going to pocket the prize, and our pockets are tingling with excitement. Although we have obtained the benefit of ‘not being able to see Nullity to be the Nullity – which means we believe in the power or potency of our controlling – it still is the Nullity all the same and so our controlling isn’t powerful or potent at all. Our controlling isn’t ‘controlling’ at all; there’s actually no such thing as controlling. We think we are in control (or at least that we have the ability to control) but that’s just a trick of the analogy the trick of the Null World, as we started off this discussion by saying. That’s just a convenient illusion that has been provided for us (convenient only in one very limited respect that is) but otherwise outside of this there isn’t any convenience at all. Outside of the narrow illusion the Nullity isn’t ‘convenient’ in the least!
When I buy into the illusion of seeing convenience where there isn’t any then my arbitrary point of view ceases to be visible becomes invisible to me as such; it isn’t visible to me as an APOV because I have assumed it, because I have taken it for granted, I can’t see it, and neither can I see that I can’t see it. When I identify with the APOV everything only gets to exist in relation to the arbitrary but unquestionable mental yardstick that is the fixed VP; what makes sense to me only makes sense in relation to this yardstick and because I can neither see the yardstick (nor see that it is essentially arbitrary) I can’t see that what makes sense to me actually doesn’t make any sense at all. The meaningfulness of the world I live in ceases to be meaningful once I see that ‘world’ for what it is. This is the ‘act of forgetting’ that creates the self-centric world’ – I have forgotten that there are other viewpoints (any viewpoints other than the arbitrary or unreal one that I have assumed) and it is this act of forgetting that creates the positive or defined world.
It is this forgetting that results in us being tethered but also being unable to see that we are tethered, therefore. Being constitutionally unable to see that we are tethered (because we have identified with the grim wooden post that we are tethered to) means that the only type of movement that makes sense to us (or that can make sense to us) is ‘movement that exists in relation to the arbitrarily fixed viewpoint that we can’t see to be only arbitrary’. This isn’t real movement at all therefore, as we keep saying – it’s false movement, it’s illusory movement. We’re not actually getting anywhere – we can’t get anywhere no matter what you might think to the contrary because we don’t ever leave our arbitrary mental yardstick behind. We don’t want to leave it behind; that’s the very last thing we want to do, but the PRICE we pay for this reluctance to leave our made-up reference point behind is that all our journeys from this point on are only going to be imaginary ones.