Saturday, 10 October 2009

Upwards

He flung some article of clothing through the air, gravity took care of the rest. Why wouldn't it? That's what gravity does, big ignorant bastard that it is. It brooks no revolt, no objection. Although I suppose it might accept the revolt, something flung defiantly upwards, but it remains stoically, jovially even, unperturbed. Its alliance with that other great mute force will take care of this revolt, if revolt it be - that other force of course being time.

So something is flung away from the earth's core, upwards, but as it travels some invisible dread force pulls it towards itself, remorselessly; and this force has no need to make any great noise about the quashing of this revolt. There are no anguished appeals to some higher arbitrator. Victory is more or less certain. That's gravity for you.

But on the other hand, and to return from the general to the given particular of our article of clothing flung upwards, what we might appropriately call the mind of this article, as in the intention in the mind of its thrower, would surely be confused by all this talk of revolt. The article was flung across the room. It was almost certainly expected and desired that it would land, probably on a chair rather than the floor, and this intention naturally aided by the union of those two forces of gravity and time. There was no notion of revolt, of this article's escape from its earthly chains. It can hardly be expected that he wished the article to fly free, and that's without even going into the issue of those other impediments such as walls and ceiling.

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