The core concept of ‘Being not Being’ is essential to the sf and fantasy fiction of Jake Jackson. Alongside other notions of Time, and Will, it allows the exploration of the universe before the Big Bang event, and out beyond the limits of the expanding universe.
An object can both ‘be something’ and ‘not be something’ (else). At a simple level a stone is a hard object and not a soft object. This concept is a useful philosophical tool to help us think about what existed before the Big Bang and, if the universe is expanding, what it is expanding into.
If Time, at least our concept of standard time exists only from the point of the Big Bang, and is defined by the limits of the universe created by that event then if anything exists beyond and before then it could be described as both ‘being’ and ‘not being’. We know we cannot define it in Time, to the extent that currently we can predict Time back to moments after a Big Bang, but not before. However, in not being defined by Time, it is defined by the absence of Time. It becomes something we cannot describe with any accuracy except in terms that it is not. So it is defined by Time. It is also defined by our inability to measure anything beyond the limits of our understanding of Time and Space and our language, mathematical or otherwise, to describe the nature of existence.
A Supreme Entity?
A ‘Being’ (i.e. not a state of being) could also be described as a ‘not Being’. Perhaps this is what drives faith in a supreme entity, a God or force, one which exists in pre-eternity, as a progenitor of the Big Bang, or at least precedes it, either of which is beyond our understanding. Our inability to ‘prove’ such an existence is also the inability not to prove. This neither indicates nor invalidates a God, or some form of ultimate power or force, but does address a state of beyond-ness which encloses the definable limits of Time and Space, in terms that some of the religions and philosophies might recognise, such as the creative formlessness of Hinduism’s Brahman.
The simultaneity of ‘Being and not Being’ offers an essential duality, a balance not necessarily between between light and dark, but light, and the absence of light, darkness and absence of darkness. We talk in terms of matter and antimatter, but these are not opposites, they’re part of the same phenomenon.
So How does this tie into the Books?
The duality of ‘Being not Being’ is the device through which the original creature of light, Ka, is captured by the Sidhe. The momentary, fundamental break in balance that frees Ka also releases others, from the beginnings of time, across the plains of the universe, and creates the need for Hunter to seek and return them to their natural place.
The next post will take a look at Schopenhauer’s Will, and how it operates with the notion of ‘Being not Being’.