The Great Emptiness - Georgi Grozdev
The Great Emptiness
There are a few random leaves in the night lake of lotuses. The skyscrapers across lit like Christmas trees seem to fall through them. The pulsating edges of their balconies, the colorful facades running in the dark, the alien-spaceship-like shining rooftops ready for liftoff alter the reality familiar by day.
Their last floor is at the bottom, their first has become the fiftieth. The rooftop of another skyscraper reaches halfway down, followed by the reflected Chinese sky and the great emptiness.
I was standing over the abyss contemplating while behind my back a grandfather was telling his grandson not to do like me so as to avoid falling in the water. I could understand him by the gestures and tone of voice.
I must have seemed as if I had dropped my watch into the lake. Metaphorically speaking – I had! Literally – I hadn't. I haven't worn a watch in years.
In the midst of all the city lights man becomes both frivolous, but also contemplative. Too material but also ethereal. In such moments I honestly believe that the ancient Chinese writers without smart phones and modern computers, without internet knew more about themselves and the world than us, born centuries later. The mind is unreal. There is nothing outside the mind of man, everything is in his mind. Free yourself from the world and the world from yourself. They were seeking an answer to the ten thousand things. They were thinking of the insatiable nine orifices of the human body. They made the effort to count them.
Why does the ancient man from the pastures of civilization walk obediently in the footsteps of the devil who has taken the image of money? Why is hedonism so unruly? Such thoughts, too, visit me in the mysterious city nights where light springs and drowns. Today I had a very close look at a butterfly on a beautiful flower. I photographed it. It was so intoxicated by the nectar it was oblivious to me. Now, when I see it enlarged on my screen I notice its wings have the same shining blue dotted lines as the one springing from the bottom of the upside-down skyscraper in the lotus lake.
The butterfly too is part of the mystery. A single butterfly killed in the past can alter the entire future. What do we know about the mystery of this world resembling a game of chance?
In the morning, I notice the sparkling of big droplets on the last remaining leaves now colored in hard to name colors. Do they contain coded messages? Why do I think they are simply gems forgotten from the night before? What if they aren't forgotten...
Space and time are not linear according to the Chinese. A man's thought has more than three dimensions. It can visit the most remote points of the universe in fractions of a second. As soon as you have thought it, it has happened.
I can't get my head around the fact that contemporary literature and culture continue to drag their feet from point A to point B like a paralyzed tortoise, when these points don't exist, never have and there is no straight line either.
Plot lines in today's novels continue to be linear. There are readers from the enlightened minorities who are already realizing it: we live in a multidimensional surreal Created World. In a time and place which are relative. More relative than Einstein's Theory of Relativity. It is possible to arrive at a place before you have even left for it. It happens in my novel Entropy.
The civilization of spectacles does not respect but rather destroys written word. The word cannot be compared to the images springing up from even the bottom of lotus lake.
That is why I think it is literature's duty to peek inside the reverse depths where rooftops are somewhere down there in the mystic abyss of the great emptiness. True creativity is a refuge of thought in all its forms. It has been in ancient China since forever. It is still the case today, not just in Shanghai, as long as their is thought.
The lotus lake with its last leaves brings in itself a greater reality of skyscrapers than can exist on its surface. How does it do it? By reflecting them in depth.
Their civilization has been a source of interest for me since my teenage years. Not just because their perception of the world is different from the elementary Euclid's logic. They do not picture time as something that can be split up and measured, yet they invented the watch centuries ahead of Europeans.
They do not obsess about where exactly the beginning or the end lie, nor do they look for them. (They regard the watch as an unsuitable gift as it reminds of a person's numbered days.) Unlike the Greek logos they do not place Man on a par with the Created World. Intuitively they dwell closer to the mystery of the world.
We are only part of a cycle which is unknowable. Time has no beginning and no end. The watch is a useful toy. Man is only part of the mysterious Created World. Maybe its most important part.
I turned my eyes to the night sky in understanding. Something flickered like a blown ember amidst the bamboo stems. The Moon had quietly risen behind me.