13o | CR Note on eternity [1941]

of objects beyond the critical point of their
nothingness, beyond which they reach their being
in which they last forever. It is only to our
feeble intellect that this realm beyond may
appear as a 'dark shapeless abyss of eternal


Temporal event
in process of //// self-contradictory
moving ////                          
critical point
its nothingness
its eternal being
emptiness which is form

b) By the side of eternal reality understood
as endless duration, temporal events would be
dwarfed to nothing, their stature would be
annihilated by comparison with an overwhelming
duration. 'All time compared with eternity is
but short time, yea indeed as no time.' Everyth-
ing which becomes nothing can be already taken
as extinct if one disregards the time it takes
to become extinct.

c) If, however, we grasp the illusion not as van-
ished, in its final result, but in the process
of vanishing into eternity, in the process of
their dissolution, objects appear as self-con-
tradictory, as tending towards their nothingness.
By the means of time opposite determinations
can belong to the same thing without violating
the principle of contradiction. A material con-
tradiction requires that the S which is P is
not P. One usually avoids the recognition of
material contradictions by claiming that the
S which is P is not the same S which is not P.
Objective data are cut in such a way that the
contradictorily opposed predicates which are
combined in one and the same (changing) object
are kept apart by duration, and thus follow, or
succeed each other, come along one after the
other. One assumes, as a matter of habit, that
the one S & the other S, & the two incompatible