Boxed In

Nick Williams
8 min readNov 16, 2023
Image — Party of the Dead, The Dead in the Dead City, 2020. Performance action. Photograph by and courtesy of Evgeny Kurskov, in artmargin.com

There is no movement apart from the Holomovement, which is ‘movement without a context’, which is ‘a river without any banks to contain it’. We might think that there is movement outside of the Holomovement, movement that is unconnected to the Holomovement, but that’s only when we look at things on what we might call a ‘local’ level, without bringing any actual perspective into play. Perspective (which is to say, ‘having more than just the one tyrannical viewpoint’) always has the effect of destroying this particular illusion. When we have no perspective then we have no sense of there being any such thing as ‘Universal Flux’ — nothing exists for us in this case apart from the neat, orderly (and static) boxes which we use for organizing our experience. Flux (or ‘ungrounded change’) doesn’t come into it.

Looking at things ‘on a local level’ means that we impose a distorting framework on what is there; locality only exists when there’s a framework which is distorting things — otherwise there’s nothing but non-locality, which is the ‘uncontrived’ state of affairs, which is the ‘non-collapsed’ state of affairs. Before the collapse there is no UP and no DOWN, no BEFORE and no AFTER, no HERE and no THERE, so locality — no matter how fundamental it might seem to us — can no longer hang together as a concept. Locality is revealed as a joke, not a real thing. If we look at this in terms of having a ruler (which is marked out in regular intervals, in centimetres or inches, or whatever) then we can say that when there is only the one viewpoint on matters then we have a standard, we can have a ruler for measuring things, but the more competing viewpoints come into play then the less realistic the notion of such a ‘standard’ becomes.

What we learn is that the ruler (or measuring stick) — which seems like such a very basic kind of a thing to us — is an artifact of our limited viewpoint and nothing more. When we get an ‘all-round view’ then we can’t help seeing that there is no possibility of measuring anything since reality doesn’t have any extension. Linearity isn’t a real thing — perspective will always shrink it to nothing. The gradations or demarcations that we take as being so fundamental are like dots drawn with a marker pen on the surface of a balloon and then ‘inflated’ — when the balloon has been blown up to maximum size the dots become separate things that we can navigate by, but were we to prick this balloon, causing it to deflate, then we’d see that there is no longer any space between the markings and that the territory we were taking for granted is actually a kind of trick. In the same way, therefore, perspective (or ‘awareness’) will allow us to see that the apparently extensive continuum of logic (which we take to be the actual reality) is only a geometrical point that has been ‘illegitimately’ (or ‘tautologically’) blown up.

The imposition of ‘locality’ and the appearance of there being something which we can call ‘limited movement’ (the type of movement that takes place strictly in relation to fixed points) are the same thing, therefore. The framework thus contains two contradictory ingredients — it contains the ingredients of ‘stasis’ (since everything has now been pinned down in terms of the FW, in terms of the ‘assumed context’), and it contains the ingredient of apparent movement, apparent change (since real change clearly can’t happen when it’s a static framework we’re talking about). We can’t have it both ways, after all…

If we wanted to express this in a simplistic type of a way we could say that we’ve got a kind of a ‘toy’ here, a toy which pins us down and then generates the artificial perception that we are moving when we’re not! It’s as if we’re in a box that has the very special property of making it seem that we’re not in a box. We’re contained within a FW that tricks us into thinking that we’re free from any constraining framework. The ‘toy’ that we’re talking about here has the interesting property of ‘creating virtual freedom’, therefore. This box is of course nothing other than the thinking mind which we carry around with us wherever we go. Wherever we go, we always bring this invisible framework along with us. The function of the ‘box’ — as we have just said — is to make it look as if there is no box, and this is exactly how it is with the thinking mind — it provides us with a complete vision of ‘how things are’ whilst at the same time scrupulously avoiding any mention of itself.

Just because the box, the framework, the device, etc, is 100% invisible this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t that it isn’t there and doing its job, therefore. That is its job — its job is to produce the oh-so-familiar world that we spend all of our time in and omit any mention of itself as it does so and — most of the time — it does this job very well. Generally speaking, as with an internal organ such as our liver, the only time we know that it’s there is when it starts to ‘malfunction’ in some way…

On the one hand is ‘the framework’, there’s ‘the box’, and this is a ‘frozen moment,’ so to speak — it a ‘screen grab’ that has been isolated from the ongoing flux and then treated as if it were an actual primary reality in itself. And on the other hand, there is ‘the show that is being put on in the box’, which is the show of there being actual change occurring (even though actual change is now an impossibility, since nothing can be permitted within the rational domain that does not correspond to a position on the linear axes (X,Y, Z, etc) that frame that bounded domain and bring it into being. ‘No boundaries’ means ‘no domain of logic’, the two can’t be separated.

We have in this situation obtained ‘two impossibilities for the price of one’ therefore — the static ‘screen grab’ is impossible in the first place since there’s no such thing as standing still in a universe whose essence is ultimately nothing other than Universal Flux and the type of so-called ‘change’ we relate to every day is impossible too since the Infinite Game cannot be contained within a finite one (or, as we could also say, since genuine change cannot take place within an abstract (or nominal) context that is fundamentally incapable of change. Once we put it like this it isn’t hard to see why the Infinite Game can’t take place within the remit of a Finite Game — if we were to say that change can take place within a fixed context (which in practise is what we do say) then we run into a problem straightaway since the only way the fixed context can register anything (or relate to anything) is if there is some kind of correspondence between what is happening and its understanding of ‘the type of things that can happen’.

There is no difference between context and content therefore, there’s no difference between ‘the measuring stick’ and ‘the domain that has been mapped out and formally ratified by that measuring stick’. It’s only a charade that there’s a difference, that the content is in any way independent of its context. It’s just like a great autocratic power claiming that a vassal state which it maintains is independent and a proper country in its own right — it might be politically expedient to keep up this story but there is of course no way that there’s ever going to be any truth in it. The conditioned world, the world that we are supposed to believe to be real (the world we absolutely do believe to be real) is just such a vassal state therefore — we can claim that this conditioned reality actually is the world as it is in itself, but this is a laughable facade. There’s no world there, only thought’s simulation of it, and thought’s simulation of the world is clearly not independent of thought! Nothing thought creates is ‘independent of thought’.

It’s all been rigged, in other words — the implication is that the Mind-Created Virtual Reality has its own independence (which is of course a necessary posture for any self-respecting simulation to have) but really it is an extension of thought, a projection of thought. The so-called ‘world’ that we are restricted to isn’t a world at all — it’s only a very thin facade of such. Because of our conservatism, because of our blatant neophobia, we never — or very rarely, at any rate — see through this façade but if we did start to look into it then it would only be a matter of time before we’d see that it’s all totally bogus. The conditioned reality only gets to exist because of the way we believe it, because of the way in which we promote it rather than questioning it.

The implicit claim made by the Mind-Created Virtual Reality is that it is ‘a world in its own right’, that it possesses freedom, that it contains the possibility for genuine change to occur within it. When we ‘stick to the script’ however — as we almost always do — then we don’t perceive this to be a constraint. We don’t perceive the script (or ‘model’) to be constraining us because as far as we’re concerned the script is all there is. To discover that the script is only a script (or that ‘the idea is only an idea’) is also therefore to discover that we are the ‘prisoners of an illusion’…

‘Life has the name of life but in reality it is death’, says Heraclitus, but just as long as we keep on thinking that ‘the script (or the MCVR) is all that there is’, as long as that we keep on believing that ‘the description is the thing’, we won’t be able to any make any sense at all this fragments of Heraclitus is teaching how come what we take to be life actually be death? What nonsense is this, we might ask? How could anyone possibly take this seriously? The answer to this riddle is very simple however — what we take to be life is actually death whenever we make the mistake of thinking that the MCVR is the same thing as a reality that is being simulated. When I live in a world that is made up of my own concepts, my own ideas, my own ‘knowing’, and I don’t see that there is this tremendous gulf between all of that and the situation as it actually is in itself, then the result of this is what we is that what we take to be life is in truth death and this — we might say — has got to be an absolute humdinger of a mistake to make, by any standards!

The mechanical life is death in disguise, in other words, and what we mean by ‘the mechanical life’ is simply the analogue of light that is produced by following our thoughts as if these thoughts what these thoughts are telling us is actually true! Life is unique rather than generic, original rather than a mere exercise in copying, and yet thinking is by its very nature always generic, always second-hand. When we take our cue from thinking (i.e., when we live on a logical or rational basis) then we’re not living life therefore but something else, something entirely different. We’re living the idea of life and the idea of life is just another idea, just another thought. Or as we could also say, when we automatically operate on the basis of thought (as we always do) then what we really doing is that we’re repeating this ‘thing that has the name of life but which is in reality death’ — we’re perpetuating it under the deluded impression that this is a good (or perhaps the only) thing to do…

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