Q:- I’m not sure I understand what you mean when you say that the essence of natural inclusion can be worked out simply by asking ‘what, most fundamentally, needs to be present for naturally-occurring local bodily forms like rocks, water drops and our own bodies to be distinguishable from their surroundings’ – how is this possible?




We can quickly accept, can’t we, that for anything to be distinct from what it is included in, there must be at least TWO fundamental kinds of presence that contrast with each other. If there was only ONE kind of presence, no distinguishable forms would exist.


Now, let’s consider what each of these different kinds of presence would need to be like.


Firstly, one of these presences would have to be present within the form but not outside the form. We could call this an informative presence or, if you like, ‘something-ness’, which makes natural form physically resistive or tangible and directly detectable (through its shape, colour, sound, smell, hardness, temperature) by our bodily senses. But this something-ness would not be distinguishable without the other presence all around to be present in and contrast with. Some regard this other presence as an Absence, but we regard it as just as much a presence as the ‘something-ness’ it contrasts with. To be distinguishable from something-ness, this other ‘not-something-ness’ must be physically non-resistive (i.e. utterly slippery) or intangible. Being intangible it cannot be removed from or displaced by something-ness. This is the presence that in common language we refer to as ‘space’ or ‘void’ – a presence that is not a substance but makes the existence of substance possible. It doesn't help us to discount this presence as an absence of something-ness. It needs to be considered as a presence of not-something-ness.


As Ludwig Wittgenstein recognized, ‘this space I can imagine empty, but I cannot imagine the thing without the space’. Try to imagine, as Wittgenstein did, what everywhere would be like if everywhere consisted solely of space, with no informative presence. It would be limitless formlessness – utter void, utter emptiness. No ground upon which to walk. No territory. Now try to imagine what local form would be like if it contained no space. Such a form would have no shape and no size – it would be ‘dimensionless’. There could be no walker or ground to walk upon. It is inconceivable. It would be a nowhere place indistinguishable from the nowhere space everywhere – and this is true at whatever spatial scale, from sub-atomic to galactic. Form and space include each other at all scales of existence – the informative presence and space are distinct from each other but cannot be separated at any scale without the informative presence disappearing into nowhere and space becoming a place without any form. We would quite literally, if this were true, render our existence non-existent.


 Now, let’s consider what this mutual inclusiveness of space and informative presence in local bodily forms implies. We have recognised that space, as an intangible presence must be everywhere, without limit. Space is an omnipresence, which cannot be removed or displaced from anywhere. Space is utter, infinite, stillness. Being utterly slippery, it does not resist movement, and indeed is what both invites movement and makes movement possible: we experience this invitation and facilitation of movement on an everyday basis as what we commonly call suction. Space is a receptive presence, which calls resistive presence into flow, like a universal zero-viscosity lubricant.


So, if space is everywhere, where, then, is the informative presence? We have already recognised that the informative presence must be somewhere in space. Yet this informative presence alone, i.e. devoid of space, would be nowhere. Somehow this informative presence must BOTH include and be included in space. It must somehow be spread out across space and not exclude space or be excluded from space. It cannot be definitively ‘particulate’ or ‘singled out’ from its spatial neighbourhood. Also, it cannot be spread out instantaneously, that is in ‘no-time’. It can only be spread out through continuous movement or oscillation, and such movement is as impossible in zero time as having shape and size is in zero space.


So, there we have it. The shape and size of all local bodily forms is ultimately sustained dynamically by the continuous movement of informative presence (which, as continuous mobility, we can now recognise as ‘energy’) within and around local centres (intangible ‘zero points’) of the infinite stillness of space. All natural bodily forms are flow-forms, made of the flux of informative presence in receptive presence. We cannot understand this instantaneously, which is why definitive theory based on ‘still life snapshots’ of reality are so misleading and paradoxical.