SUN XUN: 21G
History has abandoned time, we have lost our souls.
This world lacks a clear concept of time; we live in emptiness. Right and wrong are confounded! There are no laws, no rules. Lies dominate! Here there are only the cheaters and the cheated. I am a formerly great prognosticator. These days, I practice as a magician, wearing a top hat and tails, a profession of lies! I depend on deceit for survival; people are more than happy to pay me for my lies! Lies are spiritual drugs. When promises fall through, as they always do, lies can keep up appearances, can make everything gorgeous. People wallow in boundless illusion… smiling… Lying, no matter under what circumstances, is doomed to the condemnation of morality, but I am the lone exception. Lies are this world’s only effective ordering principle, because truth never existed. No one knows what is real, knows the standards by which we discern truth. When uncertain, all they can do is pawn their souls, send us their hope! We give them lies in exchange, because lies look so much better than truths… Yes, magicians are authorities! Lies are truths! And so much cheaper! Truth is harsh, but lies in their essence can make the great, the metaphysical, the sublime that much easier. We have boundless power, we dominate the world, we can turn it upside down! Dominate! Kidnapped souls, magicians are the real revolutionaries! Magicians are the most hysterical! Magicians are the ruling class! Anything, everything, no matter its physical properties, can be changed! Must be changed! Lies spread to every corner of the world… until belief or refusal to doubt becomes a form of inertia.
In a world not what it seems, the object of our gaze is empty, without limits. At the end, cliffs and precipices, national movie-theatrism! A row of neat “numbers” lined up on a machine of lies, whether expression or movement, all emit incomparable sincerity and emotion, drunk with affect. This machine spews cold light, fluctuating with the sound of an amnesia-inducing motor… the light and shadows tremble at the edge of the world… full of forgotten happiness, everything is addictive. Behind the shadows, light, colorful and resplendent. Spinning, elegant, blurry… a sleek cane, a suffocating top hat, a noble shadow, a flashy bow tie, perhaps for a celebration, perhaps for a disaster, everything is so overwhelmingly large… a magicians’ ball! This is an empty movie theater, no people. Telephones, microscopes, globes and biology… the holes in our grand system, a parallel order, nothing more than props in the prop case of a magician, archaeology, anatomy, and violins… And— Motley museums, patched monuments, barren galleries, laughing plazas, a theater hung with blood-red curtains, towering T-shaped churches ravaged by time… we mock without dread, this useless edifice no better than a prison!
History is a ring, not quite regular, but more or less round, full of regret. π is no longer a formula for truth: a revolution is but a shoddy compass, turning furiously, revolving in futility, dying without any discernible illness.