Negative Order

Negative order is not disorder, but order in the wrong place. It is characteristic of the Nullity that it believes in its own world. In place of the universal determining-conditions which alone can distinguish between possible and impossible situations, the Nullity substitutes its own accidentally formed views and convictions as the criteria of truth. ‘Man the Measure’ is interpreted by the Nullity to mean that its own subjective attitudes are the realities with which all experience can tested. We shall call this condition of the Will subjectivism.


One consequence of subjectivism is the inversion of values. What is objectively insignificant appears to be most important. The Nullity feels itself the centre of the universe. It cannot participate in any will other than its own.


The subjectivism of the Nullity is reflected in its attitude towards time. Not only is it incapable of perceiving, or even visualizing, lines of time other than its own, but it is not even able to grasp the nature of time itself. for example, it cannot picture its own dissolution; an objective fact, which, not being present, is subjectively non-existent for it. So we have the very strange situation that the Nullity fears everything except the real terror, which is its complete dependence upon a perishable body. The Nullity lives either in the past or the future, neither of which exist for it – it cannot live in the present, for it does not itself exist. So it lives in a false world upon which it imposes its own false order.


Moreover, subjectivism confuses time with eternity. The Nullity takes the potential for actual and the actual for potential. In this way – as in many others – it apes the situation of the Complete Individuality, which really does possess equally both the actual and the potential.





– J.G Bennett. 1961. The Dramatic Universe. Volume 2.






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