Everyone wants it. Everyone is searching for it. Some go their whole lives without it, but you might have it and not even know.
So what is… it?
It is the sight that has never been seen. It is the taste that has never been tasted, though you long to taste it. It is the dew on a four-leaf clover that formed knowing you would step on it with bare feet. It is a mystery wrapped inside an enigma that turns out to have been inside the initial mystery all along.
It is the ne in je ne sais quoi, the n’t in I don’t know what. It is the feeling you had when you realized that Mario 2 was all a dream, and yet it reaches beyond that. It is the infant in infinitesimal, the et in eternity. It is snow falling on the branch of a tree that will one day be carved into the baseball bat that will be swung by– you guessed it– Hank Aaron. It is the light bulb the day before it was invented.
It is what the philosophers have been dreaming of for eons. It is what the great artists flirted with but ultimately could not capture. Michaelangelo saw it dimly, for a brief instant; da Vinci could complete only half a sketch before he set his pencil down. It is massive, but it is tiny. It is weighty, but it can balance on the head of a pin.
It is the line between an effeminate pink and a masculine red. It is a mango three seconds from becoming overripe. It is a game of chess that has been won before the last pawn is even placed on the board. It is the undeconstructable nuance that human industry reaches out toward though our muscles rip and our sinews tear; it is the darkness within light within darkness, a glass neither half empty nor half full. It simply is. And you either have it, or you don’t.
What’s that you ask? Do we have it?
…we can’t say.
ADAM WEISHAUPT is a Professor of Law at the University of Ingolstadt. His hobbies include rationalism, masonry, and opposition to Kantian idealism.