Remonstration on Being

Before accompanying the second individual, you decide to raise an objection to the monologue. You argue that it makes no sense to say that literally everything "exists" - do unicorns exist, do pink elephants? To exist is to be actually present in this moment as a particular object. If it isn't here in front of us, then a thing is just empty potential or ideas with no real substance. Such things are beyond being, they simply don't exist.

The man frowns. When you are finished speaking, he offers a response:

When someone claims that a thing is "beyond being", or claims that something "does not exist", you may be confident that they are deeply confused. It is much the same with those who claim certain things are “more or less real”, for everything is equally real in the sense that it “is” and may therefore be referenced. Whatever information or meaning you are aware of, it "is", without exception.

Your language betrays a certain metaphysical poverty or confusion. To understand what has been said up to this point, you need to appreciate the particular definitions given to the terminology. Being was described as encompassing all that might be referenced or perceived; it is about affirmation, about ontological presence. By labelling certain things as "existing", and other things as "not existing", you are merely labelling narrow categories within that broader context. Yet when the others were speaking, it was the broader context as a whole that interested them.

You must recognise that you have quietly changed the scope of the discussion, and you have assigned a new definition to the term "exists". One might say that certain things "exist", and certain other things "do not exist", but note that both categories consist of meaning and are therefore unified by a common context. It is that context, that common nature, that must be considered. Those who do their best to hide from such a realisation suffer from a self-imposed metaphysical poverty or blindness.

I'll be blunt- yes, unicorns and pink elephants exist. If unicorns and pink elephants literally "did not exist" (as if that were a coherent claim), then how would you distinguish between the "unicorn" and the "pink elephant"? To do so, you must affirm points of distinction. The truth of what I am saying then becomes obvious.

If you live a blinkered existence, refusing to consider the breadth of metaphysics, then you will never say anything of lasting value. We can only discuss what exists. Every little thing, no matter how insignificant or absurd, must be afforded ontological status and placed within the context of Being.

Now then, would you like to accompany me and review the exhibits that I have prepared?

The man waits patiently for your answer. As you open your mouth to respond, you notice another path leading out from the hall. A sign indicates that there is a public canteen and grove.

Choices:

  1. Accompany the man to the exhibit...
  2. Excuse yourself and go in search of food...