An essay by Writingrav
The Eternal Pen… This is the literal translation of the term that serves in Polish for what we call in English a fountain pen. How apt a description! Of course, logically the term is intended to distinguish between the relatively ephemeral nature of the dip pen’s ability to carry ink as compared to the fountain pen’s. However, unrestrained by the limits of mere logic, the mental image conjured by the term “Eternal Pen” ushers us into the realm of philosophy; perhaps metaphysics, if not theology itself.
Eternity is not a concept that conforms to the limits of logic. On the contrary; it expresses a reality that is real precisely in its exceeding the limits of logic. Like love, like faith, the experience of the numinous or the Divine, life is filled with experiences that cannot be contained within the limits of logic. Some would argue, in fact, that these metaphysical experiences are what gives to life its very meaning – a meaning that logic cannot begin to describe or express.
Rather, Eternity describes the indescribable. It is a word used to indicate the limits of language, language after all being itself a system of rules. Like in poetry, the use of the word Eternal points to an experience no less real for our inability to describe it. Is this not what the fountain pen aficionado experiences every time he or she picks up a well-functioning fountain pen; the perfect balance in the hand, the sensation of laying down a line characterized by the visceral sight of the liquidity of the ink – it is almost alive! – and the beguiling shading that imparts to the mere act of writing a touch of art? Yes, if this is not an experience that exceeds the limits of logic and language, what else could be?
Eternity does not merely signal the presence of palpable mystery. It imbues the mysterious with positive content: Eternity is where we want to be! It is a synonym for heaven, for nirvana, for bliss. And while we understand that it is neither a mere physical or temporal entity, but rather a dimension of reality, never the less it conveys the experience of transformation, of being transported to a metaphoric place from where all of the acts of the mundane world are imbued with a new significance. A shopping list is no longer a shopping list. It is an opportunity to commune with the mysterium tremendom.
Finally, the addictive attraction of Eternity as an alternative to living merely in the mundane world, must be held in check lest the adept lose touch with the very structure of Reality itself – lurking just beneath the surface of metaphysics is the threat of madness. What are the costs of indulging in the madness? Ah, that is indeed the question.