A chain, black like lead, is extended through the universe, through space and time, immutable, eternal, straight; it does not curve, nor move, it always occupies the same position, neither does it expands or contract, it is not seen, ever, distorted, whatever the speed at which it is observed, it is not subject to laws beyond its own.
Humans can perceive with their senses only a minimal part of it, because the rings, reminiscent of the three-dimensional trapezoids of the elongated torus, are all the same shape, but of different dimensions, and in which one part is smaller than the other by a millionth.
Each ring next to the one from which begins the observation of the strange object will, in its most distant part of the previous ring, be larger by a millionth; the ring that there connects will be larger one millionth, and so on, each successive ring will be identical to the previous, only a bit larger.
You cannot appreciate the difference with the naked eye, from one ring to the next, but if you were to run alongside the chain stretched out into space, after a while. you would clearly notice that its parts have increased in size.
Continuing, those that before seemed rings only suitable to lock up a bicycle, become more massive, eventually large enough to be used for a construction crane, then to hold the anchor of a huge ship.
There is no end, or there seems not to be an end. If you continue on, you will find further links, bigger and bigger, massive, like boulders on which you can sit, then stroll, and finally run for meters and meters, until you can span the distance no more before reaching the vertical mass of what will be the next ring.
A spaceship would be needed to pass round some of them, as big as moons, planets, then as immense as black metal stars. Human skills are no longer at the height of an overview, it appears that it would take years traveling at high speed to cross some of them, and after those, some whose extreme points are years light apart, and even as vast as ancient galaxies.
While an observer may perceive the existence of only one of these colossal objects, there will always be a next one, and it will always be “a bit”, proportionally speaking, larger than the former one.
You cannot see the end of this artifact, lost in the darkest void, in the most pure and deserted space, infinite and devoid of matter and light, it navigates relentlessly, invisible and black as its surroundings, beyond the known, where everything lacks a point of reference, and where it might again seem to have contained entire dimensions, lost in a vastness that is so blind as to verge on non-existence.
But even if the space that surrounds it might seem to overwhelm the chain with his unfathomable abyss, you must conclude that sooner or later one ring will necessarily occupy all the rest of it, and all of time, occupy and then “become” the whole universe.
It’s not over. The other end of the chain is curious as well, at the same time equal and different. The rings become smaller and smaller, it becomes thin as a watch chain, then a christening necklace, a fine, slender work of jewelry, then even smaller, so that the naked eye can no longer distinguish the form of the rings, and you can barely see a thin fishing line, a hair, a dribble, which will disappear. And the chain seems to end there, at one point from where it seems to start.
No, it does not! I does not end there at all, it sinks into the space from which it emerges, becomes smaller and smaller, it can be seen, like the tip of a pin; around that last point visible to the naked eye, there is space, back and around, but the chain does not end there; if you used a microscope you would see it, the size of a skin cell, a red blood cell, a mitochondrion, then of a sequence of DNA, and still it continues, always occupying less space, but without losing its identity of a black chain, made up of who knows what matter.
It certainly is not formed by atoms; at the atomic level, the chain is still there, shrinking, and it goes on like this without change, reaching the picometres, the waves and radiation appear, at first, to be small by comparison, then, again, gigantic; femtometers, uranium seems tiny at first, then huge after, and the same continuing with the hydrogen atom, the proton, the boson, every quark, the chain does never stops.
Maybe there is no end to this part of the chain, either, but again, you cannot know for sure, nor you can imagine the last link. The chain can be reduced, remaining “chain”, beyond the known particles, beyond the strings and one Planck length, sinking like a brave whaling vessel in the turmoil of space-time foam, where the concept of matter and energy lose sense, and so those of place and being, where time may freeze or disappear altogether, and where it would never be possible to go and observe.
It could be that the chain is made up of atoms, in their proper etymological sense of non-breakable items, some are convinced of it, components that cannot be separated into more pieces, not even in thought… but that are able, however, to overcome the logical paradox, known in traditional geometry, that what has no parts, like a point, can’t be subject to aggregation, and form a plan, since this process requires that something is added up to something else by contact of a portion of both, and in the absence of portions and parties, each object would just coincide with each other, in all and thus without increasing.
It is unthinkable that an object can add up to another coinciding with it completely.
Others say that the chain therefore exists only in concept, there is no chain but in thought, and so it must be that although there may be portions of it that you can see with the naked eye, and touch, and pass through the narrow section of the universe in which human beings work and can be active, so it might also be hit with a hammer, or subjected to experiments.
Each observation of how it does not change, despite resounding like metal when struck, and belongs in all its aspects to what is known and called by the name of “chain”, it is just reside in the brain, in thought, and it is no more than a product of it, like all the rest of what you can call “reality”, which also, perhaps, does not “exist” either, or exists in a uncertain and limping way like the chain does, if we consider that both emerge from the same unfathomable depths.
For some scholars, every link, if you had them in front of you, is real, but just as much as must “the first” and “the last” of the sequence be real, never seen, only imagined, and with no other content than the specific and additional properties to be “first” and “last”.
For others, though its existence is the concept, it is also necessarily infinite; its non-finiteness is closely linked to the notion of “subsequent”, which has no limit, or rather places an explicit “non-limit”, since you can always imagine another ring at each end…
Exactly as you can imagine a last one! Reply those who disagree.
According to one theory, the fact that the chain exists or not, is not of the slightest importance; even if it is, it is not real at all; according to others, however, the chain is real just because it is not: if it may only be thought, it becomes real, or vice versa, even if seen and touched, it is not there at all.
Or the unreality of its existence is just another component of it, but that does not rule out that it could exist for real.
Some linger on the unknowableness, of its remotest parts; others on its partial knowability in the chains of the day by day. And so on, some quibble on its not-total-unknowableness, or non-total knowability of its unknowableness, and so on, without end and purpose.
Others claim that it is and it is not at the same time. Some talk about an ambivalent state, suspended between existence and nonexistence, or between material existence and one of mere logic, between logical and ontological, in a third state, in an intermediate world between thought and reality, mental and physical, and so on in many lazy variants of the same concept.
Whether there is or not, whether you just think of it, or you can touch it, or you touch and see, or that only you are thinking to see and touch it, whether it is happening in real life, or in a dream, the chain is there, in one way or another it is, it came to light when it was imagined, and it crosses the entire universe… all of it in the ontological sense, since nobody knows its precise location. Maybe it is an infinite part of infinite, and it penetrates into its depths, from where it emerges and sinks, unchanging, repetitive, simple, but mysterious, unknowable and unfathomable, monumental at the same time.