This is one of my favorite phrases coined by Alan Watts, who I’ve been immersing myself in over the last few months.
The idea of the element of irreducible rascality is that there is no perfect system. There’s no ultimate stability in anything: physical, logical, emotional, or spiritual. At the bottom of every hole, at the end of every train of thought, and behind even the most powerful structures, is a little rascal that will undo it all. It’s the exception to every rule, including this one.
All things fall apart.
If the universe is balanced on the top of a turtle’s back, and that turtle is balanced on top of another turtle’s back, and the turtles go all the way down, then the element of irreducible rascality is at the bottom, holding nothing, standing on nothing.
The element of irreducible rascality created the first creator, and nothing created it.
It’s the paradox that ties together the two ends of infinity.
When you think you’ve figured it out, it throws in a new wrench. It has infinite wrenches.
Does the set of all sets that don’t include itself include itself?
Did you stop kicking the king of Jupiter?
I find strange comfort in the element of irreducible rascality. The groundlessness of all things. The merging of cause and effect, particle and wave, light and shadow.
It is the antidote to one-upmansip and the friend of craftsmanship.
The element of irreducible rascality will subvert any desire for permanence, stability, of certainty.