While being administered a Wechsler IQ test I balked during a task of placing numbers and letters in sequence when the same number was given to me twice. Is the intelligent answer "1,2,5,8, b,f,h,r,t, or "1,2,5,5,8 b,f,h,r,t"? I became preoccupied with my problem of repetition. Does anybody else have a problem with repetition, I wondered. Am I afflicted by an abnormality of thinking, an inability to process repetition that causes symptoms of mental confusion, or, indeed, actually confounds me in a way that nobody else could clearly understand but merely diagnose? What am I at this moment bewildered by repetition? How is it possible to go on thinking at all?
Kangas writes (citations omitted):
If at any moment repetition were allowed to occur, the very idea of repetition, a movement "by virtue of the absurd," beyond representation, would be annihilated. Repetition is essentially deferred. To think repetition can therefore occur only by means of an even greater thinking of its difficulty, at a limit, its impossibility. Thinking repetition takes shape as a continual stepping back from the present and self-presence to the point where freedom—whose "supreme interest" is repetition—discovers its destitution, in the ordeal. To think is to arrive ever again at the point where though discovers an abyss (vibrations, rotations, whirlings) and freedom finds itself ungrounded. Thinking proceeds up to what cannot be thought.