What all these aspirations have in common is that they are larger goals that contain me, which implies that if I attain these goals I will dissolve into them like a river flowing into a measureless sea. Garcia concludes as follows: “There is no salvation, because if it is effective it does not concern me, and if it concerns me then it is not effective. It absorbs me as part of an ensemble.” If the meaning of life is salvation, then this means to lose oneself—to be dissolved into something much larger.
Yet there are two meanings of life. For just as I am encompassed in something larger, I also encompass much that is less than I am, though I also cannot be dissolved downward into these components. What saves me from dissolution in either direction is the flatness of the world which leaves me, like all other things, in solitude.
Because things are in me and by me, because I encompass things no less than something encompasses me, I (like every thing) infinitely resist my dissolution or realization, my being drawn up into salvation, into a totality, an idea, a spirit, or an eternity that envelops me. I am encompassed, but I encompass. And I will never become fused into that which is more than I am.
This resistance is the tragedy of each thing, which will never be saved, whose end cannot be the exclusive meaning, which is not realized in that which completely encompasses it. But this is also the chance of each thing. (482)
My solitude in the world is what prevents my dissolution into a higher purpose, and in this way it also obstructs my salvation. Nor can my individuality become a form of purpose or salvation, since I am not just myself, but exist in other things.