I hope you will forgive me for a series of nested self-quotes in this post.
The universal acid of radical skepticism having nearly completed its work, all transcendent values have now been dissolved — and if all that once was sacred is now remembered at all, it is only to be mocked and scorned.
Nietzsche saw this coming: “the total eclipse of all values” would be inevitable, he knew, once there was no longer anyone to say “thou shalt not”. To borrow another astronomical metaphor: when the fires that sustain a great and luminous star have burned themselves out at last, it collapses under its own dead mass and says goodbye to the universe.
The final stages of this process can move along pretty briskly.
The link in the quoted passage just above will take you to an article, written for New York magazine by one Alexa Tsoulis-Reay, about a man who has a loving sexual relationship with a horse.
Now we have for you another item from the same author, called What It’s Like to Date Your Dad.
Returning to our metaphor above: what prevents a neutron star from collapsing further is something called the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which says that no two particles (in this case, neutrons) can occupy the same quantum state. This has limits, though: simply put, as the neutrons get squeezed harder and harder, the range of energies that they must possess to maintain distinct states increases. (This is referred to as “degeneracy pressure”.) When the mass of the star exceeds 3.2 or so solar masses, however, the energy required to prevent complete collapse reaches relativistic limits, and in an instant the whole thing gives way — because there is simply nothing left that can keep the star from being crushed right out of existence. It becomes a black hole — a gateway to oblivion that draws in anything that approaches it, and from which no light or information can escape.
To put it another way: when you have sufficient mass all seeking the lowest possible state at the same time, eventually there is nothing that can resist.
I do love an apt metaphor, I have to say.