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We Are Ridden Like Beasts

A credo by d. h. lawrence, clipped from a journal entry by humandays:

Here's my creed, against Benjamin's. This is what I believe:

'That I am I.'
' That my soul is a dark forest.'
'That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.'
'That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.'
' That I must have the courage to let them come and go.'
' That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.'

There is my creed. He who runs may read. He who prefers to crawl, or to go by gasoline, can call it rot.

Reading it, I thought of a passage from the Book of the New Sun:
No intellect is needed to see those figures who wait beyond the void of death -- every child is aware of them, blazing with glories dark or bright, wrapped in authority older than the universe. They are the stuff of our earliest dreams, as of our dying visions. Rightly we feel our lives guided by them, and rightly too we feel how little we matter to them, the builders of the unimaginable, the fighters of wars beyond the totality of existence.

The difficulty lies in learning that we ourselves encompass forces equally great. We say , "I will," and "I will not," and imagine ourselves (though we obey the orders of some prosaic person every day) our own masters, when the truth is that our masters are sleeping. One wakes within us and we are ridden like beasts, but the rider is but some hitherto unguessed part of ourselves.

-Gene Wolfe


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC)
Reminds me of voodoo, and how practitioners are "mounted" by various ghosts, angels, or demons.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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