If you want to know yourself
you’ve got to keep up with yourself.
Your self moves on, and is not to-day what it was yesterday;
and you’ve got to run, to keep up with it.
But sometimes we run ahead too fast
running after a figment of ourselves.
And that’s what we’ve done to-day.
We think we’re such clever little johnnies
with our sharp little eyes and our high-power machines
which get us ahead so much faster than our feet could ever carry us.
When alas, it’s only part of our clever little self that gets ahead!
Something is left behind, lost and howling, and we know it.
Ah, clever Odysseus who outwitted the cyclop
and blinded him in his one big eye,
put out a light of consciousness and left a blinded brute.
Clever little ants in spectacles, we are,
performing our antics.
But what we also are, and we need to know it,
is blinded brutes of cyclops, with our cyclopean eye put out.
And we still bleed, and we grope and roar;
for spectacles and bulging clever ant-eyes are no good to the cyclop,
he wants his one great wondering eye, the eye of the cavern and the portent.
As little social ants perhaps we function all right.
But oh, our human lives, the lunging blind cyclops we are!
hitting ourselves against unseen rock, crashing our head against the roof
of the ancient cave, smashing into one another,
tearing each other’s feelings, trampling each other’s tenderest emotions to mud
and never knowing what we are doing, roaring blind with pain and dismay.
Ah, cyclops, the little ant-men can never enlighten you
with their bulging policeman’s-lamp eyes.
You need your own great wondering eye that flashes with instinct in the cavern
and gleams on the world with the warm dark vision of intuition!
Even our brilliantest young intellectuals
are also poor blind cyclops, moaning
with all the hurt to their instinctive and emotional selves,
and grieving with puppy-like blind crying
over their mutilated cyclopean eye.