You collect art: you must know that the miniature artists, at the end of careers spent painting the tiniest, most exacting details that no one would ever look at, would often put their eyes out with needles. Too much beauty, yes, but also too much seeing. They were tired of seeing. The dark was safe and warm and comfortable. Blindness was a gift. I still have seeing to do.
The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice;When will you free yourself from cowardice?Since you have such a short time to live here,What difference does it make? What should you fear?The world is filth and sin, and homeless menMust enter it and homeless leave again.They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if weMust perish in this quest, that, certainly,Is better than a life of filth and grief.If this great search is vain, if my beliefIs groundless, it is right that I should die.So many errors throng the world - then whyShould we not risk this quest? To suffer blameFor love is better than a life of shame.No one has reached this goal, so why appealTo those whose blindness claims it is unreal?I'd rather die deceived by dreams than giveMy heart to home and trade and never live.We've been and heard so much - what have we learned?Not for one moment has the self been spurned;Fools gather round and hinder our release.When will their stale, insistent whining cease?We have no freedom to achieve our goalUntil from Self and fools we free the soul.To be admitted past the veil you mustBe dead to all the crowd considers just.Once past the veil you understand the WayFrom which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray.If you have any will, leave women's stories,And even if this search for hidden gloriesProves blasphemy at last, be sure our questIs not mere talk but an exacting test.The fruit of love's great tree is poverty;Whoever knows this knows humility.When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast,That man despairs of life and knows no rest.Love's pain will murder him and blandly askA surgeon's fee for managing the task -The water that he drinks brings pain, his breadIs turned to blood immediately shed;Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant,Love forces him to be her combatant;He cannot take one mouthful unawareThat he is floundering in a sea of care.
There had been no crises of incident, or marked movements of experience such as in Felipe's imaginations of love were essential to the fulness of its growth. This is a common mistake on the part of those who have never felt love's true bonds. Once in those chains, one perceives that they are not of the sort full forged in a day. They are made as the great iron cables are made, on which bridges are swung across the widest water-channels,--not of single huge rods, or bars, which would be stronger, perhaps, to look at; but myriads of the finest wires, each one by itself so fine, so frail, it would barely hold a child's kite in the wind: by hundreds, hundreds of thousands of such, twisted, re-twisted together, are made the mighty cables, which do not any more swerve from their place in the air, under the weight and jar of the ceaseless traffic and tread of two cities, than the solid earth swerves under the same ceaseless weight and jar. Such cables do not break.
Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see ...each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition-- all such distortions within our own egos-- condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That's how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other's naked hearts.
I don't think it had ever occurred to me that man's supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain's capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilization, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.
Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside. There was, in particular, the sun, light, and all colors. There were even the shapes of objects and the distance between objects. Everything was there and movement as well Light is an element that we carry inside us and which can grow there with as much abundance, variety, and intensity as it can outside of usI could light myselfthat is, I could create a light inside of me so alive, so large, and so near that my eyes, my physical eyes, or what remained of them, vibrated, almost to the point of hurting God is there under a form that has the good luck to be neither religious, not intellectual, nor sentimental, but quite simply alive.