Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, January 17, 2005

Mast Head View (of You)

Let us stand high in the Pequod’s main mast with Ishmael in Moby Dick, as he accounts the danger of

... the poor, dreamy mast-head scout .. a sunken-eyed young Platonist who will tow you ten wakes round the world and never make you one pint of sperm the richer...

... lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of cacant, unconscious reverie is the this absent-midned youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep,blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding,beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, the spirit ebbs awa to whence it came, becomes diffused through time and space; like Wickliff’s sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of eveyr shore the round globe over.

There is not life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your fot or hand an inch, slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at mid-day, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek, you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!


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