BOOK TWO: The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds
CANTO X: The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind
Even a greater miracle was done.
The mediating light linked body’s power,
The sleep and dreaming of the tree and plant,
The animal’s vibrant sense, the thought in man,
To the effulgence of a Ray above.
Its skill endorsing Matter’s right to think
Cut sentient passages for the mind of flesh
And found a means for Nescience to know.
Offering its little squares and cubes of word
As figured substitutes for reality,
A mummified mnemonic alphabet,
It helped the unseeing Force to read her works.
A buried consciousness arose in her
And now she dreams herself human and awake.
But all was still a mobile Ignorance;
Still Knowledge could not come and firmly grasp
This huge invention seen as a universe.
A specialist of logic’s hard machine
Imposed its rigid artifice on the soul;
An aide of the inventor intellect,
It cut Truth into manageable bits
That each might have his ration of thought-food,
Then new-built Truth’s slain body by its art:
A robot exact and serviceable and false
Displaced the spirit’s finer view of things:
A polished engine did the work of a god.
None the true body found, its soul seemed dead:
None had the inner look which sees Truth’s whole;
All glorified the glittering substitute.
Then from the secret heights a wave swept down,
A brilliant chaos of rebel light arose;
It looked above and saw the dazzling peaks,
It looked within and woke the sleeping god.
Imagination called her shining squads
That venture into undiscovered scenes
Where all the marvels lurk none yet has known:
Lifting her beautiful and miraculous head,
She conspired with inspiration’s sister brood
To fill thought’s skies with glimmering nebulae.
A bright Error fringed the mystery-altar’s frieze;
Darkness grew nurse to wisdom’s occult sun,
Myth suckled knowledge with her lustrous milk;
The infant passed from dim to radiant breasts.
Thus worked the Power upon the growing world;
Its subtle craft withheld the full-orbed blaze,
Cherished the soul’s childhood and on fictions fed
Far richer in their sweet and nectarous sap
Nourishing its immature divinity
Than the staple or dry straw of Reason’s tilth,
Its heaped fodder of innumerable facts,
Plebeian fare on which today we thrive.
Thus streamed down from the realm of early Light
Ethereal thinkings into Matter’s world;
Its gold-horned herds trooped into earth’s cave-heart.
Its morning rays illume our twilight’s eyes,
Its young formations move the mind of earth
To labour and to dream and new-create,
To feel beauty’s touch and know the world and self:
The Golden Child began to think and see.