as if it were endeavoring to tell it?
I am. I think. I will.
My hands . . . My spirit . . . My sky . . .
My forest . . . This earth of mine. . . .
What must I say besides? These are the
words. This is the answer.
I stand here on the summit of the mountain.
I lift my head and I spread my arms.
This, my body and spirit, this is the end
of the quest. I wished to know the meaning
of things. I am the meaning. I wished
to find a warrant for being. I need no
warrant for being, and no word of sanction
upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
It is my eyes which see, and the sight of
my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is
my ears which hear, and the hearing of my
ears gives its song to the world. It is my
mind which thinks, and the judgement of
my mind is the only searchlight that can
find the truth. It is my will which chooses,
and the choice of my will is the only edict
I must respect.
Many words have been granted me,
and some are wise, and some are false,
but only three are holy: “I will it!”
Whatever road I take, the guiding star
is within me; the guiding star and the
loadstone which point the way. They point
in but one direction. They point to me.
I know not if this earth on which I stand
is the core of the universe or if it is but
a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not
and I care not. For I know what happiness
is possible to me on earth. And my happiness
needs no higher aim to vindicate it.
My happiness is not the means to any end.
It is the end. It is its own goal.
It is its own purpose.
Neither am I the means to any end others
may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool
for their use. I am not a servant of their
needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds.
I am not a sacrifice on their altars.
I am a man. This miracle of me is mine
to own and keep, and mine to guard, and
mine to use, and mine to kneel before!
I do not surrender my treasures, nor do
I share them. The fortune of my spirit is
not to be blown into coins of brass and
flung to the winds as alms for the poor
of the spirit. I guard my treasures:
my thought, my will, my freedom.
And the greatest of these is freedom.
I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do
I gather debts from them. I ask none to
live for me, nor do I live for any others.
I covet no man’s soul, nor is my soul theirs
I am neither foe nor friend to my brothers,
but such as each of them shall deserve
of me. And to earn my love, my brothers
must do more than to have been born.
I do not grant my love without reason, nor
to any chance passer-by who may wish to
claim it. I honor men with my love.
But honor is a thing to be earned.
I shall choose friends among men, but neither
slaves nor masters. And I shall choose
only such as please me, and them
I shall love and respect, but neither
command nor obey. And we shall join our
hands when we wish, or walk alone when
we so desire. For in the temple of his spirit,
each man is alone. Let each man keep his
temple untouched and undefiled. Then let
him join hands with others if he wishes,
but only beyond his holy threshold.
For the word “We” must never be
spoken, save by one’s choice and as a
second thought. This word must never be
placed first within man’s soul, else it
becomes a monster, the root of all the evils
on earth, the root of man’s torture by men,
and of an unspeakable lie.
The word “We” is as lime poured over men,
which sets and hardens to stone, and crushes
all beneath it, and that which is white
and that which is black are lost equally
in the grey of it. It is the word by
which the depraved steal the virtue of
the good, by which the weak steal the
might of the strong, by which the fools
steal the wisdom of the sages.
What is my joy if all hands, even the
unclean, can reach into it? What is my
wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to
me? What is my freedom, if all creatures,
even the botched and the impotent, are my
masters? What is my life, if I am but to
bow, to agree and to obey?
But I am done with this creed of corruption.
I am done with the monster of “We,”
the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery,
falsehood and shame.
And now I see the face of god, and I
raise this god over the earth, this god whom
men have sought since men came into being,
this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.
This god, this one word:
It was when I read the first of the books
I found in my house that I saw the word
“I.” And when I understood this word,
the book fell from my hands, and I wept,
I who had never known tears. I wept in
deliverance and in pity for all mankind.
I understood the blessed thing which I
had called my curse. I understood why the
best in me had been my sins and my transgressions;
and why I had never felt guilt in my sins.
I understood that centuries of chains
and lashes will not kill the spirit of
man nor the sense of truth within him.
I read many books for many days. Then I called
the Golden One, and I told her
what I had read and what I had learned.
She looked at me and the first words she
“I love you.”
Then I said:
“My dearest one, it is not proper for
men to be without names. There was a
time when each man had a name of his
own to distinguish him from all other men.
So let us choose our names. I have read of
a man who lived many thousands of years
ago, and of all the names in these books,
his is the one I wish to bear. He took the
light of the gods and he brought it to men,
and he taught men to be gods. And he suffered
for his deed as all bearers of light
must suffer. His name was Prometheus.”
“It shall be your name,” said the Golden One.
“And I have read of a goddess,” I said,
“who was the mother of the earth and of
all the gods. Her name was Gaea. Let this
be your name, my Golden One, for you
are to be the mother of a new kind of gods.”
“It shall be my name,” said the Golden One.
Now I look ahead. My future is clear
before me. The Saint of the pyre had seen
the future when he chose me as his heir,
as the heir of all the saints and all the
martyrs who came before him and who
died for the same cause, for the same word,
no matter what name they gave to their
cause and their truth.
I shall live here, in my own house.
I shall take my food from the earth
by the toil of my own hands. I shall
learn many secrets from my books.
Through the years ahead, I shall rebuild
the achievements of the past,
and open the way to carry them further,
the achievements which are open to me,
but closed forever to my brothers,
for their minds are shackled to the
weakest and dullest ones among them.
I have learned that my power of the sky
was known to men long ago; they called
it Electricity. It was the power that
moved their greatest inventions. It lit
this house with light which came from
those globes of glass on the walls.
I have found the engine which produced this light.
I shall learn how to repair it and how to
make it work again. I shall learn how to
use the wires which carry this power.
Then I shall build a barrier of wires around
my home, and across the paths which lead
to my home; a barrier light as a cobweb, more
impassable than a wall of granite; a barrier
my brothers will never be able to cross.
For they have nothing to fight me with,
save the brute force of their numbers.