Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Seven Selves

In the stillest hour of the night, as I lay half asleep, my seven
selves sat together and thus conversed in whisper:

First Self: Here, in this madman, I have dwelt all these years,
with naught to do but renew his pain by day and recreate his sorrow
by night. I can bear my fate no longer, and now I rebel.

Second Self: Yours is a better lot than mine, brother, for it is
given to me to be this madman's joyous self. I laugh his laughter
and sing his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dance
his brighter thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my weary

Third Self: And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brand
of wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick self
who would rebel against this madman.

Fourth Self: I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naught
was given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing. It is
I, the tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell,
who would protest against serving this madman.

Fifth Self: Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self,
the self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander without
rest in search of unknown things and things not yet created; it is
I, not you, who would rebel.

Sixth Self: And I, the working self, the pitiful labourer, who,
with patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into images
and give the formless elements new and eternal forms--it is I, the
solitary one, who would rebel against this restless madman.

Seventh Self: How strange that you all would rebel against this
man, because each and every one of you has a preordained fate to
fulfill. Ah! could I but be like one of you, a self with a determined
lot! But I have none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sits
in the dumb, empty nowhere and nowhen, while you are busy re-creating
life. Is it you or I, neighbours, who should rebel?

When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked with
pity upon him but said nothing more; and as the night grew deeper
one after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happy

But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness,
which is behind all things.

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