Freedom! the deep breath!

by Edward Carpenter

Original Language English

Freedom! the deep breath! the word heard centuries and
centuries beforehand; the soul singing low and passionate to itself: Joy! Joy!

Not as in a dream. The earth remains and daily life remains, and the scrubbing of doorsteps, and the house and the care of the house remains; but Joy fills it, fills the house full and swells to the sky and reaches the stars: all Joy!

O freed soul! soul that has completed its relation to the body!
O soaring, happy beyond words, into other realms passing,
salutations to you, freed, redeemed soul!

What is certain, and not this? What is solid ? - the rocks? the mountains? destiny?

The gates are thrown wide open all through the universe. I go to and fro - through the heights and depths I go and I return: All is well.

I conceive the purport of all suffering. The blear-eyed boy, famished in brain, famished in body, shivering there in his rags by the angle of the house, is become divine before me; I hold him long and silently by the hand and pray to him.

I conceive a millennium on earth - a millennium not of riches, nor of mechanical facilities, nor of intellectual facilities, nor absolutely of immunity from disease, nor absolutely of immunity from pain; but a time when men and women all over the earth shall ascend and enter into relation with their bodies - shall attain freedom and joy;

And the men and women of that time looking back with something like envy to the life of to-day, that they too might have borne a part in its travail and throes of birth.

All is well: to-day and a million years hence, equally. To you the whole universe is given for a garden of delight, and to the soul that loves, in the great coherent Whole, the hardest and most despised lot is even with the best; and there is nothing more certain or more solid than this.

-- from Towards Democracy, by Edward Carpenter

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Recommended Books: Edward Carpenter

Towards Democracy The Intermediate Sex Pagan & Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning The Art of Creation: Essays on the Self and Its Powers Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love
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Freedom! the deep