The most pernicious of the defilements smuggled in by the herd mind – so subtle you couldn’t notice it, a tinny station always playing in the back, just inside earshot – is that ‘given’ veil of mediocrity. That what you see before you is mediocre. Your life – mediocre. Yourself, your world, your inmost powers – mediocre.

A few of its many permutations: the ‘little old me,’ the ‘who am I to X,’ the ‘how likely is it everyone but you…’; the virulent cannibalism of po-mo irony and cynicism, cynicism and irony. No sounds too rude, no thoughts too vivid.

There is operative in this great mediocrity, always a sense of losing track of one’s voice amid the cacophony, of having been swallowed by Other-mind.

Staid standards, sublunary imaginations, desires that regress to the mean… blind dumb and deaf desires, of eyeless longings that vainly grope: able only to say ‘another’, ‘more’, ‘again’.

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How different is the air outside, on whose eddying zephyrs the spirit spirals ever-upward, this holy faculty. At every nerve-end electrified, I take long measure of the distant steppe before me…unbounded are my thoughts in flight, endless is my single sight.