The Invisible Pyramid, Eiseley

The body is the true cosmic prison, yet it contains, in the creative individual, a magnificent if sometimes helpless giant. John Donne, speaking for that giant in each of us, said: \”Our creatures are our thoughts, creatures that are borne Gyants… My thoughts reach all, comprehend all. Inextricable mystery: I their Creator am in a close prison, in a sick bed, anywhere, and any one of my Creatures, my thoughts, is with the Sunne and beyond the Sunne, overtakes the Sunne, and overgoes the Sunne in one pace, one steppe, everywhere.

This thought, expressed so movingly by Donne, represents the final triumph of Claude Bernard’s interior microcosm in its war with the macrocosm. Inside has conquered outside. The giant confined in the body’s prison roams at will among the stars. More rarely and more beautifully, perhaps, the profound mind in the close prison projects infinite love in a finite room. This is a crossing beside which light-years are meaningless. It is the solitary key to the prison that is man.

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