SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM T. E. Lawrence by T.E. Lawrence

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SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM  by  T. E. Lawrence by T.E. Lawrence

SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM by T. E. Lawrence by T.E. Lawrence
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Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another in the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven. By day the hot sun fermented us- and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At nightMoreSome of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another in the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven. By day the hot sun fermented us- and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars.

We were a self-centred army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom, the second of mans creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare. As time went by our need to fight for the ideal increased to an unquestioning possession, riding with spur and rein over our doubts.

Willy-nilly it became a faith. We had sold ourselves into its slavery, manacled ourselves together in its chain-gang, bowed ourselves to serve its holiness with all our good and ill content. The mentality of ordinary human slaves is terrible—they have lost the world—and we had surrendered, not body alone, but soul to the overmastering greed of victory. By our own act we were drained of morality, of volition, of responsibility, like dead leaves in the wind. The everlasting battle stripped from us care of our own lives or of others. We had ropes about our necks, and on our heads prices which showed that the enemy intended hideous tortures for us if we were caught.

Each day some of us passed- and the living knew themselves just sentient puppets on Gods stage: indeed, our taskmaster was merciless, merciless, so long as our bruised feet could stagger forward on the road. The weak envied those tired enough to die- for success looked so remote, and failure a near and certain, if sharp, release from toil.

We lived always in the stretch or sag of nerves, either on the crest or in the trough of waves of feeling. This impotency was bitter to us, and made us live only for the seen horizon, reckless what spite we inflicted or endured, since physical sensation showed itself meanly transient. Gusts of cruelty, perversions, lusts ran lightly over the surface without troubling us- for the moral laws which had seemed to hedge about these silly accidents must be yet fainter words.

We had learned that there were pangs too sharp, griefs too deep, ecstasies too high for our finite selves to register. When emotion reached this pitch the mind choked- and memory went white till the circumstances were humdrum once more.



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