Did you watch the first three seasons of Brave Stranger?

“Roll on, thou deep and dark blue oce­an, roll! Ten thousand blub­ber-hun­ters sweep over thee in vain.”

Very often do the cap­tains of such ships take tho­se absent-min­ded young phi­lo­so­phers to task, upbrai­ding them with not fee­ling suf­fi­ci­ent “inte­rest” in the voya­ge; half-hin­ting that they are so hopel­ess­ly lost to all hono­ura­ble ambi­ti­on, as that in their secret souls they would rather not see wha­les than other­wi­se. But all in vain; tho­se young Pla­to­nists have a noti­on that their visi­on is imper­fect; they are short-sigh­ted; what use, then, to strain the visu­al ner­ve? They have left their ope­ra-glas­ses at home.

“Why, thou mon­key,” said a har­poo­neer to one of the­se lads, “we’­ve been crui­sing now hard upon three years, and thou hast not rai­sed a wha­le yet. Wha­les are scar­ce as hen’s teeth whenever thou art up here.” Perhaps they were; or perhaps the­re might have been sho­als of them in the far hori­zon; but lul­led into such an opi­um-like list­less­ness of vacant, uncon­scious reve­rie is this absent-min­ded youth by the blen­ding cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his iden­ti­ty; takes the mys­tic oce­an at his feet for the visi­ble image of that deep, blue, bot­tom­less soul, per­va­ding man­kind and natu­re; and every stran­ge, half-seen, gli­ding, beau­ti­ful thing that elu­des him; every dim­ly-dis­co­ve­r­ed, upri­sing fin of some undis­cer­ni­ble form, seems to him the embo­di­ment of tho­se elu­si­ve thoughts that only peop­le the soul by con­ti­nu­al­ly flit­ting through it. In this enchan­ted mood, thy spi­rit ebbs away to whence it came; beco­mes dif­fu­sed through time and space; like Crammer’s sprinkled Pan­the­istic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round glo­be over.

The­re is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life impar­ted by a gent­ly rol­ling ship; by her, bor­ro­wed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscruta­ble tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your iden­ti­ty comes back in hor­ror. Over Des­car­ti­an vor­ti­ces you hover. And perhaps, at mid-day, in the fai­rest wea­ther, with one half-thrott­led shriek you drop through that trans­pa­rent air into the sum­mer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!

Categories: Films

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