Between the Darkness and the Light:
III. Orientation and Alienation

In two epiphanies Philosophia had revealed herself to me.

The first—oh, the first! how its white light, its angel choirs, its Platonic intertext made me like some young god sent out to resolve the cosmos in dialectics! It was as if I were on a mission from God to live out in life what others only studied, in so much moive fai, as merely intellectually stimulating ancient history. I remember being happy, possessed, consumed bright Apollonian optimism and so firmly convinced that it is the love of questions that conquers all.

In her second epiphany, my mistress came—not out of some logos but as if out earth itself—and led me up above Thebes and acquainted me, not with Apollo, or even Diana, but with that other god. Instead of the proud and stirring periods of Plato’s holy martyr, I hear the brutal, overbearing hexameters of that materialist magician, Lucretius, who believes without believing. In place of that shrine of gleaming marble, I saw only a dark wood. Ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Is my end my beginning? Or is that just a stolen line?

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