The Selfish Human Soul

Silently the selfish human soul
soars through the universe,
seeking all there is of singing happiness.
Silent are his hand-beats and silent his passage.
Curiously the selfish soul sweeps to a planet,
then stops and looks around. He sees a man.
The man is alone in a field working on a tractor.
The tractor had quit, but the man doesn’t.
Bending over the tractor’s motor, his hands active,
the man begins to whistle as he works.
Silently, the selfish human soul trembles in anticipation,
and suddenly the man shouts, “I’ve got it!”
And he stamps the earth and rears back laughing.
Silently the selfish human soul smiles, a happy smile.
And he looks again and he sees a woman
sitting at a desk writing a story—
about a man who overcomes all obstacles
through ingenious hard work and courage,
using his sacred tool, his rationally focused mind,
and the soul of selfishness leaps about
from moon to planet, ecstatically glad.
Then he stops and peers down again
and lo, he sees and hears something
terribly bad, horrifically evil.
A man, a father, is telling his young son
that there are no real heroes in the world,
because men don’t show enough pity for the weak
and don’t give enough mercy to the unlucky bad guys.
The passionate soul of selfishness sees that man
misguide himself into the darkest regions of space,
and the boy watches as his father flies
and shrinks away into nothing.
And the sullen, resentful anger he felt toward his father
slowly dissipates, and his budding sense of justice,
of the bad guys getting what they deserve
and the heroic lovers of truth winning, strengthens,
till something hard and gold settles in his mind forever.
And the soul of selfishness soars up into the stars,
dances across the universe, alive and laughing and blessed,
singing all there is of fulfilling happiness,
praising all there is of hands of competence,
being all there is of hope and triumph,
thought and effort, dream and justice!
Then silently the sensible, splendid human soul
just soars and soars and soars!

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