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"The free birds are ploughing their way through space. Many of them may not reach their distant destination. Big deal in that. They die free."
The wild geese plough through the dark night. They stand out indistinctly against the torn clouds. Their strange cries cut through space. "Nature's invisible linea" peeks through the autumn darkness.
One has the impression of a different reality than the one we mention, a more tangible reality. There are other forces at work than the shadowy ones. The more people emphasize their sense of reality, the less they understand of that of which their so-called reality is the surface.
The foolish never grasp the deep meaning of the word: what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he loses his soul. They do not realize that this is the inalienable charter of man's freedom, the Magna Carta of mankind. All that can be offered for our soul is worthless in comparison with it. What could outweigh the certainty of having been faithful, to the best of one's ability, to that which makes a man a man?
What is true of individuals is true of peoples. When the fearful have their destinies taken care of, their souls are at stake. The fearful call their evasiveness realpolitik. Remember Arosenius' painting of the tame geese, who, when they hear the wild geese crying, lift their heads from the carpet, look up and say to each other, "sickly madmen".
They were pleased to feel the ground of reality under their flat feet. The madmen ploughed their way through the darkening space with strong wings.
There are many people, who go towards unknown destinies. They have preferred this to remaining like the tame geese attached to the carpet, and yet at last having to leave it and be slaughtered. They can recall the battle of Israel against the Assyrians and Babylonians, of the Dutch against Spain. Sweden, too, has fought against foreign invaders in its time of strength. Engelbrekt, Sturarna and the Vasa kings saved the soul of the Swedish people in spite of all that the wise of the cowardly had to object.
What Geijer says has always been true: "a real storm and a real man, they are not ill suited for each other". It is a pity for those who get caught in a storm without being the adult. They stand out in all their helplessness. There boats little foolish sayings. They are not enough to cover what they mean to cover. It is a pity for a people who, when the storm roars, have not a man to helm them.
It is a pity for the helmsman too, but why does he not leave what his trembling hands cannot manage?
A grave sin is committed against the people, whose fate is left in weak hands, when the storm passes over the world. Every people, even the small ones, have within them mighty powers. They can be used by those who possess the power themselves. They ebb when weakness takes them by the hand. The powerless cannot handle the battering ram. He finds no spring.
Wisdom spreads as far as its influence reaches. The free birds are ploughing their way through space. Many of them may not reach their distant destination. Big deal in that. They die free. They do not resemble those who stretch their necks and cackle at their carrots, and boast of the "madmen." In due time, these sane grazers shall be slaughtered and devoured. So it goes with the domesticated animals. They take no chances, and they lose all chances.
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