D. H. Lawrence's proto-Pagan creed

More and more I find D. H. Lawrence to be an important "proto-Pagan" literary figure. Consider the following remarkable excerpt from his book Studies in Classic American Literature, where he contrasts his moral philosophy with that of Benjamin Franklin:

Here's my creed, against Benjamin's. This is what I believe:

'That I am I.'

'That my soul is a dark forest.'

'That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.'

'That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.'

' That I must have the courage to let them come and go.'

'That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.'

There is my creed. He who runs may read. He who prefers to crawl, or to go by gasoline, can call it rot.

Then for a 'list'. It is rather fun to play at Benjamin.

1. Temperance

Eat and carouse with Bacchus, or munch dry bread with Jesus, but don't sit down without one of the gods.

2. Silence

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.

3. Order

Know that you are responsible to the gods inside you and to the men in whom the gods are manifest. Recognize your superiors and your inferiors, according to the gods. This is the root of all order.

4. Resolution

Resolve to abide by your own deepest promptings, and to sacrifice the smaller thing to the greater. Kill when you must, and be killed the same: the must coming from the gods inside you, or from the men in whom you recognize the Holy Ghost.

5. Frugality

Demand nothing; accept what you see fit. Don't waste your pride or squander your emotion.

6. Industry

Lose no time with ideals; serve the Holy Ghost; never serve mankind.

7. Sincerity

To be sincere is to remember that I am I, and that the other man is not me.

8. Justice

The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle. Anger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is never just.

9. Moderation

Beware of absolutes. There are many gods.

10. Cleanliness

Don't be too clean. It impoverishes the blood.

11. Tranquility

The soul has many motions, many gods come and go. Try and find your deepest issue, in every confusion, and abide by that. Obey the man in whom you recognize the Holy Ghost; command when your honour comes to command.

12. Chastity

Never 'use' venery at all. Follow your passional impulse, if it be answered in the other being; but never have any motive in mind, neither offspring nor health nor even pleasure, nor even service. Only know that 'venery' is of the great gods. An offering-up of yourself to the very great gods, the dark ones, and nothing else.

13. Humility

See all men and women according to the Holy Ghost that is within them. Never yield before the barren.

There's my list. I have been trying dimly to realize it for a long time, and only America and old Benjamin have at last goaded me into trying to formulate it.

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