The Little Sight

BURNING HAND RECORD #442997

25/5/1975 Arthur Agence

Commentary

In this passage, Bower uses the imagery of the eye, and sight, to represent our perception of reality as a whole. She mentions the other senses, but stresses the importance of sight in the ability to perceive the Great Lie.  The Little Sight is an expression that denotes this ability. The etymology of this is unclear. The Reverend James Whitland, one of the original Coterie, claimed that Bowyer has explained this to him one evening:

“Any first view of the Lie will be tiny in comparison to the garishness of the Lie.”

Since Whitland was an accomplished self-promoter, the veracity of this story should be held to question, although the quote is a confirmed Bowerism.

Then a bible quote is used, the only one in the whole work. Matthew Chapter 6, Verses 22-23 speaks of the eye as the light of the body. (Bowyer uses the King James version. In others, this is translated as lantern.) Rather than being a source of light, the eye is our guide, our main intake of information about our reality.

Bower is stressing that our perception of what is real is largely governed by the information we receive through our eyes (and to a lesser extent the other senses). A single-mindedness is required to take the first glimpses of the Lie and expand them into a full revelation of truth. This is Bowyer’s interpretation of the ‘single eye’. When you witness the Lie, and welcome it, it enters your soul, making enlightenment impossible. If we expect to see the Lie, then that is all that we will see!

Verse 4 goes on to talk about the Little Sight as an itch. The glimpses behind the curtain can be seen as irritations to be brushed off, or laughed at. Thus, those philosophers and scientist who do dare to test the limits of the illusion are ridiculed by their peers and ostracised. Bowyer seems to indicate that there is no answer to this. Everyone’s path is unique, and to join with others in a shared path leads to organisation, hierarchy, and interpretation of truth. It becomes just another aspect of the Lie. (Hence The Paradox of the Prophet.)

Verse 6 holds a terrifying revelation for those who embrace the Little Sight. Bowyer claims that she became aware on a street that most of the people she could see were in fact not true humans. We are infiltrated by those being which serve the Artificers, maintain the structures of the Lie, or simply feed upon it and us! These are the Eidolon of one of Bowyers later chapters. There is some dissent over whether the unenlightened human should be considered Eidolon also (as most of us contribute to the Lie simply by living inside it and accepting its truth.)

Bowyer finishes by warning us to be prepared for the scale of the Lie, should we end up perceiving it. The Little Sight is a single crack in the face of reality which spreads like shattering glass. 

The Little Sight

Verse 1

There was an itch in the corner of my eye; not a physical pain, but a need to draw my gaze in that direction. And when I paid attention to this need, I began to see the cracks that marred the walls of Gaol; fractures in the illusion that surrounds us all. And not only sights, but sounds as well, and to a lesser extent the other senses. But mainly sight, as our eyes are both the lock and the key to our humanity.

Verse 2

Jesus said, on the Mount… “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Verse 3

The eye is a mirror. We perceive only what we expect to perceive. If we choose to believe only in the illusion, that is what we will see. If we open our minds to the possibility of the Lie, our eyes will begin to see things for what they really are.

Verse 4

There was an itch in the corner of my eye, and I asked the Stranger for relief.

“You will get no relief from me, or from anyone else,” she answered.

“But why does it irritate so?”

She turned me around to face the rest of the World. “You are calling yourself forward to witness the Lie. Your mind has been opened, and now it seeks to make you see the world for what it is. This is the Little Sight.”

Verse 5

And when I looked, at first there were only glances of the truth. Flashes of movement and snatches of sound. But I persevered, and instead of dismissing these as a nonsense, I allowed them to become real. And the Little Sight blossomed.

Verse 6

In a crowded street I learnt of a horror. I beheld the masses, the throng of humanity all around me, going about their business oblivious to everything save themselves. And then I looked again, and the Little Sight showed me that most of them were not true humans. The beings around me wore the masks of humanity, and they outnumbered us tenfold! They became aware that I could see them, and they began to stare back at me. I admit that I ran from that place, and looked no further into the faces of passers-by.

Verse 7

In my darkened bed chamber I beheld the structure of the Lie. I awoke in the dead of night, the clawing miasma of a nightmare still upon my mind. And in that ‘tween state I was both in the World and outside it. Awake and yet not awake. As I looked at the walls, the Little Sight came over me, and I perceived faults in their form. These were cracks in the nature of the Lie, and the more I stared, the wider they became. There was a light beyond them that spilled lazily into the room from some other place. Things moved in front of the light, casting hazy shadows on the floor of my room.

Verse 8

The Little Sight is yours to foster and encourage. But be prepared for the scale of truth that is revealed. Seeing is believing, and even though you ken the theory of a thing, without the sight of it, it is not truly real.

Verse 9

The nature of the Truth is horrifying. You must accept this and see it for what it is.

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