As for Shakespeare, there is no matter of mastery, no misery of “doing as well as” or “doing better than.” There is only, properly considered, submission to what is. And in this submission there is no defeat, no abjection, no down-heartedness, only recognition and delight, perpetual delight. Shakespeare sees the inspired man not as Inspired or Religious, but as a human man in those conditions of inspiration or God-apprehension. As such, these men and women are but quantities in the great experiment of living, an endless variegation of type and trope that Darwin would never consider to be a dwindling. What one human being is capable of experiencing, even in imagination, becomes what he “knows,” so long as he consistently refuses to “know” in the sense of comprehensively understand or contain. Touching the water’s rills we disturb and destroy them, but gain the experience of touching wetness. The knower says “I have touched this water-rill!” The delighted observer says “My hand is wet, how wonderful.”
With this generous, experience-extending Shakespeare I wandered among the crooks and crowns of Yosemite. His wily beard and wicked eyes never had me longing for “more” or “other,” but instead left me to linger at lakesides or bade me peep daringly through a dangerous overhang of pine for yet another gloss on Half Dome. I laughed at myself as I slipped on the red sand during my jog back down the Upper Yosemite Falls trail, saving my ass only by grabbing the stolid post of the warning sign “Sandy rocks can be slippery.” The Bard walks with me because he enlivens me. By refusing to assert divinity in man, he allows what imminences appear to glow in every unguarded moment. Every sandgrain is capacious, every boulder shoulders forth a burgeoning cosmos. And what shall I say of the stars that litter the velvet field?