Source 181: The following source comes from Sir Laurens van der Post in his 1953 book The Face Beside the Fire, pp.292-294 of 312.
‘I was allowed to attend a victory parade, as it were, of all the life that has ever been. I saw all that has ever been come streaming through the long lanes and corridors of my blood, through their arch of admiralty, round the inner-square and then straight down past my own white lighted Hall. Out of the darkness that preceded Genesis and flood, it began with a glimmer and a worm of the unformed earth in love with the light to come. Yes! a worm with a lantern, a glow-worm with phosphorescent uniform, marched proudly at the head, and behind came great streams of being protozoic and pre-historic. Nothing was excluded and everything included, their small fires of being clearly lit, tended and well beloved. This, it was said, is the true, the noble heroic and unique crusade of the love of life. For look, among them not a brain but only matter tentatively and awkwardly assembled. Yet remark on their bearing and the trust with which they hurl themselves into the uncomprehended battle. Ah! tears of love and gratitude burned in my eyes at so urgently moving and life confiding a sight. To feel, at last, the burden that they carry for me in my own blood, to know at every second several of these reflected in white corpuscle and scarlet cell are dying unflinchingly in battle for my all, to know that giant lizard and lion as well as unicorn came after, and were hurled too into similar struggle and defence of the totality of all. I was allowed, too, to see the first man and registered the seismographic thrill of the marching column at the appearance of so skilled and complex a champion. I was allowed to speak to him and I touched his skin riddled with snake bite, his shoulder pierced by mastodon’s spike, his skull deep-scarred with sabre-tooth’s claw. And as reverently and tenderly I took his hand shaking with marshy malarial fever, I was moved to pity him by the evidence of such dread and unending war. But he would have none of it. He looked me fearless in the eye and in a voice that boomed like a drum in his stomach said: “Brother, it was worth it. Whatever they tell you, add this, it was worth it.”
‘I spoke to a Bushman half-eaten by a lion in the Kalahari, his only vessel a brittle ostrich egg with red and black triangles painted neatly on it, now broken and sand scattered. He looked in my grey eyes with the brown eyes of a people at dusk, slanted to bridge a chasm behind the face of a dying member of a dying and vanishing race. He too, my dying nomad brother, said: “Add, add quick before I go, ‘it was worth it’.” I spoke to an aborigine in the bight of the great gulf Tattooed with dung he said: “I vanish, but it was worth it.” In New Guinea, I met a stone-age Papuan, his black skin sheened with green after centuries in the jungle between basin and fall of water and spurting volcano, and he too said: “Doubt it not, it was worth it.” Everyone said, “Lovely gift of a life that we blindly trust burns with such loving fire in the dark that at any price, no matter how great, it is worth it.”’
‘Yes, they all agreed and utterly convinced me, so that I can never doubt again. I wept when the great procession came to an end, for one and all, great and small—I loved them all. Yes, even to the worm that brought up the rear, with shaded night light and a nurse’s white, in its dress concealing a phial of the drug of the greater sleep made with a touch of the hand of God’s great, good night. Yes…I love them all; I believe them; I am ready for battle; and to continue at their head the journey of them all to the end of the road in my blood. At last, purified and complete, I am ready to awaken and defend my love.’