Animals see the unobstructed world with their whole eyes. But our eyes, turned back upon themselves, encircle and seek to snare the world, setting traps for freedom. The faces of the beasts show what truly IS to us: we who up-end the infant and force its sight to fix upon things and shapes, not the freedom that they occupy, that OPENESS which lies so deep within the faces of the animals, free from death!
Could that surefooted beast, approaching from a direction different than our own, aquire the mental knack to think as do we, he would spin us round and drag us with him. But he is without end unto himself: devoid of comprehension, unselfscrutinized, pure as his outgoing glance. We see future; he sees eternal completion. Himself in all.
From Rilke's 8th Duino Elegy
Another tr. Earth's creatures look wide-eyed into the Open. Our eyes, alone, as though reversed, are ringed like snares around free exit. What lies outside, is clearly shown us in the animal's face. The creature gazes into openness with all its eyes. But our eyes are as if they were reversed, and surround it, everywhere, like barriers against its free passage.