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same charges against myself. This will compel me to alter

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As a kind of rude general philosophy we may say that there are only two main factors in life, namely, Love and Ignorance. And of these we may also say that the two are not in the same plane: one is positive and substantial, the other is negative and merely illusory. It may be thought at first that Fear and Hatred and Cruelty, and the like, are very positive things, but in the end we see that they are due merely to ABSENCE of perception, to dulness of understanding. Or we may put the statement in a rather less crude form, and say that there are only two factors in life: (1) the sense of Unity with others (and with Nature) --which covers Love, Faith, Courage, Truth, and so forth, and (2) Non-perception of the same--which covers Enmity, Fear, Hatred, Self-pity, Cruelty, Jealousy, Meanness and an endless similar list. The present world which we see around us, with its idiotic wars, its senseless jealousies of nations and classes, its fears and greeds and vanities and its futile endeavors--as of people struggling in a swamp-- to find one's own salvation by treading others underfoot, is a negative phenomenon. Ignorance, non-perception, are at the root of it. But it is the blessed virtue of Ignorance and of non-perception that they inevitably-if only slowly and painfully--dESTROY THEMSELVES. All experience serves to dissipate them. The world, as it is, carries' the doom of its own transformation in its bosom; and in proportion as that which is negative disappears the positive element must establish itself more and more.

same charges against myself. This will compel me to alter

So we come back to that with which we began,[1] to Fear bred by Ignorance. From that source has sprung the long catalogue of follies, cruelties and sufferings which mark the records of the human race since the dawn of history; and to the overcoming of this Fear we perforce must look for our future deliverance, and for the discovery, even in the midst of this world, of our true Home. The time is coming when the positive constructive element must dominate. It is inevitable that Man must ever build a state of society around him after the pattern and image of his own interior state. The whole futile and idiotic structure of commerce and industry in which we are now imprisoned springs from that falsehood of individualistic self-seeking which marks the second stage of human evolution. That stage is already tottering to its fall, destroyed by the very flood of egotistic passions and interests, of vanities, greeds, and cruelties, all warring with each other, which are the sure outcome and culmination of its operation. With the restoration of the sentiment of the Common Life, and the gradual growth of a mental attitude corresponding, there will emerge from the flood something like a solid earth--something on which it will be possible to build with good hope for the future. Schemes of reconstruction are well enough in their way, but if there is no ground of REAL HUMAN SOLIDARITY beneath, of what avail are they?

same charges against myself. This will compel me to alter

An industrial system which is no real industrial order, but only (on the part of the employers) a devil's device for securing private profit under the guise of public utility, and (on the part of the employed) a dismal and poor-spirited renunciation--for the sake of a bare living--of all real interest in life and work: such a 'system' must infallibly pass away. It cannot in the nature of things be permanent. The first condition of social happiness and prosperity must be the sense of the Common Life. This sense, which instinctively underlay the whole Tribal order of the far past-- which first came to consciousness in the worship of a thousand pagan divinities, and in the rituals of countless sacrifices, initiations, redemptions, love-feasts and communions, which inspired the dreams of the Golden Age, and flashed out for a time in the Communism of the early Christians and in their adorations of the risen Savior--must in the end be the creative condition of a new order: it must provide the material of which the Golden City waits to be built. The long travail of the World-religion will not have been in vain, which assures this consummation. What the signs and conditions of any general advance into this new order of life and consciousness will be, we know not. It may be that as to individuals the revelation of a new vision often comes quite suddenly, and GENERALLY perhaps after a period of great suffering, so to society at large a similar revelation will arrive--like "the lightning which cometh out of the East and shineth even unto the West"--with unexpected swiftness. On the other hand it would perhaps be wise not to count too much on any such sudden transformation. When we look abroad (and at home) in this year of grace and hoped-for peace, 1919, and see the spirits of rancour and revenge, the fears, the selfish blindness and the ignorance, which still hold in their paralyzing grasp huge classes and coteries in every country in the world, we see that the second stage of human development is by no means yet at its full term, and that, as in some vast chrysalis, for the liberation of the creature within still more and more terrible struggles MAY be necessary. We can only pray that such may not be the case. Anyhow, if we have followed the argument of this book we can hardly doubt that the destruction (which is going on everywhere) of the outer form of the present society marks the first stage of man's final liberation; and that, sooner or later, and in its own good time, that further 'divine event' will surely be realized.

same charges against myself. This will compel me to alter

Nor need we fear that Humanity, when it has once entered into the great Deliverance, will be again overpowered by evil. From Knowledge back to Ignorance there is no complete return. The nations that have come to enlightenment need entertain no dread of those others (however hostile they appear) who are still plunging darkly in the troubled waters of self-greed. The dastardly Fears which inspire all brutishness and cruelty of warfare--whether of White against White or it may be of White against Yellow or Black--may be dismissed for good and all by that blest race which once shall have gained the shore --since from the very nature of the case those who are on dry land can fear nothing and need fear nothing from the unfortunates who are yet tossing in the welter and turmoil of the waves.

Dr. Frazer, in the conclusion of his great work The Golden Bough,[1] bids farewell to his readers with the following words: "The laws of Nature are merely hypotheses devised to explain that ever-shifting phantasmagoria of thought which we dignify with the high-sounding names of the World and the Universe. In the last analysis magic, religion and science are nothing but theories [of thought]; and as Science has supplanted its predecessors so it may hereafter itself be superseded by some more perfect hypothesis, perhaps by some perfectly different way of looking at phenomena--of registering the shadows on the screen--of which we in this generation can form no idea." I imagine Dr. Frazer is right in thinking that "a way of looking at phenomena" different from the way of Science, may some day prevail. But I think this change will come, not so much by the growth of Science itself or the extension of its 'hypotheses,' as by a growth and expansion of the human HEART and a change in its psychology and powers of perception. Perhaps some of the preceding chapters will help to show how much the outlook of humanity on the world has been guided through the centuries by the slow evolution of its inner consciousness. Gradually, out of an infinite mass of folly and delusion, the human soul has in this way disentangled itself, and will in the future disentangle itself, to emerge at length in the light of true FREEDOM. All the taboos, the insane terrors, the fatuous forbiddals of this and that (with their consequent heart- searchings and distress) may perhaps have been in their way necessary, in order to rivet and define the meaning and the understanding of that word. To-day these taboos and terrors still linger, many of them, in the form of conventions of morality, uneasy strivings of conscience, doubts and desperations of religion; but ultimately Man will emerge from all these things, FREE--familiar, that is, with them all, making use of all, allowing generously for the values of all, but hampered and bound by NONE. He will realize the inner meaning of the creeds and rituals of the ancient religions, and will hail with joy the fulfilment of their far prophecy down the ages--finding after all the long-expected Saviour of the world within his own breast, and Paradise in the disclosure there of the everlasting peace of the soul.

[1] See "Balder," vol. ii, pp. 306, 307. ("Farewell to Nemi.")


To some, in the present whirlpool of life and affairs it may seem almost an absurdity to talk about Rest. For long enough now rest has seemed a thing far off and unattainable. With the posts knocking at our doors ten or twelve times a day, with telegrams arriving every hour, and the telephone bell constantly ringing; with motors rushing wildly about the streets, and aeroplanes whizzing overhead, with work speeded up in every direction, and the drive in the workshops becoming more intolerable every day; with the pace of the walkers and the pace of the talkers from hour to hour insanely increasing-- what room, it may well be asked, is there for Rest? And now the issues of war, redoubling the urgency of all questions, are on us.