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Civilization and Progress: A Inquiry

ISSUE:  Spring 1925

A little while ago, in the capital of this great republic, America’s most brilliant orator paid a noble tribute to the supreme world leader of our time. About this solemn assemblage hung the purple pall of mourning. There were recounted the acts of a great tragedy of the universal line, instinct with the poignancy of Oedipus, Elektra, Prometheus. President, ex-President, senators, notables of every grade, were gathered there to commemorate America’s loss of the leadership of the world, When President Wilson returned from Paris, he held in his hand two documents—the greed-dictated Treaty of Versailles and the new charter of world liberty, the Constitution of a League of Nations. The latter cost him dear; for to gain it he had paid the humiliating price of the former and seen the mutilation of the fourteen points which held out such fair promise for a stricken world. Today we must content ourselves with celebrating the broken faith of Harding and his thirty-three sponsors, the abortive Conference for Limitation of Armaments now fast leading to the jeopardy of our national safety, and the effectuating of the Dawes Plan for cashing in on Germany’s willingness to pay. Bolshevism in Russia, Fascism in Italy, unrest in Japan fretting under the gratuitous insult of an impetuous American Senate, open tumult and conspiracy in Egypt and India—these are some of the dragon’s teeth sown by the World War; and to cope with these and a thousand other problems, an abortive League of Nations struggling gallantly on, hamstrung by the defection of America and the fatal lack of American leadership.

The lapse from the high idealism of war-days—the highest pitch to which collective idealism on the grand scale has ever attained in all history;—the materialism, cynicism, Menckenism upon which we have fallen; the loss of faith in the symbols which but recently gleamed so beckoningly before our dazzled eyes—these somber signs of the times give us pause. They prompt the query: Is civilization breaking down? And bid us examine anew the fountain sources of social morality and international justice which should give life and character to our contemporary civilization. Long ago, Prudentius named Hope as the distinguishing characteristic of mankind; and in the years preceding the World War, the dominant note of human thought was an unquestioning optimism. Today it behooves all men whose faith in human nature remains unstaggered to assay the nature of that vague imponderable we call “progress;” and try to chart the tortuous pathway of humanity’s future.

As we trace the history of life from the earliest beginnings in the primeval slime, we observe that it has ever been animated by a formative and aspiring spirit—the “formation of the complex out of the simple, the completion of an elaborated structure out of unpromising raw material.” When our ancestor a hundred thousand years ago chanced upon the use of articulate vocal signs as a means of conveying to his fellows his thoughts, his needs, his desires, there came into being the species known as man. The inner complexes and hidden repressions of the race at last began to find conscious expression—a sense of existence, a longing for freedom, an instinct for self-determination, a dim aspiration toward the divine. Browning in his “Paracelsus” speaks memorably of

Hints and previsions of which faculties
Are strewn confusedly everywhere about
The inferior natures; and all lead up higher,
All shape out dimly the superior race,
The heir of hopes too fair to turn out false,
And man appears at last.

A crude society, resulting from the unity of action procured by the instrumentality and power of speech, was tens of thousands of years in developing. At last the beginnings of science are to be observed in the discovery of fire—which gave man his first real mastery over matter, and made him independent of the severities of ice and snow. With fire, the scientists tell us, was born the spirit of monopoly—for those who possessed the secret of fire achieved monopoly of initiative and the power of social control. Thus was fecundated the germ of that thing we call civilization; for it is the monopoly of initiative and power which constitutes the basis of government, of trade, of finance, in a word of civilization. As we trace the history of invention, we note that it is always the inventive instinct, the working of the scientific mind in practical matters, which has accelerated the development of civilization as we know it: the invention of weapons of offence and defence, of pottery and earthenware for domestic use and household convenience, of vehicles for locomotion, pleasure, and travel.

In the larger sense, true civilization—society which makes records of its thoughts, its triumphs over nature, its achievements, aspirations, and dreams—was ushered in with the invention of written signs for human speech. Since that time the progress of the human race—despite long interspaces of arrest—has been wonderful, miraculous. “Look what man has already become,” says Sir Oliver Lodge, “even in the short space of time since his appearance on the scene! Think of his industry and manifold achievements; the way he has begun to alter the face of the ground, to direct rivers, unite seas, and in general to take control, to exercise his dominion and to make the earth and many of its powers suit his convenience! Has he not delved aicient vegetation from the interior and learned to propel mechanism with it, thereby supplementing the power of his muscles a millionfold? His imagination has run riot in the realm of art which must be regarded as the oldest of his heaven-born faculties; and comparatively recently he has initiated science, and has begun to use his few animal senses for the serious study and attempted understanding of all the atomic processes going on around him, and of all the material groupings among which his lot is cast.”

Today we are just beginning to realize something of Bacon’s dream of a New Atlantis, a realm, an age, devoted to systematic scientific research, for the betterment of man’s lot on earth. A hundred years ago, Charles Darwin and Agassiz were in their teens, Sir Charles Lyell was a young man, Faraday was just beginning his work; Lister, Pasteur were yet unborn. The revolution of evolution had not yet come to displace the notions of Lamarck; anesthetics and antiseptic surgery were unknown; the era of the colossal telescope, which brings the moon to a distance of 150 miles from the earth, was yet to come; and “the word sociology did not exist in the English language.”

For the first time in history, science began to come to its full fruition in the nineteenth century. It has been my good fortune to meet some of the greatest scientific minds of the age: Albert Einstein, the author of the Theory of Relativity; Sir Ernest Rutherford, the leading proponent of the nuclear theory of the atom; Max Planck, the author of the Quantum Theory; Eddington, Michelson, Aston, Gour-sat, Moore, Dickson, Schur. To meet, to know, to work with the greatest scientists of today is to realize that the wonderful scientific developments of the nineteenth century are but the beginning of vastly more comprehensive and colossal scientific achievements in the twentieth century. So wide-ranging, so all-embracing, are the achievements of modern science that it is impossible adequately to summarize these marvels. Annihilation of distance; the attainment of incredible speeds in new modes of locomotion; the precise investigation of the size and motions of objects a million times too infinitesimal for visual observation; the long-range study of giant nebula? so immense that they constitute island universes; the observation of changes so minute that only twenty-five years ago scientists would have denied the very power to make such measurements—these are among the supreme scientific marvels of the age. Napoleon’s headlong flight from Russia which took 312 hours, in the last lap from Vilna to Paris, is traversed by airplane in one 39th of that time. Jules Verne’s romantic projections of Captain Nemo and “The Nautilus,” of “The Mysterious Island” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea” were dwarfed into insignificance by the spectacular achievements of the submarines in the World War; and his fanciful story “Round the World in 80 Days” was reduced to absurdity only the other day by the thrilling adventure of the world fliers. Millikan wins the Nobel Prize in Physics for accurately measuring the atom, which would have to be magnified a billion times to be visible to the naked eye, under a microscope. Einstein boldly stakes his entire theory of relativity on a shift in the spectral lines so minute that its very existence is questioned; and Niels Bohr divides the atom of radium into a central nucleus around which revolve in complicated orbits 88 particles of electricity called electrons, each so minute that it is as far from the nucleus relatively as the earth is from the sun. Dean Swift wrote a famous romance in which Gulliver saw the Lilliputians as dwarfs; and the Lilliputians saw Gulliver as a giant. An idea too absurd for fiction is today put forth in the sober pages of science, for Relativity teaches that the Lilliputians would have appeared as dwarfs to Gulliver, and Gulliver would have appeared to the Lilliputians, not as a giant, but as a dwarf!

Today the mightiest revolution of history is under way. “It has,” says Raymond Fosdick, “completely changed the whole complexion of human life. It has fundamentally altered our daily habits; it has not only modified our environment, but has thoroughly revolutionized it; it has split the anciently established order into a thousand fragments. Since the days of Assyria and Babylon—indeed since the days of our neolithic forefathers—nothing has occurred which has so completely and in so short a time changed the method and manner of living of the human race, as the mechanical revolution of the nineteenth century.” So miraculous have been the achievements of science that Charles M. Schwab said only the other day that the miracles related in the Bible were hardly more astonishing than those revealed by science in the last quarter of a century. In his characteristic way, Bernard Shaw says in the preface to his great play, “Saint Joan:” “The medieval doctors of divinity who did not pretend to settle how many angels could dance on the point of a needle cut a very poor figure as far as romantic credulity is concerned beside the modern physicists who have settled to the billionth of a millimetre every movement and position in the dance of the electrons . . . Why the men who believe in electrons should regard themselves as less credulous than the men who believed in angels is not apparent to me . . . In the Middle Ages people believed that the earth was flat, for which they had at least the evidence of their senses; we believe it to be round, not because as many as one per cent of us could give the physical reasons for so quaint a belief, but because modern science has convinced us that nothing that is obvious is true, and that everything that is magical, improbable, extraordinary, gigantic, microscopic, heartless or outrageous is scientific.”

The real marvel of contemporary science is not merely that it predicts miracles: it brings them to pass. When Hertz more than half a century ago discovered that electromagnetic waves were propagated with the speed of light, he gave the prophetic clue to the marvels of wireless telegraphy, etheric conduction, and the radio. The civilized world is today one vast complex of the most sensitive transmitters and coherers; and the cobwebs of antennae spun by the scientist upon tenuous towers of steel flung up against the sky bring to our ears, as we sit in comfortable drawingrooms, the voice of the explorer lost in arctic wilds, the mellifluous notes of the great opera singer, news of the marvelous discovery of the buried tomb of an ancient Egyptian King, the latest message to his people of the President of this mighty republic. With new meaning we re-voice the thrilling words of Whittier evoked by the laying of the Atlantic cable: “Round the world—the thought of all is the thought of one.” Multitudinous messages from the dim remote flock in upon our thrilled and enraptured senses; and the dream of a collective consciousness of mankind is brought within reach of human realization. The political, social, and ethical consequences of this new discovery are truly uncal-culable. The barriers of insularity and provincialism are at last transgressed; and the voice of the humblest citizen can reach the ears of mankind. The sociologist has been studying painstakingly for years how the other half lives; today, with but a fraction of the effort, we can learn how the other half thinks.

“The opportunity for a hundred millions to think together, feel together, and to act as a single corporate irresistible force,” comments Faunce, “is something new in the history of mankind, something that surpasses all the dreams of science or education or religion. Has then the millennium arrived? Shall the golden age be ushered in by the microphone? Alas, no mechanism can usher in any millennium, and no material device can establish the Kingdom of God. The broadcasting station will send out our message of brotherhood, or hiss out our hatred, with equal efficiency. The Greeks had none of our devices, but they built the Parthenon and carved the Hermes—things utterly beyond us now. They had no microphone, but they heard the voice of Sophocles. They never heard the hum of the aeroplane, but they listened to the ‘surge and thunder of the Odyssey.’ “

When we come to examine the meaning of “progress” and analyze the nature of “civilization,” we are dismayed to discover that science, which has procured us such marvels as I have described, has brought innumerable evils in its turn. The civilization which rests upon scientific discovery is rapidly breeding toxins which minister to its own destruction. A revolution in human affairs comparable in importance to the scientific revolution of today was the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century. Industry came to be organized upon a monumental scale; and an endless stream of humble workers, men, women, and children, were relentlessly fed into the insatiable maws of huge factories and giant plants. The sun of the day of individual Art and Craft showed a rapid declension; and the bulk of mechanical labor was transferred from man to the machine. The laborer was displaced from the pedestal of craftsmanship to the level of the automaton. Population swarmed to the neighborhood of great factories and industrial plants; and losing that salutary contact with nature and the vernal wood which assures the physical and spiritual health of mankind, millions of men, women and children were pent up in insanitary dwellings, toiling feverishly to keep going the intricate and pitiless monsters of modern mechanism. So powerful in their imaginative appeal are these great Juggernauts of iron and steel that Henry Adams, in his remarkable autobiography, thus describes his awed and worshipful emotions in the presence of a dynamo: “To Adams the dynamo became a symbol of infinity. As he grew accustomed to the great gallery of machines, he began to feel the . . . dynamo as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the Cross. The planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned, deliberate, annual or daily revolution, than this huge wheel, revolving within arm’s length at some vertiginous speed, and barely murmuring—scarcely humming an audible warning to stand a hair’s-breadth further for respect of power—while it would not wake the baby lying close against its frame. Before the end one began to pray to it; inherited instinct taught the natural expression of man before silent and infinite force.”

The lesson of God’s word is that frivolity and degeneracy had set in when the Children of Israel set up a golden image and fell down and worshipped it. “And it came to pass— as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

“And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder * * * ” Where is the Moses of the New Dispensation? Have we of the twentieth century substituted the Iron Horse for the Golden Calf? In his “Erewhon” Samuel Butler depicts the industrial workers rising in their might and destroying the machines which had turned them into mere automata. Today the Indian apostle, Mahatma Gandhi, preaches against the tyranny of the machine which has destroyed the ancient arts of India; and pleads for a return to the spinning wheel, to Nature and the simple life. In his remarkable essay, “Civilization: Its Cause and Cure,” Edward Carpenter likens modern civilization to a disease because of the break-up of its unity, its entirety, with Man as the central, controlling force. Today, the Machine, not Man, he points out, is the central instrument of civilization, under the control of corporate wealth; and Man is the slave of the Machine. In the true civilization of the future, as he paints it, the machines will not be refused; but they will have to be brought into subjection.

“Our locomotives, machinery, telegraphic and postal systems; our houses, furniture, clothes, books, our fearful and wonderful cookery, strong drink, tea, tobacco; our medical and surgical appliances; high-faluting sciences and philosophies, and all other engines hitherto of human bewilderment, have simply to be reduced to abject subjection to the real man. All those appliances, and a thousand other such as we hardly dream of, will come in to perfect his power and increase his freedom; but they will not be the objects of a mere fetish-worship as now. Man will use them, instead of their using him. His real life will lie in a region far beyond them. But in thus for a moment denying and ‘mastering’ the products of Civilization, will he for the first time discover their true value, and reap from them an enjoyment unknown before.”

One of the most remarkable plays of our time—a true symbol of this era of machine civilization—is the drama, “R. U. R.,” by the young Czechoslovakian, Karel Capek. The initials stand for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”—for young Rossum has at last succeeded in making the Robot: mechanically more perfect than human beings, with an enormously developed intelligence, but with no soul. The words Robot and Robotize, I would have you note, have already been incorporated in the English language—so powerful was the imaginative appeal to the modern consciousness of this artistic depiction of the de-spiritizing of contemporary man by the force of scientific invention in the hands of a ruthless and rapacious capitalism. The effect of this new invention, we are told in the play, is to usher in a new .civilization in which all work will be done by living machines and the enslavement of man to matter will cease. But after a time, so many Robots were manufactured that people became superfluous; and in time the human race was wholly superseded by Robots.

Surely it is not fanciful to see in the dominance of the machine today the Robotization of mankind. You and I are Robots to a greater or less extent—doing each day an enormous amount of mechanical and routine work, which requires little thought, no originality—merely efficiency and machine-like accuracy. In the days of the Middle Ages, in the golden era of the Crafts and the Guilds, a workman was an artist, who made every part of a mechanism—whether it were a clock or a tapestry, a Cloisonne” vase or a Damascus blade. Today we are the victims of quantity production; and our works, both of art so-called and of utility, are “assembled products.” A workman in a Ford factory does not make a Ford car; he makes over and over again, to the destruction of all scientific initiative and craft instinct, the self-same part. The real menace to mankind today is the menace of the machine. For it tends to make man himself a mere automaton, a machine. The curse of civilization,—and in especial of American civilization— is the tendency to the standardization of the human product. We are all being run into a mould; and turned out as “finished products”—thinking alike, believing alike, acting alike, looking alike—the wooden toys of a huge American Noah’s Ark. Our civilization is the goose-step march of the Wooden Soldiers to the tune of the national anthem; “Yes, we have no ideas; we have no ideas today.”

A brilliant thinker remarked to me the other day that the reason for America’s poor showing in world art is the fact that her citizens are so efficient. They are too busy ever to find time to think. We are all bitten with the speed mania; and labor under the singular delusion that we are five times more civilized than our great grandfathers, because we can travel five times as fast. To paraphrase the comment of Disraeli: “The American talks of progress because by the aid of scientific discoveries he has established a society which has mistaken comfort for civilization.” We are rapidly acquiring the “moving picture mind,” the scientists tell us;— to all of us life is a “series of snapshots, with no chance for a time-exposure.” The appearance of a book like James Harvey Robinson’s “The Mind in the Making” is testimony to the growing belief among psychologists that the contemporary American is a practitioner of aimless reverie as a substitute for consecutive thinking. The young American of today is running about like a mouse in oxygen—an intoxicated complex of transient impressions and uncoordinated ideas. Said the intuitive Emerson: “Things are in the saddle and ride mankind.” “The man that is always rushing about doing Things,” says Faunce, “is a man whose doing has little meaning. In a world of universal publicity the soul will wither like a tender plant exposed to the noonday glare. The roar of the world’s voices today often drowns out the voice of the sage, the singer, the prophet. Much is spoken from the housetop, but little is heard by the inner ear. In an age like ours the artist may have a great array of pigments, but no vision of beauty. The orator may have a marvelous amplifier, but nothing to say; the journalist may have a power press, but no invisible guidance for himself or for the people. We may live on the housetops and never go home with ourselves or God. A hundred million people running around like myriads of insects on an ant-hill does not constitute either a democracy or a Kingdom of Heaven.”

Progress has been defined as “the passage from a less desirable state of life to a more desirable.” The great contributions of science to contemporary civilization have been passed in review. But the depressing fact must be recognized that the common man has not yet availed himself of the meanings and potentialities of this great change. What does Relativity mean to the average man or woman—who has only enough inkling of its complexities to laugh at the journalistic jokes at its incomprehensibility? What does Niels Bohr’s brilliant theory of the atom, with its great planetary system of revolving electrons, means to the man-in-the-street? What possible concern can the lounge lizard, the bobbed-haired flapper, the Nocturnal Knights of the White Pillowsham, feel in the quantum theory of Max Planck, the radium discoveries of Mme. Curie, the non-Euclidean geometry of Bolyai and Lobatchewsky, the fecund biological speculations of Bateson and Loeb, of Haldane and Kam-merer? A distinguished American thinker goes so far as to say that science has so hastened the process of change in men’s environment, habits of conduct, and purposes, that it becomes increasingly difficult for “man’s common run of thinking to keep pace with the radical alterations in his actual practices and conditions of living.” Surely this is the most destructive canker in the flower of contemporary civilization. It is like the deadly monoxide which, any day, may sweep us into eternity in the moment we enter our garage to run out our beautiful, high-powered motor car. H. G. Wells has trenchantly pointed out how far the scientist has forged ahead of the main body of contemporary mind:—”When the intellectual history of this time comes to be written, nothing, I think, will stand out more strikingly than the empty gulf in quality between the superb and richly fruitful scientific investigations that are going on, and the general thought of other educated sections of the community. I do not mean that scientific men are, as a whole, a class of supermen, dealing with and thinking about everything in a way altogether better than the common run of humanity, but in their field they think and work with an intensity, an integrity, a breadth, boldness, patience, thoroughness and faithfulness—excepting only a few artists —which put their work out of all comparison with any other human activity. . . . In these particular directions the human mind has achieved a new and higher quality of attitude and gesture, a veracity, a self-detachment, and self-abnegating vigor of criticism that tend to spread out and must ultimately spread out to every other human affair.”

In face of the startling defects and manifold weaknesses of our civilization, we must recognize that the most urgent subject for the scientific study of the future is not merely matter but Man. In the study of matter, from the universe to the tiny atom, science has made almost incalculable progress; but, as Robinson says, “the knowledge of man, of the springs of his conduct, of his relation to his fellow-men, singly or in groups, and the felicitous regulation of human intercourse in the interest of harmony and fairness, have made no such advance.” The so-called sciences of ethics and jurisprudence and economics and politics and government—as Count Korzybski has pointed out in his “Manhood of Humanity”—have not kept pace with the rapid progress of science in its study of matter; and “it is because of their lagging that the world has come to be in so great distress.”

Is, then, civilization a disease, as Edward Carpenter would have us believe? Is, then, human progress a delusion—as Dean Inge, the “gloomy Dean” of St. Paul’s, would almost have us acknowledge? Ane we witnessing today the reddening sunset of Western culture—as Oswald Spengler dourly affirms in his “Der Untergang des Abendlander”? Must we, then, scrap the mighty machines of applied science in order to recover the joyousness of Shakespeare, the majesty of Milton, the cosmism of Dante, the craftsmanship of Medieval Guild, the art-instinct of the Middle Age, the austerity of Rome, the breadth of Greece, the faith of ancient Israel?

I have no counsels of perfection for man’s guidance—a self-confidence far greater than mine would shrink from such a task. But I would venture, not without timidity, to suggest for consideration some thoughts which promise creative betterment for the future.

First, we cannot, if we would, undo the work of science and invention. We cannot now escape the complexities of modern living; but we can refuse to be crushed in the intricate mechanism of this Frankenstein monster. We must not heed the pagan call of Carpenter to gather on the high tops to “celebrate with naked dances the glory of the human form and the great procession of ths stars”; but we may, we must, once again seek the benignant, all healing balm of Nature; resolutely revolt against the strangle-hold of the city and the tyranny of the machine; and fling off the modern curse of the Robot. We must heed, not the challenge to revolt of Marx, of Spencer, of Lenin, but the appeal of Pastor Wagner, of John Ruskin, of Lyof Tolstoy, for simplified living, love of humanity, and the primitive innocence of religious faith.

Second, we cannot, if we would—and in view of the rapacious appetite of 110,000,000 people who must be satisfied, we would not if we could—change the processes and policy of standardization and quantity production in business, in industry, in manufacture. But we can, we must, revolt against the standardization of thought and the quantity production of the moron which threaten the future of this still tentative experiment in democracy. We must raise the banner of revolt against the provincial doctrine of pioneer democracies that any man is fit for any task, which breeds a yokel contempt for scientific knowledge, refined culture, and expert literary skill. America has been called the melting pot of races; but we must not permit democracy to become a mere melting pot of second-hand ideas, a smelter furnace of pseudo-science, jazz music, freak art, half-baked theories of government and all the cheap vagaries and wild delusions of religious bolshevism. Unswerving fidelity to principle, unshaken faith in the doctrines of the founders of the republic, singleness of purpose, the courage of conviction, and the will to free, various and untrammelled thinking—these we must have, and for these we must forever fight.

A nation which is stirred to its foundations by the craze of bridge whist, of Mah Jong, of the cross-word puzzle, and ignores a Teapot Dome, a Veterans’ Bureau, and the suicidal reduction of the American scale in the 5-5-3 ratio of naval armament, gives signs of an unstable equilibrium and a temperamental hysteria which betrays itself in a studied and gratuitous insult to Japan, the maudlin glorification of a third-rate Executive recently deceased, and the gross vilification of the noblest-minded statesman of our time. Le Bon and Wallas have warned us of the dangers of the mob mind; and we must jealously preserve our individuality and guard our independence against the mass-consciousness of the moron, the sub-man, the hysteriac, and the crank. All the wiles of political buncombe, the glamor of partisan hokum, must not blind us to the greatness of our Washing-tons and our Wilsons, our Roosevelts and our Eliots, our Michelsons and our Millikans, our Adamses and our Lees.

Third, and lastly, we must not lose sight of the fact that we of today are the posterity of the past, the ancestry of the future. In science—the communion of human thought; in art—the communion of human feeling; and in their fellowship we must look for the harmonious and creative instruments of a great civilization. Professor Einstein recently remarked to me that after a certain high level of scientific evolution is reached, science and art both become merged into esthetic plasticity, and form. “Man seeks to form a simplified synoptical view of the world,” he said in a memorable address, “in a manner conformable to his own nature, in order to overcome the world of experience by replacing it, to a certain degree, by this picture. This is what the painter does, as also the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the research scientist, each in his own way. He transfers the centre of his emotional existence into this picture, in order to find a sure haven of peace, one such as is not offered in the narrow limits of turbulent personal experience.” Tolstoy has raised the perennial query, What is Art? and he has given a noble answer to his self-set query consonant with the higher spirit of the age. “Art,” he says, “knows the true ideal of our times, and tends towards it”— and this he defines as “art transmitting the simplest feelings of common life, but such as are accessible to all men in the whole world—the art of common life—the art of a people —universal art.”

But beside the communion of thought—which is science; and the communion of feeling—which is art; there is that still greater communion, the communion of spirit—which is religion. When Joan of Arc was deserted by fortune and betrayed by her earthly friends, she turned in pure faith to those divine voices from on high—with which she shared the communion of saints. Harassed by the confusing clamors of civilization, Emerson set his face homeward with the cry:

What are they all in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?

Says that honestest of contemporary critics, Dean Inge: “There may be in progress a storage of beneficent forces which we cannot see. . . . The source of all good is like an inexhaustible river; the Creator pours forth new treasures of goodness, truth, and beauty for all who will love them and take them. . . . Our half-real world is the factory of souls, in which we are tried as in a furnace.” May we, then, find courage and confidence in this message of William Blake:

Joy and woe are woven fine.
A clothing for the soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Safely through the world we go.


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