The deduction I make is this, that a law which was operative on such a scale before man had come into the world at all must be still more effective now, that we can help to carry it out. The life principle is not less ingenious than it ever was, while the conquest principle must have widely expanded. It is an axiom in all progress that the more we conquer, the more easily we conquer. We form a habit of conquering as insistent as any other habit. Victory becomes, to some degree, a state of mind. Knowing ourselves as superior to the anxieties, troubles, and worries which obsess us, we are superior. It is a question of attitude in confronting them. It is more mental than it is material. To be in harmony with the life principle and the conquest-principle is to be in harmony with power; and to be in harmony with power is to be strong as a matter of course.

The individual is thus at liberty to say: “The force which never failed before is not likely to fail in my case. The fertility resources which circumvented every kind of obstacle to make me what I am—a vertebrate, breathing, walking, thinking entity, capable of some creative expression of my own—will probably not fall short, now that I have an immediate use for it. Of what I get from the past, prehistoric and historic, perhaps the most subtle distillation is the fact that so far is the life-principle from balking at need, need is essential to its activity. Where there is no need, it seems to be quiescent; where there is something to be met, contended with, and overcome, it is furiously ‘on the job.’ That life principle is my principle. It is the seed from which I spring. It is my blood, my breath, my brain. I cannot cut myself off from it; it cannot cut itself off from me. Having formed the mastodon to meet one set of needs and the butterfly to meet another, it will form, something to meet mine, even if something altogether new. The new—or what seems new to me—is apparently the medium in which it is most at home. It repeats itself never—not in two rosebuds, not in two snowflakes. Who am I that I should be overlooked by it, or miss being made the expression of its infinite energies?”


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