That is to say, we are rising above a conception of life in which matter is our master, and yet we are rising above it slowly. This is my chief point here, because by understanding it we see why we still suffer from material afflictions. We have overcome some of them, but only some of them. It is a question of racial development. As we glance backward we see how much of the way we have covered; as we look round on our present conditions we see how much there is still to be achieved.

To diminish fear we should have it, I think, clearly before us that the human race has done as yet only part of its work, and put us in possession of only part of the resources which will one day belong to us. If we could compare ourselves with our ancestors in the days, let us say, of Christopher Columbus or William the Conqueror we should seem in relation to them like children of a higher phase of creation. If we could compare ourselves with our descendants of five hundred or a thousand years, hence we should probably be amazed at our present futility and grossness. Our ancestors in the middle ages could do certain great things, as we, too, can do certain great things; but in general access to the Universal Storehouse which is God, we have made progress in ways unknown to them, as our children will make such progress after us.

But we have made only the progress we have made. We have its advantages, but there are advantages to which we have not yet attained. We might liken ourselves to people who have reached the fourth or fifth step of a stairway in which there are twenty or thirty. We have climbed to a certain height, but we are far from having reached the plane to which we are ascending.


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