It is worth noting this for the reason that we are so likely to think of ourselves as the climax to which the ages have worked up, and after which there is no beyond. We are the final word, or as the French express it, the last cry, le dernier cri. All that can be felt we have felt, all that can be known we have experienced. For the most part, this stand is taken by the intellectuals in all modern countries. In us of to-day, of this very hour, the wave of Eternity has broken, throwing nothing at our feet but froth. The literature of the past ten years is soaked in the pessimism of those who regret that this should be all that the travail of Time could produce for us.

In view of this moan from so many of the writers who have the public ear, especially in Europe, it is more important to keep before us the fact that we are children of a race but partially developed at best. Compared with what will one day be within human scope our actual reach is only a little beyond impotence. I say this not merely at a venture, but on the strength of what has happened in the past. We are not a people which has accomplished much, but one on the way to accomplishment. The achievements of which we can boast are relatively like those of a child of five who boasts that he can count. Our whole world-condition shows us to be racially incompetent, and able to produce no more than incompetent leaders. That is our present high-water mark, and with our high-water mark we must learn to be satisfied.

Escaping from matter, we are still within the grasp of matter, and shall probably so continue for generations to come. Our struggles must therefore be largely with matter, till little by little we achieve its domination. In proportion, as the individual does sow now, he reaps the reward of his victory; and in proportion as he reaps that reward, fear is overcome. Our primary fear being fear of matter, much is gained by grasping the fact which modern science for the past ten or fifteen years has been carefully putting before us— vainly as far as most of us are concerned—that what we call matter is a force subject to the control of mind, while the directing of mind rests wholly with ourselves. Since we have controlled matter to make it in so many ways a hostile force, it ought to be within our power to turn it in our favour.


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