The Life of the Spirit and the Life of To-day eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about The Life of the Spirit and the Life of To-day.
We saw there the often sharp and sky-piercing intensity of the individual aptitude for Reality enveloped, tempered and made wholesome by the social influences of the cultus and the group:  made too, available for the community by the symbolisms that cultus had preserved.  So that gradually the life of the Spirit emerged for us as something most actual, not archaic:  a perennial possibility of newness, of regeneration, a widening of our span of pain and joy.  A human fact, completing and most closely linked with those other human facts, the vocation to service, to beauty, to truth.  A fact, then, which must control our view of personal self-discipline, of education, and of social effort:  since it refers to the abiding Reality which alone gives all these their meaning and worth, and which man, consciously or unconsciously, must pursue.

And last, if we ask as a summing up of the whole matter:  Why man is thus to seek the Eternal, through, behind and within the ever-fleeting?  The answer is that he cannot, as a matter of fact, help doing it sooner or later:  for his heart is never at rest, till it finds itself there.  But he often wastes a great deal of time before he realizes this.  And perhaps we may find the reason why man—­each man—­is thus pressed towards some measure of union with Reality, in the fact that his conscious will thus only becomes an agent of the veritable purposes of life:  of that Power which, in and through mankind, conserves and slowly presses towards realization the noblest aspirations of each soul.  This power and push we may call if we like in the language of realism the tendency of our space-time universe towards deity; or in the language of religion, the working of the Holy Spirit.  And since, so far as we know, it is only in man that life becomes self-conscious, and ever more and more self-conscious, with the deepening and widening of his love and his thought; so it is only in man that it can dedicate the will and desire which are life’s central qualities to the furtherance of this Divine creative aim.


[Footnote 149:  “The Mirror of Eternal Salvation,” Cap. 7.]

[Footnote 150:  A good general discussion in Tansley:  “The New Psychology and its Relation to Life,” Caps. 19, 20.]

[Footnote 151:  Aug.  Conf., Bk.  X, Cap. 27.]

[Footnote 152:  Blake; “Jerusalem.”]

[Footnote 153:  “Social Psychology,” Cap. i.]

[Footnote 154:  “The Interior Castle”:  Sleuth Habitation, Cap.  IV.]

[Footnote 155:  “The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage,” Bk.  II, Cap. 44.]

[Footnote 156:  Warren:  “Buddhism in Translations,” p. 28.]


S.  Alexander.  Space, Time, and Deity.  London, 1920.

Blessed Angela of Foligno.  Book of Divine Consolations (New Mediaeval Library).  London, 1908.

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The Life of the Spirit and the Life of To-day from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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