You see that all religion comes from a desire to know something definite. We prayed logically, in the old time, to the devil and tried to propitiate him, so that harm would not come to us. That is stage number one in our climb. Then we find the good spirit and pray to him to whip the devil, which is stage number two. Then we ask the good spirit to give us strength to whip the devil ourselves. That is stage number three. Buddha and Christ come in the number three stage, and that is where we are. We may find, as stage number four, that the good spirit is only a muscle in our brain or a fluid in our nerves, which we strengthen, and become masters of ourselves—greater, stronger, more clear-sighted— without any outside Great Spirit. That we are all things in ourselves, and that we are, in making ourselves, making the God. I fancy that is Pfeiffer’s idea. It is Mezes’, I believe. Then comes in the mystery of transmitting that highly developed spirit. A woman of such a super-soul may marry a man of most carnal nature whose children are held down to earth and gross things, and her fine spirit is lost, unless it lives elsewhere. So we come back to the question, how is the good preserved? “Never any bright thing dies,” may be true, but if so it means an immortality of the spirit. This is all confusion and despair. We do not see where we are going. But we must climb, we must grow, we must do better, for the same reason that our bodies must feed. The rest we leave with all the other mysteries ...
July 28, 1916
I am going to dinner ... and before I go alone into a lonesome club, I must send a word to you. Not that I have any particular word to say, for my mind is heavy, nor that you will find in what I may say anything that will illumine the way, but why should we not talk? What! may a friend not call upon a friend in time of vacancy to listen to his idle babble? O these pestiferous dealers in facts and these prosy philosophers, the world must have surcease from them and wander in the great spaces. To idle together in the sweet fields of the mind—this is companionship, when thoughts come not by bidding, and argument is taboo; to have the mind as open as that of a child for all impressions, and speak as the skylark sings, this is the mood that proves companionship.
I shall be lonely to-night, going into a modern monastery and driving home alone. The world is all people to me. I lean upon them. They induce thought and fancy. They give color to my life. They keep me from looking inward, where, alas! I never find that which satisfies me. For of all men I am most critical of myself. Others when they go to bed or sit by themselves may chuckle over things well done; or find satisfaction in the inner life, as George does; but not so with me. Thrown on myself I am a stranded bark upon a foreign shore. And this I know is not as it should be. Each one should learn to stand alone and find in contemplation and in fancy the rich material with which to fashion some new fabric, or build more solidly the substance of his soul.