Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Human Life
Author: Knight, Sherwood Sweet
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Human Life" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



  HUMAN LIFE

  BY
  S. S. KNIGHT

  [Illustration]

  NEW YORK
  R. F. FENNO & COMPANY
  18 EAST 17TH STREET



  COPYRIGHT, 1910,
  BY S. S. KNIGHT



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                               PAGE
     I. THE HABITAT OF MAN                                 9
    II. THE LENGTH OF TIME DURING WHICH MAN HAS EXISTED   29
   III. THE PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS OF EXISTENCE             56
    IV. THE PURPOSE OF LIFE                               76
     V. KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION                           99
    VI. RELIGION AND ETHICS                              120
   VII. LOVE                                             156
  VIII. PROBLEMS OF THE FUTURE                           180



DEDICATION


This volume is dedicated to my Mother and my Wife--the two women whose
influence has most largely shaped my life, and whose companionship
has afforded me so much happiness. It was written with the hope that
it might be of value to my two children, and may they find as much
happiness in life as has the author.



HUMAN LIFE



CHAPTER I

THE HABITAT OF MAN


In reviewing the facts concerning humanity, which are well
authenticated at the present date, with the object of getting a
composite view of the greatest of all "world riddles"--"Life"--possibly
nothing tends so largely to expand our mental horizon as a study of
the earth itself or man's place of abode. The ideas of the educated
and cultured mind, at the beginning of the twentieth century, upon
cosmogony, are necessarily of such a character that man's heretofore
undisputed boast of being the objective and acme of creation or
evolution is forced into that great mass of theories which science has
proven to be absolutely untenable. Since the relative importance of the
factors of heredity and adaptation has become known, the environment,
or conditions surrounding man's existence in times past, is of
exceptional importance, as, from an understanding of these prehistoric
limitations, we are better able to judge what must have been the
achievement of the individual and the race than we could be when in
ignorance of these facts.

The length of prehistoric time (so far as our earth is concerned) has
been the subject of much intelligent labor and thought, as well as
the occasion for much dissenting of opinion and more or less designed
misstatement. Until very recently, it has been difficult to reconcile
the theories, as promulgated by the authorities in the various
departments of science; but, notwithstanding this, some light may be
obtained by the summarization of the most plausible hypotheses now
advocated. We cannot take the space to go into detail concerning these,
but will merely touch upon the most salient points.

The constancy of the supply of heat furnished by the sun and the
division of the year into definite seasons was one of the first
phenomena which attracted the attention of man at the dawn of history,
and in the many accounts of the creation which we find in literature
we see the feeble attempts of man to account for what he observed.
Although the knowledge which we have at the present time is not
complete enough to warrant any feeling of pride, yet we do know enough
to say, with certainty, some things concerning the solar system. We
know that our sun cannot forever radiate away its heat into space
without sometime becoming as cold or colder than we are, unless the
energy which it is losing in the form of heat be restored to it by some
means not at this time known. Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) has
calculated that at the present rate of solar radiation, which amounts
to about twenty-eight calories per minute, per square centimeter, at
the distance of the mean radius of the earth's orbit, it would have
taken somewhat more than fifteen million years for the heat generated
by the contraction of the sun's mass from the orbit of the outer
planet, Neptune, to its present size, to have been radiated away into
space. This means that gravity, as a source of heat development, at the
rate of solar radiation now known, would account for, perhaps, twenty
million years' expenditure of energy in reducing the sun's diameter to
but one-thirteen-thousandth part of what it once was. Not only does
the nebular hypothesis fall short of accounting for the facts, as will
subsequently be shown in this one particular of the length of time
during which our solar system has existed, but it does not account for
the variation in the obliquity of the poles of the planets, which are
the attendants upon the sun; nor does gravitative attraction alone
enable us to account for the tremendous velocities of some of the stars
through space, such as Arcturus,--so that it may be safely assumed that
we shall be forced to modify our ideas as to the value of the nebular
hypothesis as a working basis, before we can harmonize our deductions
from astronomical and geological grounds. Fortunately, the study of
the spiral nebulæ has done much to elucidate our conceptions of the
formation of the planetary systems, and from the discoveries made
concerning these highly attenuated bodies of matter, a new hypothesis
has been formed which will completely harmonize, perhaps, with these
above stated facts, which could not be made to accord with the nebular
theory as previously held.

One source of the continued acquisition of energy by our sun, whose
value is hard to estimate, is the shooting stars, or meteors, which
constantly fall into it. Astronomical records show that, from the earth
alone, no less than twenty million shooting stars are daily within
the limits of vision, and inasmuch as the solar system is moving with
a velocity of some twenty miles per second through space, it will be
seen that the number of meteors which would come within the influence
of the sun, being as it is about one and one-third million times the
volume of the earth, would be practically infinite. What then must be
said of the amount of energy acquired by the sun from these, although
each meteor may have a mass of but a few grams, and perhaps may be
only several hundred miles away from its successor? It is clearly
demonstrated that, if no such additions of energy were received by
our sun, in about ten million years its diameter would be reduced to
one-half of what it is now, and its mass, where now it exists as a gas,
would then become a solid, at least upon the surface, and the quantity
of heat received by the earth would become so small that life here, as
we know of it, would be an impossibility. But if it be granted that the
sun annually gathers, by its gravitative attraction, a combined mass
of matter equal to the one-hundredth part of our earth, at a distance
away from its center equal to the main radius of the earth's orbit, the
energy dissipated by its radiation of heat at its present rate would be
accounted for, while the sensible heat of the sun would not diminish,
and the supply would be kept up indefinitely. That such additions of
mass are made, there can be no doubt, but as to their quantity, we
cannot, with our present knowledge, even hazard a guess.

In speaking of the solar heat and man's dependence upon it in a
constant definite quantity, as one of the conditions of his existence,
perhaps it will give us some just appreciation of his place in nature
when we consider that the earth receives somewhat less than one
two-billionth part of the heat radiated away by the sun, and while
this expression makes the quantity which we receive seem rather small,
it is, nevertheless, large enough annually to melt a layer of ice one
hundred and seventy-five feet thick--all over the surface of the earth,
and is a little more than one six-thousandth part of the quantity of
heat which would be generated by the burning of a mass of coal as large
as the sun.

The researches of Halley and Adams have shown that from some cause,
probably the result of gravity acting in conjunction with the varying
eccentricity of the earth's orbit, the motion of the moon has been
slightly accelerated as time went on, while the diurnal motion of the
earth has been reduced by the action of the tides, and that the amount
of this loss, in time, is equal to about one second in the length of
our day, in 168,000 years. Now, this retardation in the earth's motion
has not taken place at a uniform rate if caused by the reaction of the
tides, as the nearer to the earth the moon was, the greater would be
the tides, and, consequently, the greater would be the reaction;
_i. e._, the retardation. But assuming that this retardation took
place, on the whole, at twice the rate now prevailing, we would still
have a period of six million years since the moon was thrown off by the
earth, when our days were but three hours long.

Turning from the theories of astronomy, which are obviously more or
less inaccurate, owing to their very nature and the character and
duration of the observations upon which they are based, we come to
the nearer and more certain deductions of geology. Here we have the
phenomena of denudation and deposition with which to deal, and inasmuch
as these are measurable at many places, and under many conditions
upon the earth to-day, it is safe to assume that computations made
from these measurements cannot be far from the truth. We know that
practically all of the great formations of the earth were depositions
of material from water which contained them, and that, in many
cases, heat caused these strata to be metamorphosed or crystallized
ages after they were deposited, and that in this crystallization
many of the fossils remaining imbedded in the deposited matter were
destroyed. Concerning this deposition we know that it is going on
to-day in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, where, in the deeper
portions the Globigerina ooze is filling in these depressions with a
deposit, resembling chalk, at the rate of perhaps an inch per century.
We know that the Gulf of Mexico and several other ocean areas are
being filled in with silt at the rate of as high as three inches
per century. This silt is brought down in the tributary rivers and
emptied into the gulfs. We also know that large areas in the Indian
Ocean are being covered with coral and the débris from the coral
reefs. We are absolutely certain that every geological period has had
its characteristic fauna and flora, and that, in both the animal and
vegetable kingdoms, some persistent types have connected it with both
the past and the future, so that the fossils have become the "open
sesame" to the geological records. We further know that the strata
composing the earth's surface are subject to elevation and subsidence,
such as is now going on in the delta of the Nile, on the coast of the
Netherlands, and in many other places, and that such movement is a
measurable quantity, given only the necessary time.

The total thickness of known strata measures but about one-three
hundred and twentieth part of the earth's diameter, or, in round
numbers, twenty-five miles. Thirty thousand feet of this is quite
readily identified as belonging to the old Archaic or Laurentian
period, and constitutes the oldest stratified deposit known. Even
in this, we find the remains of the Eozoon Canadense, which is now
universally acknowledged to be the petrifaction of a foraminiferous
living organism with a chambered shell. This means that, at this time,
the earth's atmosphere must have been very similar to what it is at the
present, and that the temperature of the sea was somewhere between the
boiling and the freezing points of water. What time had elapsed since
the earth was thrown off by the sun in an incandescent state can only
be faintly imagined. At the rate of deposition given for the deepest
of ocean deposits, this Archaic period would have taken perhaps
thirty-six million years; but inasmuch as the water may have been far
warmer then than now, and the rainfall more abundant, and the forces of
denudation in all respects more active, this figure may be excessive.
The next eighteen thousand feet of strata are easily identified as
Lower Silurian, by the Diatoms which occur imbedded in them, and these
formations include some of the largest deposits of limestone known. At
our rate of calculation, this deposit would require no less than nine
and one-half million years, and, in assuming this figure, no account
is made of the intervals of time during which no deposit took place,
although such periods of inactivity must necessarily have been. The
Upper Silurian strata consists of twenty thousand feet, the fossils of
which are the lower fishes, and for which we must assign a period of
time equal to no less than twenty-five million years, inasmuch as these
deposits are limestones and sandstones, or the remains of water-living
animals and plants.

Coming now to the Devonian and Carboniferous periods, the strata
of the former, which is filled with fossils of the dipnoi, and the
latter with those of the amphibia; we have deposits aggregating about
forty thousand feet, and inasmuch as long intervals of time must have
existed during the subsidence and elevation, and _vice versa_, of the
land, while the process of coal-forming was going on, it is certain
that our rate of deposition as heretofore used, is entirely too high.
Dawson and Huxley have estimated, after most careful investigation,
that the period of time consumed in laying down the coal measures,
could not be less than six million years, and upon this basis it is
safe to assume that between seventy-five and eighty million years were
consumed in laying down the Devonian and Carboniferous deposits. This
makes Paleozoic time occupy about one hundred and fifty million years,
which is probably under- rather than over-estimated. The flora of the
Carboniferous period was composed of tree ferns of the Sagillaria
and Lepidodendron species which have since become extinct; but the
Lingula, a shell in the Cambrian and Upper Silurian formations, and
the Terbratula, another shell, is found in the Devonian rocks. Both of
these are found living to-day, of the same identical genus and species.

In the Silurian rocks, we find the remains of an air-breathing
scorpion, very similar to that found to-day, which shows that the
atmosphere at that remote period was practically the same as we have at
the present time.

In the Mesozoic time, we find deposits aggregating some fifteen
thousand feet, and inasmuch as the Triassic sandstones were formations
of slow deposition, our heretofore established rate will not answer
the conditions. It has been estimated, after the most careful study
of the Triassic and Jurassic measures, that probably no less than
thirty million years were occupied by these periods, and that the
chalk deposits of the Cretaceous must have taken at the present
known rate, in like formations, somewhat over six million years of
ceaseless activity. This gives to Mesozoic time a period of thirty-six
million years, as a minimum, and, from what we know of the rate of
biological evolution, this figure is conservative. The first period
of the Mesozoic time was characterized by monotremes, the Jurassic by
marsupials, and the latter by the first of man's direct progenitors,
the placentals. The flora of this period consisted almost entirely of
gymnosperms, or naked seed plants, and, as far as we know, at the close
of this second great division of geological time, conditions on the
earth were, in all respects, very much as they are to-day.

Concerning the climatic conditions at the beginning of the Cenozoic
time, we have every reason to believe that from the commencement of
the Lower Silurian epoch, until then, there were no climatic zones
upon the earth. Not only have coral formations been found in what are
now Arctic waters, when we know that such reefs are formed only in
waters where a moderately warm temperature is constantly maintained,
but the cephalipods of the genus Ammonitoidea are found in what is now
the Antarctic zone, and in the torrid. While, at the present time, we
cannot see how the obliquity of the earth's poles to the plane of the
ecliptic could have been changed after the earth began its career as an
independent planet, yet the facts above stated show that the climatic
zones must have been unknown during the Tertiary period. Our common
cypress, which is now so plentiful in Florida and California, had
very close relatives living as far north as Spitzbergen, as lately as
Miocene time. Magnolias, which are now so abundant in all of the Gulf
States, are plentifully found in the Miocene strata of Greenland.

Returning to the length of the Tertiary period, it is well to note
that, covering Wyoming and Nebraska, there was an immense lake, at
least as large as Lake Superior is to-day, and into which several
quite large rivers emptied, whose head waters were in the surrounding
mountain ranges. This lake was at one time at least five thousand
feet deep, and was completely filled up by the fine mud and silt, as
the formation now shows, although at the known rate of filling in of
smaller modern lakes, into which rivers, which originate in glaciers,
empty, this would have taken the better part of fifty thousand years.
This figure is particularly conservative, as during the Eocene period,
there could have been neither glaciers nor melting snowfields to assist
in the denudation at the head waters of the tributary rivers. During
the Miocene period, many of the best geologists hold that America and
Europe were connected, and there are certain similarities in their
fauna and flora which make this very probable. Supposing that this
depression which constitutes the bed of the North Atlantic Ocean, took
place at the highest known rate of subsidence, as measured upon the
coast of Sweden to-day, it is almost impossible to state the amount
of time that necessarily elapsed from the beginning of the sinking of
this strip until it finally went below the surface of the water. That
such changes in level did take place in the Tertiary period, no one
can doubt, as chalk deposits in England, which must have been laid
down in the deep oceans, have now an elevation of thousands of feet.
The Nummulite limestone of this same period is found in both the Alps
and the Himalayas, at an elevation as great as ten thousand feet. The
consideration of the fact that the greatest known rate of elevation or
subsidence is, perhaps, scarcely more than two feet per century makes
the figure of five hundred thousand years, as a minimum for Pliocene
time, seem rather conservative.

Toward the close of the Tertiary era the finishing touches were placed
upon some of the greatest of the geological works. The folding of the
strata, which had been going on for a long period in Eastern New York,
was brought to an end by a violent rupture therein, and the out-rushing
igneous rock, which was subsequently cooled rapidly by the floods of
water flowing over it, gave us the beautiful palisades of the Hudson
River. In the west, this folding resulted in the Rocky Mountains and
the Coast Range, with their attendant high plateaux. In Europe, the
Alps and the Pyrenees Mountains both belong to this period, while the
grandest and highest of all mountain chains, the Himalayas, of Asia,
were the culminating effect of the gigantic foldings of the earth's
crust.

The deposits of the Tertiary period will aggregate somewhat more than
three thousand feet, and, inasmuch as this entire time was one of
continued change in level, or the fluctuation between the subsidence
of the earth's strata on the one hand and the elevation on the other
(particularly in the Pliocene period), it is very hard to form any
conjecture as to the actual amount of time required to do this work.
Certainly, from what we know of the rate at which like phenomena are
taking place at the present time in Northeastern North America, in
Northwestern Europe, and Western Asia, the figure, as sometimes given,
of ten million years seems very conservative.

In the brief review which we have just given, of what can be
conservatively considered the minimum limits of geological time, we
have taken into account generally only periods of activity, and in
but a few cases has any estimation been hazarded as to the proportion
which this was of the whole time consumed in bringing about the
changes which the fossils show so clearly to have taken place during
the various epochs. But one thing should be kept clearly in mind, and
that is, that no matter how long geological time may seem, it is but
an infinitely small fraction of the period which must have elapsed
since the world came into existence, as this globe had to cool down
to below the boiling point of water before any geological records
could be made. When thought of in this way, the Laurentian period
becomes as but yesterday, and even man's dwelling place, which seems
relatively so large, dwindles into nothingness, when compared with the
vastness of the interstellar spaces or the size of the larger stars.
Whoever conscientiously endeavors to form any idea of the teachings of
astronomy and geology, must necessarily feel any prejudice which he had
for man as the object and culmination of either the evolutionary or
creative power, shrink at a tremendous rate, while over his mentality
comes the sense of his diminutiveness, which awakens in him a brotherly
feeling for even the primitive single-celled Laurentian Eozoon
Canadensis, or the unnucleated monera of the present time. It must
have been this same sense-perception in the Hindoos which made them
worship and revere life wherever they found it, and which inspired them
with so active a sympathy toward all living things.



CHAPTER II

THE LENGTH OF TIME DURING WHICH MAN HAS EXISTED


In the preceding chapter, no mention has been made of the length of the
Quaternary sub-division of Cenozoic time, and it will now be our aim to
briefly review this period and then investigate the evidence which we
have as to how much of this time man has been a portion of its fauna.

With the opening of the Quaternary Period, we come to what is
undoubtedly the most remarkable era in all geological time. From a
climate which had been, heretofore, uniformly, warmly temperate, with
but few exceptions, we come to a period known as the Glacial, in which,
by a depression in the temperature, all vegetation and animals in high
latitudes were killed; _viz._: in the central west--almost to the Ohio
River; in Europe--to the northern part of Italy--while the addition of
vast quantities of ice to the oceans, destroyed all life in them to
about the latitude of the northern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Nor
was this period of cold confined to the northern hemisphere, as the
southern part of South America and Africa show. Concerning the cause
of the Glacial Period, but little is positively known. Of the theories
which have been advanced, it seems very plausible that perhaps two more
clearly account for the conditions which must have then existed, if we
consider them together, than all the rest.

The geological record teaches us that in the so-called Glacial Period,
at least two distinct epochs of low temperature, and the consequential
accumulation of ice, are to be definitely discerned. Still further
back, we see evidence of glacial action in the Permian Strata, and
possibly as far back as the Cambrian formations, although these eras
of cold are not comparable with the period at the beginning of the
Quaternary time. Croll, the Scottish physicist, first called attention
to the fact that at certain regular intervals of time, the precession
of the equinoxes, and the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, would
so act in conjunction as to render favorable a great many conditions
which would certainly all point toward a period of extreme cold. He
calculated that the earth was traveling around the sun in an ellipse
of maximum eccentricity, and that winter was occurring in the northern
hemisphere when the earth was furthest from the sun, for the last time
some quarter of a million years ago. About eighty thousand years after
this date, the coincidence of the two phenomena reached a maximum
effect, and about eighty thousand years later, climatic conditions
were again about as we have them to-day. Upon this hypothesis, another
period of extreme cold must have existed some one-half million years
earlier, as calculations upon the same premises as were used in the
last computation will show. It is likewise true that, according to this
theory, there must have been at least one other such period further
back in geological time, and it is now to be seen whether our records,
as shown by the strata, establish these facts.

Prior to the enunciation of this theory by Croll, the famous English
geologist, Sir Charles Lyell, from measurements of the strata, had
calculated that the last period of glaciation occurred about as
Croll stated, and that a period of cold and ice far more intense and
extensive occurred some four or five hundred thousand years earlier.
Mr. Laing has shown that, in order to make such conditions as must have
existed at this time, not only is a low temperature necessary, but a
certain amount of land must have an elevation sufficient to give the
required initial fall to the ice river, so that it may move over the
obstacles in its way, and that the higher such elevations in the Arctic
zones, and the greater the humidity of the air when it strikes such
elevated polar plateaux, the more augmented will be the probability of
glacial activity. The rapidity of the glacier's movement can have no
bearing upon the duration of the glacial period, inasmuch as a certain
length of time may have been required for the ice-cap to form and push
forward to a certain place, and it may have remained there for an
indeterminate period, governed only by the amount of snow deposited
upon the original source, and the rapidity of melting at the moraine.
In Eastern England, no less than four distinct boulder clays have been
found separated by the débris deposited from the moraines of each ice
sheet, and a few hundred miles away in France, the record is so certain
that we know that the Arctic fauna and flora gave away twice for that
of the warmer parts of the Temperate zones.

We are certain that both that portion of Scandinavia and Canada, which
were the centers of the great European and American ice-caps, had an
elevation greatly in excess of what it is to-day, at the time of the
glacial epoch. During the first glaciation, Eastern Canada, or that
part south of Hudson's Bay, was certainly twenty-five hundred feet
higher than it is now, and the area covered by ocean formations or
marine beds to the southward, show that at the same time these sections
were very much lower than they are at the present day. On the other
side of the Atlantic Ocean, the elevation in Norway was at least a
couple of thousand feet more than at present; while both England and
Ireland have risen a considerable amount since this period.

There are other ways by which we may form some estimate of the time
which has elapsed since the melting away of the great glaciers, besides
that given by Croll. From measurements taken on Table Rock, at Niagara
Falls, which we know has receded in post-glacial times from Lewiston
to the place which it occupies at present, we are certain that Lyell
was not far wrong when he estimated this to have taken at least sixty
thousand years. Shaler, on entirely different grounds,--mainly the
redistribution of certain angiosperms--has arrived at figures in
excess of these. Calculations made upon the canyons of the Columbia,
San Joaquin, and Colorado Rivers, all show the estimations previously
given to be conservative. Of course, the figures given will apply
only to the time which has elapsed since the melting of the American
ice-cap, as we have no means of knowing that the American and European
glaciers acted at all in unison in their retreat to the northward. The
manner in which we can get some idea of the length of time required
to account for the enormous quantity of work done in the Champlain
period, is by taking into account the deposits which lie in almost
all of the great river valleys which were covered by the glaciers, or
whose watersheds were made into lakes by the subsidence of the land to
the north, and the rapid melting of that portion of the ice-cap which
contained stones, dirt, and other material picked up in the travels of
the glacier across the country. The Rhine, the Rhone, and the Danube
in Europe, and the St. Lawrence, the Connecticut, and the Mississippi
in America, all flow through valleys lined with cliffs of loess. These
accumulations overlying the coarser sands and gravels, and conforming
to the river valleys, have been measured in the case of the Rhine, and
were found to be about eight hundred feet in depth. It is unreasonable
to suppose that these deposits being, as they are, material thrown down
out of the water after the rivers had lost their transporting power,
could have accumulated at a greater rate than that now going on in the
rivers, such as the Mississippi and the Nile, to-day, and if this was
the case, these deposits must have taken no less than three hundred and
twenty-five thousand years to form. Inasmuch as this work was all done
during the Champlain period, this figure can be safely taken as the
minimum for the measure of the duration of that time.

Arriving now at the recent period of Quaternary time, we find in Europe
evidences of a very short and less intense period of cold; in the
remains of the reindeer and other Arctic animals in southern France.
Associated with these, although of a later period, we find the bones
of the cave bear, hyena, and lion, and in many of the localities
intimately associated with these are the bones of man. In fact, since
the first discovery of the paleolithic implements in the gravels of
the Somme, there have been almost countless finds of human remains in
England, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Greece, in Europe; Algiers,
Morocco, Egypt, and Natal, in Africa; in China, Japan, India, Syria,
and Palestine, in Asia; in Brazil and Argentina in South America, and
in no less than ten States of this country, associated with stone
implements or paleoliths, and all of which, dating from the beginning
of the Quaternary period, have established the certainty of human
existence during the entire Quaternary era, beyond the possibility of
doubt.

The evidences of the existence of the human species during Tertiary
time are many, and hardly a year goes by without adding another
discovery of human remains in the deposits belonging to this period. To
begin with, the existence of man so generally and widely distributed as
we find him to be at the beginning of the Quaternary period, is almost
_prima facie_ evidence of his occupation of the earth for some time
previous. With the means of communication and the motives for it, such
as they must have been at this remote period, we know that thousands
of years would have been required to scatter any species all over the
earth, as we have seen that man was from the locations of the remains
found. Further than this, there are three well-authenticated cases
where the bones of Tertiary animals have been found, upon which there
were cuts made by edged tools, which could have been made only by human
agency. Since these have been discovered, crude implements as well as
human bones have been found in no less than a dozen places in both the
Eastern and Western Hemispheres, which attest, beyond doubt, to man's
having existed since the Middle Miocene or early Pliocene time. We not
only have the opinions of such authorities as Rames, Hamy, Mortillet,
Quatrefages, and Delauney, to accept in this matter, but the more
recent thorough investigations of Laing and Haeckel.

Turning now from geological evidence to that founded upon other
observations, as to the length of time man has been an inhabitant of
the earth, perhaps one of the most interesting discoveries was that of
the Tumuli or mounds of shells of such animals as the oyster, cockle,
limpet, etc., and, along with this, the bones of birds, wild animals,
and fish, together with stone implements and rude pottery. These
kitchen-middens were first discovered in Denmark, but they have since
been found in many countries where savages have lived along the coast.
In many of the Swiss lakes, such as Zurich and Neufchatel, there have
been found piles driven into the ground, around which, in dredging,
human bones, as well as stone implements, have been brought up, and
which are now known to have been the dwelling-places and remains of
prehistoric peoples, who located in this manner so as to protect
themselves from prowling wild animals and from their savage neighbors.
From the amount and character of these deposits, we are forced to
assume that the habitations were used for a long period, and from
geological computation of the time required to deposit the silt around
these piles in the Swiss Lake-villages, and from the similarity of the
remains in the Danish peat-mosses and the kitchen-middens no period
could be assigned to their antiquity of less than seven thousand years.

Our earliest record of historic man is found in the Valley of the
Nile, where we can say with certainty that, over seven thousand
years ago, there existed a high state of civilization under the old
Egyptian Empire. Menes was the first recorded king who sat on the
throne, and during the six dynasties of kings which composed this
period, we see the rise to supremacy of Memphis, the building of the
pyramids, the accumulation of a varied and extensive literature, and
the perfection of the industrial and fine arts. In fact, so faithfully
and indestructibly were the lines of human faces reproduced upon
stone and other materials, that, at this day, we have no difficulty
in identifying the different races of men from their resemblance at
the present time. Menes, himself, carried to completion the great
engineering feat of turning the course of the Nile so as to obtain a
site for his capital, at Memphis. His successor was not only a patron
but a practitioner of the art of medicine. From the monuments and
papyri of the great tombs of Ghizeh and Sakkara, we have learned so
much of the social and political life of Egypt at this period through
the deciphering of the Rosetta stone by Champollion, that we may be
said to have a very accurate knowledge of mankind, as his existence
was conditioned in Egypt from four to five thousand years before the
beginning of our present era. From Memphis, the seat of the government
first shifts to Heracleopolis, and then to Thebes, and, during these
changes, we see Egypt go back into the night of semi-barbarism
(comparatively speaking), and after a long period of time to again
develop a high state of civilization, under a new language and a new
religion, in the eleventh dynasty. Egyptian influence extended from
the equator on the south, to southern Syria on the north, and Isis
and Osiris were the deities that commanded the veneration of the then
civilized world. The kings of this dynasty built the famous labyrinth
of Fayoum, where in the desert was formed a large artificial lake
with tunnels and sluices so arranged that the annual inundations of
the Nile were partially controlled by allowing the surplus water
to fill this lake, and in the time of a drouth, letting it out to
irrigate the valley as needed. Many temples, obelisks, and statues
were erected, and the period was one of social and literary activity.
About two thousand years before Christ, the seat of the government was
transferred from Thebes to the Delta, and, shortly after this, the
Hyksos dynasty began with a conquest by these invaders, who laid all
Egypt under tribute. The conquerors adopted both the civilization and
the religion of their subjects, and reigned over Egypt somewhat more
than five hundred years. Their expulsion marks the beginning of the new
empire, which extended the Egyptian influence from the Persian Gulf to
the Mediterranean, and subjugated both Babylon and Nineveh. From this
time on, we are on certain and firm historical grounds, and with the
founding of the great library at Alexandria, by Ptolemy Philadelphus,
Egypt received her last great literary impulse, and since the fourth
century of this era the part which she has played in the struggle of
humanity has been inconsiderable. From other data gathered by Horner,
who sunk numerous shafts across the Nile Valley at Memphis, and who
brought up copper knives and pottery from depths approximately of
sixty feet, it has been calculated, from the rate of deposition in
that valley to-day, that these remains are upward of twenty-five
thousand years old. In other places, Paleoliths have been found that
are undoubtedly very much older than the oldest temples and tombs.
Furthermore, we know that in all the traditions of this country, the
first inhabitants are represented as being autochthonous, which, if
correct, must mean a very great state of antiquity, so far as man is
concerned; if it be granted that this Egyptian civilization, which is
known to have existed at Memphis, had to develop of its own accord in
the Valley of the Nile, abundantly fertile though it always has been.

In the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, we have further
evidence of the existence of a high state of civilization, as taken
from the cylinder of Sargon I, which reads, "Sharrukin the mighty king
am I, who knew not his father, but whose mother was a royal princess,
who, to conceal my birth, placed me in a basket of rushes closed with
pitch, and cast me into the river, from which I was saved by Akki, the
water-carrier, who brought me up as his own child." The date of this
king is generally accepted as about four thousand years before Christ,
and his exploits have been found pictured and described on the relics
taken from Cyprus, Syria, and Babylonia. He did for Mesopotamia what
Menes did for Egypt, and the prestige of his arms, and the renown
of his civilization, spread over all Asia Minor. As a patron of
literature, he founded some of the most famous libraries in Babylonia,
and compiled a work of seventy-two volumes on Astronomy and Astrology,
which was even translated into Greek. From recent researches, which
have resulted in the finding of a great many clay tablets from the
libraries of Mesopotamia, it seems certain that this Sargon I, upon his
ascension to the throne, found the Accadian people (he was a Semite)
already enjoying a high civilization, with sacred temples, a sacred
and profane literature, and one who had a large and well-ordered
knowledge of astronomy, as well as of agriculture and the industrial
arts. From the archæological remains which have been discovered, and,
in particular, the marble statue of a king by the name of David, which
was recently found at Bisinya, and whose antiquity is probably greater
than 4,500 B. C., it is entirely conservative to assume that Chaldean
civilization was as old, if not older, than that of Egypt; while no
figure can be set upon the length of time which was required in these
fertile valleys for this state of affairs to develop from a condition
of barbarism.

In China, strangely enough, where the oldest historical records would
be expected, we can find nothing to compare with the Egyptian papyri
or the Chaldean clay-cylinders, and competent authorities are well
agreed that there is great reason to suppose that much of the early
civilization was brought from Accadia. In any case, at the dawn of
history, we find China just as she is to-day:--an overpopulated,
agricultural country, where blind imitation of predecessors ruled, and,
consequently, progress, unless brought in by conquest, is extremely
slow. If the empire was founded, as has been supposed, by an Accadian
invasion or immigration, which must have occurred about 5,000 B. C.,
or at least before the time of Sargon I, then these wanderers drove
out the aboriginal inhabitants, the Mioutse, who have been crowded at
last into the mountains of the western provinces. Certain it is that no
greater date can be assigned to the civilization of this country, at
the beginning of its historical record, than about 2,750 B. C., which
time is known in Chinese tradition as the "Age of the Five Rulers."

Perhaps next in order of antiquity, comes the small country known as
Elam, lying between the Tigris River and the Lagros Mountains, and
extending to the south along the eastern shore of the Persian Gulf
to the Arabian Sea. As in both Egypt and Chaldea, this country was
brought into prominence by an aggressive and warlike king,--the famous
Cyrus of history,--and, fortunately, his clay-cylinder; from one of
the magnificent libraries of Susa, or Shushan; was recently found by
Mr. Rassam, amid the débris composing the mound, which is now the
only mark left to show where these great centers of population once
were, in the fertile valleys and coast plains of this part of Asia;
and this cylinder is now kept, with hundreds from like sources, in the
British Museum at London. On this memorial cylinder, Cyrus gives his
genealogy and an account of his exploits, and we find that he came from
a line of kings, and held to the popular faith of his country, thanking
and petitioning the whole Elamite Hierarchy of gods. Cyrus carried
the Elamite arms into southern Syria and Palestine, and overthrew
Mesopotamia about 2,300 B. C. It was the reaction from this conquest
that caused some of the most gigantic struggles of antiquity.

Of the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, no definite historical
record can be found earlier than from fifteen hundred to two thousand
years before Christ. The Hittite civilization and influence we find at
their height at about the same time, but here we can get no inkling of
a greater antiquity for man than that given in the Middle Egyptian
Empire. In the cities of Troy and Mycenæ, we find civilization at its
crest some five hundred years later, and it is not until we come to
Arabia that we again find evidence of such high antiquity as we find
in Chaldea and Egypt. The old kingdom of Saba was built upon the ruins
of a still older, known as Ma'in, and the former was in its decline
as an empire at the beginning of the eighth century, B. C. Now,
contemporary history shows that this country has gone through all the
transformations which Egypt and Chaldea had, and if this is also true
of the Ma'in kingdom, then a date of great antiquity must be given to
it. But these are not certainties, while in the cases of Chaldea and
Egypt there can be no mistake. The Israelite civilization was at its
height under David and Solomon, about contemporaneously with that of
Troy and Mycenæ, and even the Hebrew tradition does not attempt to
antedate the year 2,000 B. C., so that we can obtain no information
from this source. Greece flourished but five hundred years before the
present era, and even if we regard Homer as authentic, no more remote
date can be given to their earliest civilization than that of the
attack by the Hellenes upon Troy, which was about 1,000 B. C.

In the Western Hemisphere archeologists are every year making valuable
discoveries in Mexico and Peru which will probably give a remote date
for the civilizations which flourished in these countries long before
the conquests of the Spaniards. The great pyramids of the Sun and
Moon on the Mexican plateau and the similarity of their design and
orientation with the Egyptian all point to an interchange of ideas
between the East and the West in prehistoric time.

The geological table given at the close of this chapter may be of
interest, as a careful consideration of it, and the foregoing facts,
will show the real value of man in nature. That man is ascendent now,
does not, in the light of experience, mean necessarily that he will by
any means remain so. In the warm Champlain period, we know that brute
mammals thrived and attained gigantic size, and, as Dana aptly remarks,
"the great abundance of their remains and their conditions show that
the climate and food were all that could have been desired." Yet the
mastodon and the cave-bear have gone, together with countless other
species which have become extinct, and, if science teaches anything at
all, it tells us that nature delights in fostering one species at the
expense of another. In the case of man, we most clearly see this. "For
the historical succession of vertebrate fossils corresponds completely
with the morphological scale which is revealed to us by comparative
anatomy and ontology. After the Silurian fishes come the dipnoi of the
Devonian period,--the Carboniferous amphibia, the Permian reptilia and
the Mesozoic Mammals. Of these again, the lowest forms, the monotremes,
appear first in the Triassic period; the marsupials in the Jurassic,
and then the oldest placentals in the Cretaceous. Of the placentals,
in turn, the first to appear in the oldest Tertiary period are the
lowest primates, the prosimiæ, which are followed by the simiæ, in the
Miocene. Of the carrhinæ, the cynopitheci precede the anthropomorpha;
from one branch of the latter, during the Pliocene period, arises the
apeman, without speech, and from him descends finally the speaking man.

"Since the germ of the human embryo passes through the same
chordula-stages as the germ of all other vertebrates; since it evolves,
similarly, out of the two germinal layers of a gastrula, we infer by
virtue of the biogenetic law, the early existence of corresponding
ancestral forms. Most important of all is the fact that the human
embryo, like that of all other animals, arises, originally, from a
single cell, for this stem-cell--the impregnated egg cell--points,
indubitably, to a corresponding unicellular ancestor, a primitive
Laurentian protozoon."

In the foregoing quotation, Haeckel clearly states what every geologist
and embryologist plainly knows to be the truth, and in this case, as in
all others, does it hold good:

   "Because truth is truth, to follow truth
    Were wisdom, in the scorn of consequence."

For any human being, endowed with reason, to wilfully deceive himself
could be nothing less than the height of folly. There is nothing
more pitiful in all literature than Cicero, at the close of his "De
Senectute," bowed down with years, and crushed with grief over the
loss of his son and intimate friends, saying that if his belief in
personal immortality be illogical and untrue, as he almost intimates
that he thinks it more than likely to be, then he wishes to willingly
delude himself for the satisfaction which he will get therefrom. How
different from the man who, in his impeachment of Verres, or his
defense of Archias, runs the chance of public disfavor,--always little
less than death to the politician,--or even to that staunch patriot,
who, with almost his last breath, defied the powerful Antony, although
it cost him his life! How strange it is that Tully did not realize that
allegiance to the truth, regardless of whether it be for or against us,
carries with it, _per se_, the greatest of all virtues,--the virtue of
sincerity. Polonius' death demonstrated the truth of his philosophy:

   "This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man."

In considering this problem of the origin and destiny of man, which,
axiomatically, includes ourselves, let us remember that it matters not
what we may wish, for we have no choice in the matter,--the truth is
inexorable, and, consequently, cannot be influenced. It is directly up
to each human being to work out this problem for himself, and this can
only be done by the fearless recognition of the truth, wherever found.
It is in this spirit that the preceding and the succeeding chapters are
written, and if they contain misstatements and errors, the author will
not only most cheerfully acknowledge the same, when proven to him, but
will accept the logical conclusions drawn therefrom, although they may
completely revolutionize the philosophy of life as he now sees it, and
is trying to live it.


  Geological Table, showing Approximate Minimum Duration in Time.
    Comparative Duration of Periods: Paleozoic, 12/16ths; Mesozoic,
    3/16ths; Cenozoic, 1/16th. Geological Time, at least 200,000,000
    years.

  Geological Epoch  |    Petrographic     | Ascendant Form  | Thickness
      Sub-Division  |      Formation      |     of Life     |    of
        of G. E.    |                     |                 | Deposits
                    |                     |                 |
  Paleozoic         |                     |                 |
                    |                     |                 |
      Laurentian    | Archaic Igneous     | Eozoon          |
                    |  Rocks              |  Canadense      | 30,000 ft.
      Cambrian or   |                     |                 |
        L. Silurian | Potsdam Sandstone   |}                |
                    | Magnesian Limestone |} Diatoms        | 18,000 ft.
                    | Trenton Limestone   |}                |
                    |                     |                 |
      Upper Silurian| Niagara Limestone   |}                |
                    | Medina Sandstone    |}                |
                    | Saline Formations   |} Lower Fishes   | 22,000 ft.
                    | Lower Helderberg    |}                |
                    | Oriskany Sandstone  |}                |
                    |                     |                 |
      Devonian      | Corniferous or      |}                |
                    |  Upper Helderberg   |}                |
                    |  Limestone,         |} Dipnoi         |
                    |  Hamilton,          |}                |
                    |  Portage and Chemung|}                |
                    |  Shales             |}                |
                    |                     |                 |
      Carboniferous | Crinoidal Limestone |}                |
                    | Lower Coal Measures |}                |
                    | Mill Stone Grit     |} Amphibia and   | 42,000 ft.
                    | Upper Coal Measures |}  Sagillaria    |
                    | Permian Sandstone   |}                |
                    |                     |                 |
  Mesozoic          |                     |                 |
                    |                     |                 |
      Triassic      | Sandstones          | Monotremes and  |
                    |                     |  Gymnosperms    |
      Jurassic      | Wassatch Mountains  | Marsupials      | 15,000 ft.
                    |                     |                 |
      Cretaceous    | Sandstone and Chalk | Placentals      |
                    |                     |                 |
  Cenozoic          |                     |                 |
                    |                     |                 |
      Tertiary--    |                     | Lowest Primates |
        Eocene      |                     |  and Angiosperms|  3,000 ft.
           Miocene  |                     | Simiæ           |
           Pliocene |                     | Catarrhinæ      |
                    |                     |                 |
      Quaternary--  |                     |                 |
        Glacial     |                     |                 |
           Champlain|                     |                 |
           Recent   |                     |                 |



CHAPTER III

THE PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS OF EXISTENCE


The tremendous strides made in the sciences of biology, histology,
physiology, and psychology in the latter part of the last century, in
connection with the development of the science of organic chemistry,
have done much to unravel the life-mystery from a physical point of
view. One by one the determining characteristics of the mentality
of the _genus homo_ have dwindled down until to-day even reason in
its broadest sense is granted by the most conservative to some of
the vegetable forms of life, and any unbiased mind will have hard
work to determine the difference between the so-called "Brownian"
movement of particles of gamboge when macerated in a little water,
or even of bits of camphor when dropped upon the surface of water,
and the movements of the particles of a protoplasmic mass; although
one is caused by temperature changes, and the other by chemism. The
selectative growth of a vertex of a crystal in a saturated solution,
and the claw of a crab, both of which have previously suffered the
loss of their respective parts, are perhaps not so different as
the words "organic" or "inorganic" would lead us to believe when
applied as a classification to their principals. We know that in the
life-process, as everywhere else, the law of substance and the law of
the conservation of energy are held inviolate, and the theory which
treats of life as a characteristic entity apart from the condition
which makes it possible, is certainly false. The matter which
composes the living body is chemically the same as that which we find
everywhere. The fact that some living bodies have the power to form
protoplasm out of its chemical elements or simple combinations of
them, or only assimilate such protoplasm after it has been formed from
inorganic matter, constitutes, in the broadest sense, the difference
between the vegetable and the animal life, as we now know it. But,
whether living or dead, the protoplasm has about the same composition,
and, therefore, it must be that life _per se_ is in reality only the
manifestation of a form of motion. Science, by deduction, teaches us
to look upon the living body very much as a theoretically perfect
motor-generator set, the line terminals of the dynamo being the feed
wires of the motor. Such a machine, standing still, would be "dead" in
all senses of the word, although, potentially, its integrity would be
the same as when in operation. But, once put in motion, this machine
would directly come up to speed, and maintain itself at its normal rate
of rotation until something interfered with it, or set up resistance
within its circuit. From this time on, its rate of rotation would
diminish until it stopped. If its integrity were suddenly violated,
this stop would come at once.

Fifty years ago, heat, light, and electricity were all talked of, and
believed to be forces whose existence was in no way dependent upon
matter. Since the investigations of Thomson and Helmholtz, there is no
unbiased scientist who can for a minute think that the manifestation
of any of these could possibly exist without material of some sort,
such as in a general way we call matter. Even chemism, the most
obscure of all physical forces, we know to be very closely allied to
gravitative attraction, and to be so powerful since it operates through
such short distances. In fact, if we adopt the only known feasible
hypothesis to account for the formation of matter, we must, in the
end, admit that motion, and not matter, is the most potent of all the
primal causes which we can imagine to-day. If we could eliminate motion
entirely from the universe, we do not know of a single characteristic
which would be left, by which we could identify existence as we know
it, certainly not even matter itself. Every investigation or experiment
which has been made in the domain of the natural sciences has only
amassed additional evidence to the tremendous amount already gathered;
all going certainly to prove that at least the former two of the old
three universally accepted postulates were false, _viz._: the free
moral agency of man, the immortality of the soul, and the existence
of a personal God, or a power outside of and superior to nature.
The latter will in no wise interest us, inasmuch as experience has
taught us that, in general as well as in particular, the universe is
governed by law; all honor to Humboldt and Descartes for so clearly
demonstrating this.

We are quite sure to-day that, roughly estimated, each pound of human
flesh represents an amount of potential energy equal to about sixteen
million foot-pounds, and that all of the life-processes are, in the
last analysis, purely physical, and that they follow physical laws. Any
exertion, either muscular or nervous, which we make, over and above
that supplied by the energy in our assimilated food, will have to be
taken from the stock as represented in the tissue,--consequently,
continued work means hunger; if continued longer without food, it means
exhaustion, and if continued longer without food and rest intervening,
it means the deterioration of the tissues. The recent investigations of
Matthews upon the manner of nerve action, and the fact that the same
is due to substances known as reversible gelatines, as well as to the
cause of the negative variation of nerves exposed to exciting stimuli,
all show that these most complex of life's processes are as purely
physical, in the largest sense, as the most simple ones. The artificial
fertilization of sterile eggs by the use of dilute solutions, whose
actions might almost be called catalytic, still further emphasizes
the fact that life's processes, even in the embryo, are essentially
physical. Take, for instance, the sterile egg of the sea-urchin; the
two per cent. solution of potassium cyanide; the continued constant
temperature for a definite time, and all of the other conditions which
enter into the development of this crude protoplasmic mass, are all
physical factors, regardless of the fact that the result is a living
organism, where we would, according to our old ideas, certainly expect
an undeveloped sterile egg, or a potentially dead body. As with this
ovum, so with the vegetable protoplasmic mass in the germinal radical
of a seed: if its development is once started, it must continue its
natural course without interference, upon pain of speedy degeneration
upon interruption, and, in this light, both the egg and the grain of
seed are places where life can be started (or motion on a larger scale
begun) rather than living things before their development began, or
while they were lying in their dormant state.

The death-knell to the theory of the personal immortality of the
human soul, as ordinarily enunciated, was rung in 1875 by the German
biologist, Hertzig, when he succeeded in bringing the living ovum into
the presence of the ciliated sperm-cells under the microscope, while in
the field of a lens of sufficient power to enable him to see clearly
what took place. It is sufficient for our purpose to state that the
minute the spermatozoon had pierced the cell wall of the egg-cell,
the new individual of that species came into existence, and had,
potentially, all of the life-possibilities, or was, in fact, as much
alive as it would have been if this had happened under conditions which
would have been favorable to its further development. The fact that
the fertilized egg-cell immediately forms a mucous sheath the moment
that its nucleus coalesces with that of the spermatozoon to prevent
the further entrance of other spermatozoa, has done much to give rise
and impetus to the theory that each cell has a soul, and that when
these two nuclei completely fuse together, the resulting cytula, or
fertilized ovum or stem-cell, has a soul peculiarly its own; which is
made up in much the same way as two corresponding magnetic fields which
are blended when two magnets are brought within the territory of each
other's influence and unite to form a resultant field. That each of the
sexual una-cells is distinguished by a form of sensation and motion of
its own, and that this is true throughout the whole animal world, has
given peculiar significance to these empirical facts of conception; as
these will at once offer an explanation of the mysterious influence
of heredity, such as was never possible heretofore. That each human
individual has a beginning of existence with the coalescing of the
nuclei of the parent cells, just as he has an end of existence with the
violation of the integrity of his physical body, whether after the
lapsing of one second or one century, must, to anyone who has observed
biological phenomena like the above, be perfectly clear.

With the recent development of the science of embryology, there is no
longer any ground upon which man can lay claim, in the largest sense,
to free moral agency. Conditioned as he is, even before birth, by the
influence of heredity, which science has now localized to the inner
nucleus of the cytula, not only are his natural tastes and temperament
quite largely determined for him, but often, in at least as large a
sense, his mental and physical possibilities. It was our genial Dr.
Holmes, who, some years ago, said, "If you would make a man, you must
begin at least four generations before he is born," and, as embryology
has since proven, he spoke more truth than he thought. Any person
possessing a normally trained observation cannot help but note in
their aptitude, or in their manner of doing certain things, their debt
to their ancestors. How seldom (we might say, never) do we find in
our friends what we had pictured and hoped for, owing, perhaps more
than anything else, to the baneful influence of heredity. Degenerate
features, scrofula, epilepsy, melancholia, etc., are all practically
in every case the gift of some progenitor. Tendencies to insanity and
crime are clearly recognized to-day by the administrators of the law,
in every civilized country, as possible a legacy as coin, real estate,
or chattels were a few centuries ago.

Whatever influence can be ascribed to heredity, as a positive
limitation to human existence, we know absolutely that in a much
larger sense is man a victim of his environment, particularly during
the period of his childhood and adolescence. Professor Loeb has shown
that at least as large proportion (possibly one-half) of the influence
of heredity may be eliminated by the artificial fertilization of the
ovum of many species, but embryology tells us that it is beyond the
possibilities of science to ever render impotent the adaptive tendency
of the individual. With human beings, the importance of environment is
much greater under a high state of civilization than in the condition
of savagery or barbarism, since the possibilities of achievement are
infinitely greater in the individual well-educated than in a condition
of illiteracy. What would the mathematical genius of Newton or Leibnitz
accomplish in developing the calculus, had they been born among the
Patagonians or the bushmen of Australia? Would Napoleon's military
talent have availed him anything if he had been placed by birth among
the cliff-dwellers of Arizona instead of the fomenting political
corruption of overpopulated France? Even in a much more restricted
sense, Austerlitz, Marengo, and Lodi could not have become noted as
the stepping-stones toward his imperialism, had he not attended the
military school at Brienne.

In the discussion of this question, of the freedom of the will, or the
free moral agency of man, it seems almost preposterous that educated
people still cling to a theory so at variance with all known facts.
That all men are created free and equal is not only relatively but
absolutely untrue in the largest sense, but that they are all entitled
to, and have equal possibilities, so far as is within their power, is
not only the meaning which the writer of the "Declaration" intended to
convey, but is what every fair-minded man must necessarily accord to
all of his fellow-men, even regardless of sex. In Jefferson's time,
the last clause could not have been inserted, but at the beginning of
the twentieth century, at least in four of the States of this country,
woman has been given her full property rights, and in one she has
full and complete citizenship on an equal basis with man. It cannot
be many years until culture and a sense of equity will have been so
disseminated that, at least under democratic forms of government, woman
will be given her full civil and political rights, and regarded, as
she justly should be, as no longer a forced parasite of man, but as
potentially his equal in every respect.

While considering this matter, it is worthy of note that no less an
authority than Havelock Ellis has conclusively shown that, not only in
the moral world, where woman is and has been the acknowledged superior
of man, is she at least his peer, but also in her intellectual power
and physical development as concerns the evolution of the race when
surrounded by equally advantageous conditions has she occupied the
very van. The chivalrous and insane worship which man has bestowed
upon her as an exchange for her condoning his moral crimes, has tended
both to make him lax in his morality, by reason of her readily granted
forgiveness, and to rob her of her rights as his equal, by keeping
her in seclusion and incapacitated for self-support. Probably no one
thing has worked more harm to the race as a whole than this, and it
is perhaps the crowning glory of the age in which we are living that
woman, in America, no longer has to accept the physical and moral
derelict which the average man is when he comes to the age at which he
has finished "sowing his wild oats," and wishes to settle down to a
domestic existence, as a candidate for reform under the tutelage of a
pure and virtuous woman; or by refusing his proffer of marriage, become
the laughing-stock of not only her suitor, but of her own sex as
well, under the name of "an old maid." As woman has become capable of
self-support, man has lost his power over her, and his accountability
for his actions has directly increased, just as woman has gone from
under his power. That woman can have an honorable destiny to fulfill
other than as a convenience or source of amusement for man is, at last,
after countless ages of darkness, beginning to dawn upon the world of
culture and intelligence.

Perhaps the greatest of all human limitations arises from the fact
that after the gratification of physical desire, of whatsoever kind,
comes satiety. The food which, to the starving man, was priceless,
and which afforded him keen delight as he ate it, but nauseates him
when temporarily his appetite is satisfied and try, as hard as he
may, he can contain no more. How many a man has failed to realize
this, and, after a youth of penury has, by the closest application,
obtained a competence, and by its use, a gratification of his desires,
but without consideration kept up his earning power, and hoarded his
wealth, only to find, to his sorrow, that it was impossible to furnish
gratifications when he no longer had the shadow of a desire! No matter
how much of a gormand a man is he can eat but a certain small quantity
of food per day, the amount of which varies directly with the manual
labor which he does, and, as a usual thing, the more he is able to
purchase, the less likely he is to do that labor which alone will make
his money of value to him from a gastronomic standpoint. Should his
desire be to pale "the lilies of the field" with his raiment, he is
still limited to a certain quantity and character of vesture, so that
in comparison with "unreasoning" vegetable life, his pride will not
be greatly gratified should he possess any sense of humor at all. If
prestige and prowess resulting as the outcome of any physical endeavor
be his ambition, he must realize that whatever pinnacle of popularity
he may attain to, it will be only a few years until he must acknowledge
a successful rival.

In the constant mutation of all the conditions which surround human
existence, we find another most potent limitation to life. How few
of these vital conditions, from a physical standpoint, are under our
control? And yet how important some of the even trivial ones really
are? The extent to which we are dependent upon health, comeliness,
wealth, location, the physical aspects in the lives of our friends, and
all of those complex details which go to make up our routine of life,
can hardly be over-estimated. Starting, as the individual does, with a
complete lack of experience from which to judge, and without even the
power to exercise his reason, as this develops within him after years
of mistakes, until his fund of recollection of these errors constitutes
a basis of experimental knowledge, he is at best upon most dangerous
ground in early life. He is handicapped just in proportion as he has
not some guardian who pilots him until he is able to judge for himself
of the character of his actions. It is the most pathetic thought
which the human mind is capable of comprehending, that nature cannot
be imprecated, bribed, or frightened out of her relentless rule of
exacting full and complete consequence of our every action. Ignorance
is no plea for mercy before her court, and her penalties are exacted
without either fear or favor. Nor is her tribunal cognizant of any plan
of vicarious atonement, but in many cases partially are we visited
with the penalties of our progenitors' disobedience to her immutable
laws. In view of these truths, let us not falsely be inflated with
pride, because of any ephemeral successes. Let us in the moments of
aggrandizement remember Massillon, as he stood at the bier of "Le Grand
Monarch," and when we consider the truth in his opening statement, in
that magnificent funeral oration, "God only is Great," we must feel our
sense of importance leave us. Whoever stood erect with egotism over
the corpse of a friend, even though he be as mad as Lear, raving, "O
that a horse, a dog, a rat hath life, and thou no breath!"? Our control
over our physical condition is worthy of mention only on account of its
paucity, and we can never appreciate our true position on earth, until
at times we are filled with the sentiment, so well expressed by Bryant:

   "In sadness then I ponder, how quickly fleets the hour,
    Of human strength and action, man's courage and his power."

It is not for us to be crushed with the appreciation of our real lack
of importance, from a physical and moral viewpoint, but no scheme of
life can be built upon a sure foundation without an understanding of
what in the case of Schopenhauer, and some other brilliant intellects,
formed the basis of their pessimistic philosophy. That we are not
absolutely free, morally, to select our course, does not keep us from
being relatively so, and, after all, the destiny of the individual is
very largely within his power to shape. It is only through incessant
and vigorous struggle that anything worth while is accomplished, and
nature, in this and many other instances, is with us, since we become
capacitated for greater endeavor through practice, and the habit, once
formed, makes the effort for advancement become almost an instinct
within us, so that our mental activity does not have to be continually
consumed in holding our will to the course, but can be applied to
fighting our way upward along it. Just as fresh recruits are unable
to render the efficient service of veterans in actual warfare, so our
capabilities, morally and intellectually, become augmented by constant
practice. In the succeeding chapters, we shall attempt to show what is
possible to be got from life by the use of all of the advantages which
we have, and, in doing this, we shall elucidate a philosophy which is
as consistent with the facts of life as known to us as we can make it.

In the days of the decadence of the Roman Empire, when perhaps life was
as uncertain as it ever was in the history of the world, the walls of
the banquet halls of a certain clique were always adorned with skulls
and other tokens of death, and according to all accounts, the mirth
was more furious, and the licentiousness greater, as the guests were
brought to realize the shortness of the time during which they had to
live. We moderns may well get an idea from these feasts, in which
the sentiment of Solomon, as voiced a thousand years earlier--than
the instance cited, and under similar conditions, "let us eat, drink,
and be merry, for to-morrow we die," is the dominating one, and, in
considering the shortness of life, realize that every minute should be
filled with effort, as time which is passed is gone forever. Even at
the best, whatever we may elect to accomplish, should take all of our
attention, and, although we may give it this, we will still be able to
find moments in which we did not live up to our possibilities.



CHAPTER IV

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE


In the preceding chapters, we have attempted to get a view of life
from a purely physical standpoint, and to show in what ways our race
is connected with the terrestrial past, and how much the individual
is dependent upon physical conditions, beyond his control, which
constitute both the background and the framework of his existence. But
as great as are these limitations, they are still not so important
as they at first sight would seem, since at least a portion of each
person's environment is of his own choosing, and both his body and his
mind are, to a greater or lesser degree, what he may elect to make
them. Diligence and pertinacity have accomplished wonders along this
line, and the poor struggling manual laborer very frequently turns out
to be the great discoverer, not only in the province of geography,
perhaps on the "Dark Continent," but along all the lines of truth. Nor
is even age a bar to achievement, as our own bard tells us:

   "Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
      Wrote his grand Oedipus, and Simonides
    Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers
      When each had numbered more than fourscore years;
    And Theophrastus, at fourscore and ten,
      Had but begun his 'Characters of Men.'
    Chaucer at Woodstock, with his nightingales,
      At sixty, wrote the Canterbury Tales.
    Goethe, at Weimar, toiling to the last,
      Completed Faust, when eighty years were past."

However, it is far more safe to assume that, whatever we have to
do, should be started early in life, for, if we are to carve out
our own destinies, we shall need all the time which we have at our
disposal. While fully realizing the limiting conditions of heredity and
environment, it is difficult to disprove the statement of Cassius, when
he says:

   "Men, at some time, are masters of their fates;
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
    But in ourselves; that we are underlings."

Perhaps Bulwer-Lytton has, in other words, more forcibly expressed a
similar idea when he says:

   "We are our own fates. Our own deeds
    Are our own doomsmen."

Let us not shift the responsibility of our being other than we desire
upon the shoulders of either our progenitors or circumstances, but,
taking what is, as a fact, we should try to so regulate our conduct
that what we wish may come to pass. It is not he who mourns the power
which he has not--who becomes either the master of himself or of
others, as the parable of the talents tells us, but it is he who,
with a strong heart, dares and does, that achieves the great things
on this earth. Perhaps as close an analogy as we can get to the real
life-condition, is to represent the individual's power over himself
and his destiny, by one line, and the power of heredity and forced
environment by one of equal length; then his power of accomplishment
will be the _vector sum_ of these two lines. The line representing the
uncontrollable condition will necessarily be longer (as the influence
is more powerful) in youth, while, during the life period, it gradually
shortens up until it reaches its minimum at the physical and mental
culmination of life, or when the individual is at his best, and
lengthens again as old age comes on, and the physical and mental forces
decline, and habit and environment become the prevailing factors. With
our responsibility clearly before us, then, let us investigate what is
worth having.

At this particular time, when all of the Occidental world is hopelessly
insane with its Machiavelian money greed, it would seem that one of
Horace's sentiments, uttered satirically, had become the slogan of the
battle:

   "Get place and wealth, if possible, with grace;
    If not, by any means, get wealth and place."

Everything is thrown away by the average individual to-day, in his
haste to satisfy his desire for inordinate wealth;--friendship,
liberty, decency, humanity, honor, and even life itself, is hurled into
the maw of this Mammon, which is not satisfied with such sacrifices,
and gives only hard, cold gold as a return for the priceless jewels of
the human soul, and even this usually at a time in life when the little
value which the mental ever possessed has gone, since there are no
longer desires to gratify by it, with the one exception of that calling
constantly for more of the counters which have lost their purchasing
power. Our forefathers thought of wealth as worth having only
because with it came leisure, and with leisure came culture through
application. Sir John Lubbock has well said, "If wealth is to be valued
because it gives leisure, clearly it would be a mistake to sacrifice
leisure in the struggle for wealth."

Unfortunately, our country is going through that period which all other
nations that have risen to "world power" have had to pass through,
only, in our case, we have reached this period much earlier in point of
time, owing to our vast natural resources, the activity of scientific
research, and the multitude of inventions resulting therefrom within
the last century. But, with the enormous increase in our national
wealth, the legislative branch of our Government neglected to pass
such restraining measures as would insure that no gigantic individual
fortunes were amassed, or, in case that they were to have such wealth,
bear its proportion of the tax; and, consequently, we are confronting
a condition of both anarchy and socialism, inasmuch as, to-day, our
law-making and higher judiciary branches of Government both have a
decided leaning toward whatever is favorable to capital, as against
the interests of the laboring people. Our lower judicial and executive
officials, however, are in this country and in England, owing to rank
partisan political influence, almost hopelessly under the domination
of organized labor, whose leaders (necessarily demagogues) use all the
means within their power to corrupt our system of jurisprudence to
further their own ends. It remains to be seen whether our Government,
owing to its democratic form, will be able to right these evils and
withstand the stress and strain which such a changed social system
must necessarily involve. Remembering our experience at the time of
the Civil War, which was brought about by very similar causes, we have
every reason to be hopeful of the outcome. Our vast alien population is
the only factor which would be decidedly against us at a time such as
this, since these foreigners have not had the privileges of citizenship
where they were born, and into them has been instilled the blind hatred
of all who possess wealth, owing to the monarchical feudal oppression
of the poorer laboring classes, by the titled and plutocratic nobility
of Europe. The most crying need of our time is a law equitable for poor
and rich alike, and a judicial and executive system which will see that
this law is enforced and its penalties are imposed impartially.

Perhaps the worst feature about the possession of wealth, is that
it tends to dwarf and belittle the finer sensibilities of man. Its
acquisition becomes a passion of such violence that, in the majority of
cases, its possessor no longer cares for anything but the few paltry
pleasures which it will buy. And as few as these apparently are, they
are even less upon closer examination, since only the counterfeits
of anything of real moral value can be purchased for money. Purity,
sincerity, culture, or love, owing to their nature, never could be
bought for gold. Yet many an individual has acquired the opposite of
the four "pearls of great price" just mentioned, by having too much
money at his disposal; and most truly has it been said that "poverty is
one of the greatest teachers of virtue." In fact, if it were not for
the truth of our American aphorism, that "three generations cover the
time it takes one of our wealthy families to go from shirt-sleeves to
shirt-sleeves," our wealthy aristocracy would be much more profligate.
There can be no heritage of equal value to children, so long as
their poverty does not interfere with their fundamental education,
comparable to their being born in straitened, rather than in opulent,
circumstances. Consequently, we must accept the fact that beyond a
small competence set aside against age, money has no value of moment,
nor is it worthy of greater than a reasonable effort being spent to
acquire it.

In this age of bustle and hurry, the nervous system is operated at
a very high tension, and as a result often refuses to do the work
demanded of it. As a consequence, artificial stimulants are resorted
to, with the most baneful effects upon our citizen body. Caffine,
thermo-bromine, nicotine, narcine, alcohol, and, frequently, chloral,
cocaine, morphine, and hyoscine, are used in some quantity, and often
under several forms, for this purpose by over seventy-five per cent.
of our population; and we have seen the statement that over ninety per
cent. of the males, over the age of twenty-one, are addicted to some
narcotic habit in this country. As a result of this, the vitality of
the individual, suffering from these habits, is eventually lowered,
owing to the effect which such stimulants have upon the involuntary
muscular fibre; while the over-wrought nervous system, sooner or later,
collapses, and we become, both mentally and physically, human wrecks.
Particularly is the taking of the weaker stimulants, such as are more
commonly used, harmful to children, inasmuch as, at this period of
development, nature has about all that she can well care for, without
interference from the outside, and abnormal activity of the imagination
at this time is not to be desired; since, under these circumstances
with the majority of human beings, the imaginative impulse runs more to
sensual than to æsthetic things.

The demands of our present civilization upon the individual, especially
if he belongs to the coterie constituting the so-called social set, is
so great for both time and effort, that the use of narcotic stimulants
with this class is even greater than with the majority. Hence, it
happens in America, where wealth is often acquired very quickly, that
instead of bringing with it leisure, health, education, and refinement,
as it should, we see very frequently the opposite result. On this
account, in our country, we have no aristocracy, in any real sense of
the word, and, in general we are forced to believe that real culture
and refinement are becoming all the time more rare. The late Mark Twain
has well illustrated this tendency in his trite character sketch, "The
Man who Corrupted Hadleyburg." If our age tends toward degeneration
ethically from this cause, it does so even more from a physiological
point of view. It is becoming more imperative all the while that
we ascertain, for certain, that those with whom we must enter upon
intimate relationship, should be able to show a clean bill of health,
not only in a strictly physical sense, but in a moral sense as well.
To-day, luxury and vice in our centers of population are corrupting and
ruining a far larger proportion of our young and middle-aged men than
ever before. Since all branches of our Government are influenced by
plutocratic power, we are at a loss immediately to rectify these evils
by closing up the dens of vice, and raising the age of consent, to stem
the tide of infamy.

Any system of ethics is valuable as a guide for conduct just to that
extent to which our interest is aroused. Inasmuch as with us all, self
is always the paramount consideration, the safest and surest basis
upon which we can build an ethical system is self-interest. Every
human being of intelligence must sooner or later realize that he is
on earth primarily by no choice of his own, and, since he is here,
it is of the first importance to him that he should know, early in
life, in just what way he will be able to secure the most out of his
terrestrial existence. Now, as we take it, happiness, in its broadest
and best sense, is alone the desideratum which is _per se_ worth the
individual's effort, and, in the aggregate, is worth the pains, both
as an end to be attained, and through the effects of the struggle
of obtaining it upon others. By happiness, we mean that feeling of
contentment and satisfaction which should, at all times, be with the
conscientious and sincere being, whether he is expecting to live a few
more decades, or if he has arrived at that inevitable hour which must
sometime come to all. In other words, let his end come when it will, if
he has happiness, in our sense, he feels and knows that he has had all
that he could get out of life, and, if he had to live it over again,
he would wish to operate upon only those principles which he had used
to guide his existence. In this sense, then, should happiness be the
purpose of life, we will now attempt to show what conditions must, of
necessity, be fulfilled in order to attain it.

Happiness, for the individual, is but slightly dependent upon
circumstances outside of his control, and, in general, is the result of
living up to the highest moral possibility, which means the development
of self in the highest conception. Since any environment can be made
to serve the purpose, we are always so conditioned that some degree of
happiness may be ours. The presence of the objects of our affection,
in the form of human beings, is perhaps an actual necessary detail of
our environment, without which we cannot experience that feeling of
satisfaction and contentment which we call "happiness."

The matter of the greatest importance is so ordering your life that,
in all your actions, you may be equitable in the most amplified sense
of the word. This has, at all times, been understood by those teachers
of humanity who have been reformers or saviors, from the priests of
Osiris in Egypt and Zoroaster in Bactria, more than five thousand
years ago, to Abbas Effendi in Palestine, within the last century.
And, strange as it may seem, the world has advanced perhaps less in
the understanding and practice of this, than in any of the truths of
lesser importance. The exposition of the Decalogue of the Pentateuch
is less refined and more constricted in meaning and application than
the Negative Confession in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, or the
Vedantic philosophy, as given in the older Hindoo writings, or in the
more modern Upanishads. From this point of view, the ethics of the
Zend or of the Chinese sages are infinitely beyond the best modern
practice of a majority of the people in any part of the earth. But
all conscientious and fearless thinkers, regardless of the date or
locality in which they existed, have realized that in every sense the
"Golden Rule" is the only safe guide for conduct, if contentment and
real happiness were the end sought. And if we once get thoroughly fixed
in the individual's mind that this is certain, and that, no matter
what the intention, if our acts are not ordered in accordance with
this fundamental principle of equity, we cannot be happy; we can rest
assured that the individual would no sooner pursue a line of action
which he absolutely knows will end in his own misery, than he would
wilfully take a dose of poison. It is the putting of ethical matters
upon a plain commonsense basis that will greatly assist, socially and
morally, in revolutionizing the world. We have too long deformed and
twisted facts to fit our fancies and prejudices, and we, as well as the
rest of the human race, have paid "a pretty penny" for our delusion.
The prevalence in all of the Western countries since Constantine raised
Christianity to the prominence of a State religion, of a belief in a
scheme of vicarious atonement, has worked inestimable harm to the human
race. Certainly, in one particular, the doctrine taught by the gospel
of Gautama Buddha is immeasurably further advanced ethically than that
of his subsequent rival, Jesus of Nazareth, if we accept their gospels
as correct reports of their teachings. Our blood, to-day, is tainted
with venereal diseases, and our minds with a predisposition to infamy,
because our ancestors were not taught, and did not know, that from the
consequence of their actions, both physically and mentally, they could
not escape. How many men would work day and night to accumulate wealth,
at the expense of their fellows, through unfair advantage and unjust
means, if they only knew that this could not, on account of immutable
law, add one iota to their happiness after they had secured possession
of their so much coveted gold? How many women, for the consideration
of a home of leisure and luxury, would rush into a marriage "of
convenience" with a man for whom they knew they had no semblance of
an affection, if they felt, with certainty, that nature does not
discriminate, even for a marriage license and a religious ceremony,
between prostitution within the bonds of wedlock, and without, and that
the horrors of remorse and disappointment are just as frightful in one
case as in the other? How many young men would go out into the world
with a Satanic sneer upon their faces, a cigarette between their lips,
and a glass of champagne in their hands, to sow their wild oats under
the tutelage of their older degenerate friends, if they fully realized
that, in this one act, they were forever incapacitating themselves for
the highest pleasure of life, and that no matter what their lives might
be thereafter, that nature would ruthlessly hold them to the strictest
accountability for their actions, and that ignorance would be no plea
for mercy before her bar? This inexorable impartiality of nature is at
once the saddest and the sublimest matter of contemplation, depending
entirely upon whether we are considering the awful weight of her
penalties or the magnificence of her rewards. The old axiom of prudery
that "knowledge often comes hard," is, in the cold light of fact and
reason, a most palpable absurdity. It is to-day, the man and woman
who _knows_; not necessarily from his or her own experience, but from
the authentic records of the results of the actions of others, whose
motives of narration cannot be questioned, who are well-equipped to
fight the battles of life, and get from terrestrial existence all the
real pleasure which is to be obtained. It is from such simple yet grand
souls that we have inspirations, and fortunate is that individual
who can call himself a friend to a man or woman whose life has, from
the earliest childhood, been so ordered that purity and sincerity
have been kept inviolate, and all of the fundamental conditions of
equity, as applicable to our fellow human beings, have been observed.
A friendship with this character of human being is one of the few
unalloyed pleasures of life, inasmuch as their company, when present,
or their memory, when absent, is equally delightful. But to get the
highest enjoyment from such a person, we must not only strive to reach
his or her level, but, just in proportion as we do attain their moral
altitude, we will have our capacity for enjoyment augmented.

Perhaps in nothing more than in our moments of relaxation and amusement
should we be careful that we make our actions accord with this law
of equity. How many a careless thing we do without thinking what
the result will be upon someone else! While the indulging in some
amusements, such as a game of chance, for an insignificant stake, in
order to maintain the interest, may be done with impunity by parties
whose financial condition is such that the counters involved are of
no moment to them, and the stability of their temperament is sedate
enough so that the excitement of the game will not fascinate them
with a snake's charm; yet are these particular participants sure that
this is true of all of the company at such times? If not--and in no
gathering of this kind can we be sure--there is a possibility of great
harm being done. The same is also true of an occasional glass of
stimulant, so much in vogue on all social occasions; of the occasional
cigar or cigarette; of a little gossip or scandalous small-talk, which
we all enjoy so much; and of a thousand and one other things which,
in themselves, are almost positively not so harmful when properly
conditioned, but which may, and frequently do, become the means of
a fellow mortal's ruin. It is the lack of discerning and realizing
our responsibility in these matters of conduct that causes almost all
of the misery of the world. It is not, however, enough that we act
equitably only toward our friends and strangers, but we must, within
reasonable limits, follow the injunction which the Chinese philosopher
has so well enunciated twenty-five hundred years ago: "Requite hatred
with goodness." In this particular instance, Lao-Tse's philosophy is
more sensible than Christ's, who commanded us to turn the other cheek.
It is not the part of good judgment that we should throw ourselves
open to the ravages of our enemies, but it is essential that we do
not wilfully harm or wrong even the least of human beings. It has
been the most unfortunate thing for the Occidental world that those
in high authority in the Christian movement should have so belittled
their physical self in comparison with their spiritual natures, that
anything pertaining to the flesh was thought unclean and worthy of no
consideration. Everything which tends toward real beauty and sincerity,
and helps to make us learned, just, and charitable, must necessarily
be worth striving for; and the possession of this should be counted
above all other things. At the same time, we must appreciate the
awfulness of our responsibility, and continually test our actions in
the light of their equity toward others, if we would be following the
safe line of conduct. On the other hand, we should not be blind to
the evil in others, and we should be willing to go to any reasonable
self-sacrifice to better terrestrial conditions.

The philosophy, as enunciated in the foregoing, is not at all
altruistic; it is, on the contrary, very selfish, and as such it has
its chief value. If we teach our children that they must be good,
not for the sake of doing the right thing, but for the purpose of
increasing their happiness, it would seem but reasonable that such
incentive in the latter case would be more potent than that given in
the former one. Above all, the idea of vicarious atonement must be
abhorred as a false conceit, and human beings should be taught that, in
the moral as in the physical world, consequences are always absolutely
true to their antecedents. As Orlando J. Smith so forcefully and
tritely says, "Know that the consequences of your every act and thought
are registered instantly in your character. This day, this hour, this
moment, is your time of judgment. He who deceives, betrays, kills--he
who entertains malice, treachery, or other vileness, secretly in his
heart--takes the penalty instantly in the debasement of his character.
And so, also, for every good thought or act, be it open or secret, he
shall receive an instant reward in the improvement of his character.

"Every night as you lie down to sleep, you are a little better or a
little worse, a little richer or a little poorer, than you were in
the morning. You have nothing that is substantial, nothing that is
truly your own, but your character. You shall lose your money and your
property; your home shall be your home no longer; the scenes which know
you now shall know you no more; your flesh shall be food for worms;
the earth upon which you tread shall be cinders and cosmic dust. Your
character alone shall stay with you, surviving all wreckage, decay, and
death; your character is you, it shall be you forever. Your character
is the perfect register of your progress or of your degradation, of
your victory or of your defeat; it shall be your glory or your shame,
your blessing or your curse, your heaven or your hell."

Truly has Plato said: "Character is man's destiny." "Whatsoever a man
soweth, that shall he also reap."



CHAPTER V

KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION


In entering upon the consideration of the part which knowledge plays
in the making of human happiness, it seems impossible to secure a
view of satisfactory breadth. What we, as children, knew as recently
established facts was with our fathers, in many instances, entirely
undreamed-of, so rapidly has the fund of knowledge grown within the
last century. With us now, more than at any other time, is correctness
of judgment advantageous, since, with increased learning, has come a
fiercer competition in all the affairs of life, and more dependent
than ever before is the individual now, upon his intelligence for
his livelihood, as well as for his happiness. In this day, as never
previously, are the words of Bacon true: "Crafty men contemn studies;
simple men admire them, and wise men use them."

At the present time, also, as at no time in the historic past, is
experience gained at the hands of others or through them; so that the
youth of to-day does not have to suffer the consequences of getting
experience "first hand" on account of the lack of books, or of the
prejudice or ignorance of his parents and teachers, as was so often
the case in the not remote past. Furthermore, intelligent parents are
taking their children into their confidence, and informing them upon
all subjects with perfect freedom, since, inasmuch as knowledge must
come to children at some time, it is vastly preferable that it should
come through those who have the interest of the inexperienced at heart,
so that the proper color and perspective may be given to each and every
fact. It is almost an axiom of pedagogics to-day that "ignorance is
the most potent cause of crime." With the unprecedented dissemination
of knowledge which has taken place during the past few decades, there
has necessarily been a proportionate advancement in the culture of the
masses, and, with culture, comes refinement and conscience.

The cheapness and attractiveness of current literature, before the
decline in culture which engulfed this country with the rise of
commercialism and imperialism, was a thing of which America had every
reason to be proud; and while we are now in the trough of the wave of
progress, and will continue to be until money and commercial influence
lose their present prestige, yet it does not take an optimist to see
that, sooner or later, and somewhere, humanity will take advantage of
its hard-won victories of the past and commence again its march toward
better conditions.

Here, again, as with the individual, so with the entire race. As we
outgrow the things of our childhood at the arrival of mature years,
so has and will the human family as a whole. Who cannot remember the
marvelous width and depth of the vistas of youth, as looked back at in
the transmuting light of memory; and yet, when, after years of toil,
we look at the same scenes again in reality, how disappointing and
dwarfed they are! It is not the actual physical distance which has been
altered, but we, ourselves. Our horizons have unconsciously widened
every day; our standards of comparison have been insidiously raised.
Just as an inch, when compared with a foot, seems relatively small,
with a yard, smaller, and so on until we reach the "light year," the
value of the fraction is reduced to almost an inappreciable sum; so, as
we progress through life, the momentous events of our youth lose their
importance, and we look at our past through the minifying glass of
experience, until at last we can hardly believe that the person whose
life we have been reviewing is, in reality, one with our present self.
Furthermore, events seen at a distance assume their true proportions,
and we are less influenced by passions and prejudices after the lapse
of time; hence it is only in retrospection that we are able to secure
a view of anything which we have experienced without distortion. All
normal human beings are so constituted that their psychic activity runs
through a long series of periods of evolution during each individual
life. As Haeckel has shown, five of these, at least, can be clearly
defined:

1st--The Infantile Stage--from birth to the beginning of
self-consciousness.

2nd--The adolescent stage--from self-consciousness to puberty.

3rd--The idealistic stage--from puberty to the period of sexual
intercourse.

4th--The mature stage--from the time of sexual intercourse to the
beginning of degeneration with age.

5th--The senile stage--from the commencement of degeneration with age
until death.

The investigation of a human life, according to this outline, will
prove, quite readily, the psychic possibilities of mundane existence.

As is well known, the child enters life with its cerebellum almost
devoid of functions. The vital processes are carried on through the
cerebrum and the medulla oblongata, purely by virtue of the stamp of
heredity, and it is only after some days that the outside stimuli, such
as light, heat, pressure or contact, etc., of the most elementary and
primitive sort, are responded to by the infant. Its life is a matter
of little or no individual interest to it, and it is usually only
after many months, and, in some cases, years, before the child has any
conception of its own existence. Previous to the comprehension of its
existence, the infant has to learn to see and judge something of the
distance and size of objects by the use of its eyes, if not to invert
the retina image. In a non-monistic sense, the child, during this
period, has no soul, and its life or death is of absolutely no moment
to it.

In the second, or adolescent stage, the most important of the
individual's concrete knowledge is obtained--that upon which the basis
of judgment rests in after-years. The developing mentality seizes
new facts with avidity, and the memory is more keen, potentially,
at this stage than at any other. The value of correct associations
at this era cannot be over-estimated, as ideas and habits formed in
this period cling tenaciously to the individual. So deeply seated do
they become that they form a part of what we call, in after-years,
our instinct, and upon these memories and the foundation of habits
we build our later intuition. Voltaire has somewhere remarked that
"Mankind is led more by instinct than by reason," and his observation
is a just one. The acquisition of concrete facts or knowledge, in
a specialized form, takes place at a very much more rapid rate at
this period than during any other one, and the child's mind is very
plastic, and absorbs information greedily. Nature has so arranged it
that at this time, when most is to be learned, learning comes more
easily than before or afterwards. In the normal child, the sense of
duty begins to make itself felt at this juncture, and while this may
be entirely an objective idea, nevertheless, it clearly shows an
appreciation of justice in a regard for the rights of others. Coupled
with this, there is a satisfaction which comes both from a sense of
our knowledge--little though it be--and the feeling that this is being
used as a guide to our conduct; a sentiment which Bacon eloquently
expresses in his aphorism: "No pleasure is comparable with the standing
upon the vantage ground of Truth." With this realization, life for
the first time becomes worth living, and our desire for more knowledge
follows directly upon our appreciation of the power which truth gives
over our destiny. The grasping and comprehension of this idea by the
child is one of the greatest, if not the most important, points to be
attained in any educational system. The absorption of abstract facts
does not constitute, primarily, any part of an education, as Spencer
has so clearly shown; but the implanting of the desire for truth, and
the manner in which we should assimilate and use it, does attain the
highest aim of any scheme of erudition. It is in this second stage
of development that this must be done rudimentally; consequently,
compulsory education must be carried at least through this period.

At the beginning of the third subdivision in the life of the
individual, we find a peculiar nervous tension, which is invariably an
accompaniment of this stage of physical development. The imaginative
faculties are enormously stimulated, and, unless directed into the
right channels, are sure to work to the eternal harm of both male and
female children. They should have been given a general knowledge of
their physical peculiarities, previous to this time, by their parents,
and should be allowed the companionship of playmates of the opposite
sex so long as their characters are not objectionable. These close
acquaintances between girls and boys should be fostered and allowed
to become friendship, rather than be discouraged and ridiculed, by
the parents and guardians, as is so often the case. The polarity of
sex will assert itself at this early age, and the boys will strive to
appear manly, strong and noble, while the girls, in a less positive
sense, perhaps, but in an equally beneficial manner, will attempt to
assume the womanly peculiarities of reserved kindliness and sympathy,
which has made the female character so lovable and universally admired
through all the ages. In this matter of the intersexual association
of children, our public school system is usually in error, since, in
most towns, the playgrounds of the boys and girls are separated by
high fences, and communication is entirely cut off during play times.
The association with a large number of individuals of the opposite
sex gives the child a broader basis upon which to form a judgment
concerning any one, and if taught at the same time to use his mind
analytically, will mean a correspondingly high ideal of his own. The
ideal of the child is but the selected striking characteristics of his
own acquaintances, coalesced into an imaginative being. This ideal
is high or low, just as he has been taught to reverence and worship
beautiful or unlovely and vile things; but, all conditions being equal,
there is no other time in life when the human mind will so readily
respond to the pure and noble stimulation of æstheticism as against the
baseness and depravity of unbridled sensuality.

Much has been said concerning the difference in the systems of
education and the class of facts to be presented to the male, as
distinguished from the female, mind. There can be no doubt that the
desired result of education in either case is broadly similar--the
fitting of the individual for a useful and happy life. But it
does not follow that, because in our present civilization, the
woman is necessarily the guardian of the æsthetic, while the man is
engrossed with the practical, that the same set of facts and power of
investigation and reason are not just as good a preparation with which
to meet the identical world-problems in the one life as in the other.
Truth is the same to the boy as to the girl, and the material facts
do not change whether faced by one sex or its opposite. Since in our
industrial life, we have allowed woman to assume already no mean part,
we have more than ever a valid reason for giving her the same course
of training in general which we prescribe for her brother. Nor are we
speaking of intellectual and moral education alone--but the physical
as well--and this in its broadest sense. If we can but stamp indelibly
upon the minds of our children that the natural consequences of their
actions are the punishments, _per se_, which they must suffer in
person, we have done about all possible toward making their pathways
through the world lead at least through negative enjoyment, in place
of absolute grief. There must be inculcated a frankness and sincerity
into the processes of their mentality, before correct judgment can
exist, and, without this, no scheme of education can fulfill its
mission. This honesty of character or intro-active integrity is a hard
matter to instill into the child, since our methods and actions are
very rarely consistent, as Richter, Rousseau, Spencer, and others--in
truth, all of our great educational thinkers--have so well realized.
The indispensability of this candor and fervor is none the less
appreciated, however, owing to the almost insurmountable difficulties
attending its procuration. It is just in this connection that intimate
friendships with members of both sexes so nicely supplement the work
accomplished by parental association, since the restraint certain to
come from the authority of the parent or guardian, is unknown as an
influence between those equal in age and station in life.

In the use of the beginning of sexual intercourse, as a line of
demarcation between periods of human existence, it would seem that
a most natural and rational selection were made. As a proof of this,
it is but necessary to call to mind the large number of barbaric and
semi-civilized peoples who observe some initiatory rites or mysteries
connected with the arrival of the individual at puberty or nubility,
which with them is, to all intents and purposes, the same as, if not
absolutely identical with, the beginning of sexual indulgence. Under
our civic law, it is at this time that, through marriage, the human
being assumes his full responsibilities, and, by the beginning of an
independent family relation, becomes an integral, co-ordinate member
of the state. It is at this "stress and storm" period that the real
work of life--the fruition of existence--takes place. Beginning with
the intimate association with another human being, whose rights and
privileges are so interwoven with our own that it is frequently a
hard matter to respect them without becoming distant, tolerating the
idiosyncrasies, and lauding the virtues, in such a way that the former
are diminished, while the latter are increased; trying to anticipate
the wants and wishes of the other so that they may be gratified--not
for their own satisfaction, primarily, but for our own; seeing the
pleasures of sensuality transmuted in the crucible of pain into the
gold of a new existence; feeling the supplementary affection and
interest, which, for the want of a better name, we call parental
love, and, as the offspring grow older, the pride and elation which
comes with their achievements; standing at last beside the grave,
crushed with grief, raving like Macbeth in despair, or inspired with a
transcendental insanity like Richter's--these all are the vicissitudes
of mature human life, when at its best.

But, great and varied as they are, we find them, in fact, very closely
fused together; and like all life-processes, they take place at a
comparatively slow rate, so that before we are aware, we have arrived
at the beginning of senile degeneration.

Prior to the ending of this fourth stage, the education of the
individual has been finished, and it depends largely upon the
previous mode of living, and the manner of thinking whether he
may not remain at his best for a while, or must at once begin the
descent, from which there is no return. Fortunate, indeed, is he
whose "star remains long bright at the zenith." Considering now what
constitutes an education and the best means of obtaining it, we can
profitably review the principles involved. As Spencer has shown,
intellectual, moral, and even physical development for the human
being must proceed in one direction--call it what we will. There can
be no question that the infant, as an individuality, is homogeneous
in its ignorance and positive influence; that the first facts which
dawn upon its germinating intelligence are concrete and empirical,
and that all of its acts are simple, resulting from comparatively
simple stimuli. Education, in its broadest sense, is the development,
cultivation, and direction of all the natural powers of man, and
its purpose should be to fit the individual for a useful and happy
life. Education can come only through the acquisition of knowledge,
but knowledge can be obtained in two ways. By knowledge, we mean
assurance born of conviction, based upon sufficient evidence, that
a mental conception corresponds with that which it represents. The
primal way of gaining knowledge is by experience, and undoubtedly
this is the most satisfactory and thorough in all cases, where the
result of such experience is not of such a nature as to potentially
lessen the possibilities of the individual for future usefulness and
happiness. Where this would occur, or where, for any reason, such as
lack of time or opportunity, it cannot be resorted to, the accurately
recorded experience of others can be assimilated through the memory and
reasoning faculties, and added to the store of knowledge for the mind's
use. In using the second method of acquiring knowledge, we should not
only exercise the utmost care in selecting authorities who have a
reputation for keenness of perception and truthfulness of narration,
but we should not accept their dictum for what seems to be to us
contrary to our previous experience, and unsound to our reason and
judgment. Unless we are able to follow with our reason their narration
of the causes of events, it is of but little avail that we reach their
conclusion.

The adoption of the scientific as distinguished from the Aristotelian
system of education by the leading teachers of all the Occidental
countries within the last century, has been of enormous benefit to
the human race. We know now that the first thing to be learned is
to maintain the body in as nearly perfect physical condition as
possible--since the mind, to a marked degree, reflects the pathological
state of the flesh. Consequently, hygiene becomes the fundamental
science in the education of the human being, and facts relating thereto
should take precedence generally over all others in the priority of
time in a youth's education.

With the habit of health once established, the next matter is to see
that those studies which will place the individual in possession of
the greatest numbers of facts concerning his physical and mental
environments, and which will give him the best training in observation
and reasoning, are pursued.

For this, natural science and its accompanying mathematics, are
supreme, although enough manual training and domestic science should be
included in the curriculum to insure an acquaintance with the matters
of everyday life. Human physiology and anatomy, as well as the subject
of parenthood, should also have a share of attention commensurate
with their importance--and this has long been denied them. Elementary
psychology must also have a place even in that course of education
which should be made compulsory in every State. A knowledge of the
elementary Latin and Greek is also to be desired in those countries
whose vernaculars are largely made up from word-roots to be found in
these dead languages.

As a matter of amusement and erudition every individual should have
some line of work other than that of his daily routine, upon which to
devote his spare time, regardless of the educational advantages which
he may have had before assuming his responsibilities in the world's
work. This is equally true of woman. However, this should not be done
with the intention of winning fame--although that is not impossible,
since Newton developed his Calculus in his spare time after hours,
while working as a clerk upon a very moderate salary--or attracting the
attention of others, but as a means of self-development. Either some
particular unsolved problem may be taken hold of, such as the sciences
of chemistry, physics, or biology are so replete with, or the subject
of literature and _belles lettres_ may be studied most entertainingly
and profitably. This class of workers were very much more numerous
formerly than at present, owing to the rise of commercialism recently
over the whole world, and it is among these that labor for love, rather
than for profit, that much of the real accomplishment occurs. From
our standpoint, no plan of human existence can be complete, in the
highest and best sense of the word, which does not include this phase
of life, nor can any scheme of education be comprehensive which does
not lead up to it. There is probably no natural law, the knowledge
of which is of so much importance to the human race at large, as that
commonly known as the law of compensation. How many of the thinking
vulgar have for ages repeated the ancient adage: "You cannot have your
pie and eat it." But it has remained for modern science to demonstrate
how absolutely true this is, and Emerson only partly stated his case in
one of his best essays: "Tit for tat; an eye for an eye; a tooth for a
tooth; blood for blood; measure for measure, love for love. Give and
it shall be given to you. Nothing venture, nothing have. Thou shalt be
paid exactly for what thou hast done, no more, no less. Who doth not
work, shall not eat. Harm watch, harm catch. Curses always recoil on
the head of him who imprecates them. If you put a chain around the neck
of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own. Bad council
confounds the adviser. 'What will you have?' quoth God; 'pay for it and
take it.'" It is one of the largest parts of any education, yea, it is
the major, to know that you must pay for what you get in life whether
you will or no, and that you are forced constantly to bargain and
barter what you have for what you have not, and it is imperative that
you see that you get something which you really want, and which will
add to your happiness. And, in spite of yourself, you will get what you
really want, for you can't help it; but for it you will have to pay out
something, as you are doing all the time. Be sure to get something back
of value, let your ideals be high, choose the thing which will give you
the most happiness, but, remember, that you must pay its price. It is
the sudden realization of the law of compensation, held possibly to an
untenable extreme, that accounts for the recent rapid proselyting of
the Christian Science cult.



CHAPTER VI

RELIGION AND ETHICS


Those who have noticed little children playing contentedly in the
early evening, when one of their number suggested the change of
amusement to the game of bugoo-bear, could not have failed to see the
almost immediate alteration in the infantile mind from the most happy
placidity to the most tense apprehension. Although the lights still
burned at their utmost brilliancy and the game was entered into with
perfect good faith by the children, nevertheless it was a matter of
but a short while until all were thoroughly scared and expected the
bugoo-bear to appear in any dark or shadowed place. This phenomenon
has always seemed to be a very close analogy to just what happens
with grown persons who are working up a religious fervor. Just as the
darker the room is, the more apprehensive the children become, so the
deeper the ignorance of natural science is which engulfs the mature
human individuals, directly in that proportion will be their capacity
for religious fanaticism. The consciousness of man that he is dependent
upon some supernatural being, has been and always will be the only
basis upon which religious belief can be postulated. If we insert
the idea of natural causes in place of the supernatural being in the
foregoing sentence, then instead of a religious belief, we have the
foundation for a system of ethics.

The dissemination of scientific knowledge in the last century has
done more to break down religious caste and hatred than all other
influences combined previous to that time. The authority of age has
been appreciably lessened, the significance of miracles as certain
proofs of divinity on the part of religious teachers has changed, the
reasonableness or expediency of any system of vicarious atonement
as a means of attaining either spiritual or moral "grace," and the
realization of humanity in general that the individual expiates his
physical crimes by bodily suffering, and his moral sins by the
tortures of a guilty conscience, are all verifications of what has
occurred in the spiritual and moral world recently. The enormous
strides made in proselyting by monism within the last few decades,
speak volumes upon this topic. The statement has recently been made, as
the result of an ecclesiastical census conducted by one of the largest
Christian denominations, that less than twenty-five per cent. of our
people in this country regularly attend church service. The demand
of the age for demonstration does not well accord with the credulity
insisted upon by the powerful religious organizations of to-day.
Religious beliefs are of necessity mere matters of superstition, and
are based very largely upon the tendency of the human mind to bow
down before authority, particularly, if it is insolent, and the power
of a falsehood to put on the appearance of a truth, if it can but
gain sufficient repetition. "Credidi propter quod, locutus sum." The
brazenness of this in much of the literature of religious revelation,
particularly in the Hebrew, Christian, and Mohammedan collections, is
most readily apparent to the most cursory critic. In fact, no strictly
religious literature at the time of the supremacy of the belief is free
from it.

It is true of all religions that into the warp of superstition the woof
of a code of ethics is interwoven. In the earlier stages of culture
it has long been one of the accepted criteria of any faith whether
its accompanying science of duty, as developed in it, was relatively
good or bad. That there is a logical connection between these two
elements no one can doubt, but this inter-relation is more frequently
accidental than it is essential. Facts show that the instituters and
early promulgators of all of the great religions of which we have
knowledge, have seized with avidity upon any moral stipulations which
were necessary for their locality or condition of life, and that if
capital could be made out of these peculiar provincial circumstances,
they were not slow in coining them to their advantage. An instance
of this will be readily recognized in the inculcating within their
tenets such doctrines as the existence of an omnipresent and omniscient
deity, whose favor may be won by supplication, humility, or sacrifice,
or that of a personal immortality for each individual in a pleasurable
condition as one of the rewards for belief and an endless existence of
pain for its lack. As the number of converts increased, there has, in
almost every case, grown up a powerful and wealthy sacerdotal class
having special privileges. This cult of priesthood is soon corrupted
by idleness and luxury, and the great influence which is attached to
it by virtue of its vocation, has sooner or later been largely exerted
to keep its parishioners under its control by means of ignorance and
superstition. No matter how pure and sincere may have been its founder,
or how elevating or altruistic its doctrines might be, practically
all religions have suffered from the infamy and gross selfishness of
their priesthoods, who by their short-sighted policies of opposing all
adjustment of its dogma to newly-discovered facts, or their advancement
along with contemporary civilizations, have but precipitated their
downfall. From one to another of the gods of heaven has the "sceptre of
power and the purple of authority" passed with advancing ages, until it
is no wonder that thinking people are asking, "Who will next occupy the
old throne?"

The earliest religion of which we have any knowledge was that
prevailing in the Valley of the Nile over seven, and perhaps as long
as ten, thousand years ago. The origin of these Egyptian Aborigines
we do not know--some have supposed that they came from a mixture of
conquering Lybians, with the early dwellers along the lower courses of
the river. Time has effaced all record of any religious texts which
they may have possessed, yet we can tell from the manner in which
they buried their dead, when not dismembered, with their faces always
to the south, and lying upon their left side, while the corpse was
wrapped in the skins of gazelles or in grass mats--that their ideas of
a future life were tolerably well-defined. The civilization of this
people was modified by the arrival of the conquering immigrants who
probably came from Asia, either by way of Arabia or across the Red
Sea, and who, in turn, engrafted upon the religion of the conquered
certain tenets of their own, and in this way formed a new system, the
records of which we find in "The Book of the Dead," which is not only
the oldest book extant, but also the most antiquated collection of
sacred literature of which we have knowledge. Exploration in Egyptian
burying-grounds plainly shows that between the time of the disposition
of the dead, as first noted, and the date of the supremacy of the "Book
of the Dead," that there existed civilizations in this valley who no
longer buried their dead whole, with crude attempts at embalming with
bitumen, but who burned their corpses more or less completely, and
threw the remaining bones into a shallow pit. After this came a race
who dismembered the bodies of their dead, burying the hands and feet
in one place, while the trunk and the rest of the arms and legs were
placed in a grave, separate again from the head. It is impossible, of
course, to even guess at the length of time necessary to effect such
changes in the customs of people, but we do know that at least seventy
centuries ago the ritual contained in the "Book of the Dead" was
generally accepted. And from this remote pre-dynastic time down to the
seventh century after Christ, mummifying was, in some form or other,
continually practiced in the Valley of the Nile. At the earliest time
of which we have record, we find the Egyptians worshiping a number of
autochthonic gods, of whom Osiris and his sister Isis were the chief.
Their ideas of the deities were entirely anthropomorphic. Osiris having
lived and suffered death and mutilation, and having been embalmed, was
by his sisters, Isis and Nephthys, provided with a series of charms,
by which he was protected from all evil and harm in the future life,
and who had recited certain magical formulæ which had, in the world to
come, given him everlasting life. It is certain that the practice of
this belief changed in minor details many times as the semi-barbarous
and sensual North Africans were subjected to the influence of their
more highly moral and spiritual Asiatic conquerors. Their tombs changed
from shallow pits to brick sepulchres, and these were in turn replaced,
by those who could afford it, by pyramids--the most substantial
form of human architecture left by historic races. As showing the
height of the civilization reached by the ancient Egyptians, it is
worthy of note that the great Pyramid of Cheops is not only the most
gigantic tomb ever built, but that it was designed to serve also as an
astronomical observatory, and that its Orientation for this purpose is
very accurate, when we consider that the Egyptians had no transits or
other instruments such as we have now. Consequently, in the location of
this work, they were forced to either use the shadow or polar method,
and the latter being the most accurate was, in fact, selected by
them. Had they known anything of the refraction of light as it passes
from space into our atmosphere, and been able to make the correction
for horizontal parallax, their location would have been accurate.
The purposes of their astronomical observations, as made from this
pyramid, were astrological undoubtedly, as the completion of the tomb
shut off the galleries which had been so carefully located.

According to the "Book of the Dead," the human economy was composed
of nine different integral parts, all of which, except the "ren" or
name, are comprised broadly within our idea of _body_ and _soul_. The
judgment of each individual took place after death, before the tribunal
of Osiris, and in his Hall of Judgment. Here the soul, stripped of all
chance of deceit or subterfuge, was forced to make, as his address
to Osiris, the justly famous "Negative Confession," and the truth
being apparent to Osiris and his forty-two associates, judgment was
given impartially and upon an absolute basis of fact. The standard of
ethics demanded of the individual can be realized from the fragments
quoted from this address:--"In truth I have come to thee and I have
brought right and truth to thee, and I have destroyed wickedness for
thee. I have not brought forward my name for exaltation to honors.
I have had no association with worthless men. I have not uttered
evil words against any man. I have not stirred up strife. I have not
judged hastily. I have not made haughty my voice, nor behaved with
insolence. I have not ill-treated servants. I have not caused harm to
be done to the servant by his master. I have not made to be the first
consideration of each day that excessive labor should be performed for
me. I have not oppressed the members of my family. I have not defrauded
the oppressed one of his property. I have neither filched away land,
nor have I encroached upon the fields of others. I have not diminished
from the bushel, nor have I misread the pointer of the scales nor added
to the weights. I have not carried away the milk from the mouths of
children. I have caused no man to suffer hunger. I have made no one
to weep. I have not acted deceitfully. I have not uttered falsehood.
I have not wrought evil in the place of right and truth. I have not
committed theft. I have not done violence to any man. I have done no
murder. I have ordered no murder done for me. I have not caused pain.
I have not done iniquity. I have not defiled the wife of any man. I
have not committed fornication, nor have I lain with any man. I have
not done evil to mankind. I have not committed any sin against purity.
I am pure. I am pure. I am pure." Those who were condemned before this
tribunal were instantly devoured by the "Eater of the Dead," while
the good were admitted into the realm of Osiris to enjoy everlasting
happiness and life.

We turn now from the Valley of the Nile to that of the Tigris and
Euphrates, lying about one thousand miles eastward. Here we find the
home of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires, and interwoven with their
religion we find many of the old myths which, in a corrupted form,
occur in our own Bible. As the papyri of Egypt have been forced to give
up their secrets, so have the clay cylinders of Mesopotamia. These,
now lying in the British and Berlin Museums, tell in a purer and more
primitive form than that found in the Old Testament, the story of the
fall of man, and upon an old cylinder seal we have it illustrated,
apple tree, woman, serpent, and all. The story of the deluge is also
there taken from the library of Sardanapalus at Nineveh, just as it was
written upon the cylinder more than two thousand years before Christ.
All that is required to duplicate this deluge as far as the valley of
Mesopotamia is concerned, is a tremendous downpour of water, coincident
with a tornado blowing up the Persian Gulf, just as some thirty years
ago, in the delta of the Ganges, nearly a quarter of a million persons
perished during a like phenomenon in the Bay of Bengal. Here also we
find the creation myth, and how after a terrible struggle with the
engulfing waters, Marduk finally cut them in twain, and out of one-half
made the roof of heaven, while out of the other half he made the
earth. Then, too, out of mingled clay and celestial blood, he made the
first two human beings, man and woman. The Babylonians and Assyrians
believed in the immortality of the soul, dependent, of course, upon
the mode in which it lived here. Thus, we find the fifth, sixth, and
seventh commandments just as we have them in the Pentateuch, together
with injunctions of humanity, charity, mercy, and love on the part of
the follower of Babel. Speaking the truth and keeping one's word, as
well as freedom from deceit, are also commanded, and infringements
of these were regarded as sins punishable by human afflictions and
ailments of all sorts, including death. Their idea of heaven was fairly
well-developed, very greatly in excess of that of the Hebrews. Their
heaven was a place of delight and ease, while Sheol was a place full
of thirst and discomfort. It is also interesting to know that the Jews
got their ideas of angels from the Babylonians, with whom, as far as we
know, this idea was original, inasmuch as we find no mention of them in
the Egyptian religious system.

Considering now the civilization which existed in the valleys of
Mesopotamia from five to six thousand years ago, the first thing which
arrests our attention is their knowledge of astronomy. In place of
the Egyptian pyramid, with its sides Oriented toward the cardinal
points, we find the ziggurat pointing the angles instead. This one
fact shows that Chaldea did not borrow from Egypt, but developed her
science independently of her western neighbor. The planets were all
known and named, eclipses were foretold with accuracy, and to Accadia
we owe not only our observance of Sunday, but our angular duodecimal
scale. What length of time must have been required to admit of such a
highly-developed civilization as this, with such advanced religious and
ethical ideas, is beyond the faintest conjecture. Far more remote than
that time, however, were the first settlements on the alluvial plains
by the rude aborigines of the highlands.

On the plateau of Iran, in Central Asia, we find the location of the
oldest known habitation of the Aryan race. Here, in the earliest
twilight of our history, we find tribes of human beings who possessed
well-developed religious and ethical ideas, and whose descendants,
moving toward the southeast and into the valleys of the Himalayas,
formulated the hymns which, when compiled, constitute the Vedas or the
sacred literature of the Aryan Indians, while the portion who remained
behind, became the progenitors of the Aryan Iranians whose religious
lore we find in that wonderful collection known as the Avesta. In these
two literatures, both of which are worthy of the deepest investigation
and maturest deliberation, we have, so far as is known, the oldest idea
of a non-anthropomorphic deity. His attributes with the Indian were so
subdivided and abstracted as to allow this one god essence to almost
fill a panthenon. Their worship took the form of adoration for the
striking grandeurs of nature, each of whom they regarded as a separate
personal consciousness possessed of superhuman powers. Their religion
seems to the superficial investigator to be but an exceptionally
pure form of pantheism, but this is not, in fact, the case, since
philologists to-day recognize that the overwhelming spontaneous
impulse which forces the barbaric human mentality to give utterance
to its deepest emotions, is a certain index of a crude monotheistic
conception. It is Brahma who is the universal self-existent soul,
and who comprises, in his infinity, both the god and the adorer.
Of course, as time went on, these ideas became more gross, until,
with the introduction of caste, the ancient Vedic religion had lost
much of its beauty and purity. The religious system had become both
dogmatic and pretentious, and particularly insolent in its authority
with the rise in power of the sacerdotal class, the Brahmans. While
the Vedic religion is imbued with a spirit of strong belief in the
efficacy of sacrifice and prayer, we find that this steadily increases
in domination as we approach modern times. To all, except the Sudras
or Serfs, a course of life conduct is prescribed consisting of four
stages, _viz._: as a religious student, as a householder, as an
anchorite, and last, as a religious mendicant. Corresponding to these,
there were four sacred debts, _viz._: that due to the gods and paid by
worship; that due to the ancient sages and discharged by Vedic study;
that which he owes to his manes, and which he relieves himself of by
the perpetuation of his name in a son; and last, that which he owes to
mankind, and which demands his incessantly practicing kindness and
hospitality. They believed in the immortality of the soul and through
metempsychosis, in its reward or punishment, according to its existence
here.

In the sixth century before Christ, there lived in India a member of
the Brahman class who was destined to more than restore Brahmanism to
its pristine purity. Gautama Buddha was born as the son of a local
ruler and his wife, whose conception was accomplished by her falling
into a trance and dreaming that the future Buddha had become a superb
white elephant, who, walking around her and striking her upon the
right side with a lotus flower, entered her womb. Such is the Hindoo
myth. This reformer altogether denied the existence of the soul, as an
entity or substance possessing immortality in the individual sense,
and he taught that the soul's future happiness in the abstract was
entirely dependent upon its performance while here, as distinguished
from any recollection or effect of its previous existences. He denied
the authority of the Veda and the efficacy of prayer--in fact, his
creed is best shown by a quotation from his gospel: "Rituals have no
efficacy, prayers are but vain repetitions, and incantations have no
saving power. But to abandon covetousness and lust, to become free
from all evil passions, and to give up all hatred and ill-will; that
is the right sacrifice and the true worship." This is the kernel of
the pure Buddhistic belief, and this declaration at once reduces his
system from a religious to a purely ethical one. Excepting the myth of
his conception, his life was a perfectly natural one. Nothing could
be more real than his discovery of sorrow and misery, and his inquiry
after its cause; nothing can be more touching than his parting from
his wife and son, whom he loved so much that he could not hazard the
pleasure of a last farewell. And under the stress of this situation, we
are particularly told that he was human enough to give way to tears.
No ethics could be higher in the aggregate than his--not once, but
time and again, does he speak thus: "Indulge in lust but little, and
lust, like a child, will grow. Charity is rich in returns; charity is
the greatest wealth, for though it scatters, it brings no repentance.
Better than sovereignty over the earth, better than living in heaven,
better than lordship over all the worlds, is the fruit of holiness. For
seeking true religion, there is never a time that can be inopportune.
The present reaps what the past has sown, and the future is the
product of the present. Far better is it to revere the truth than try
to appease the gods by the shedding of blood. What love can a man
possess who believes that the destruction of life will atone for evil
deeds? Can a new wrong expiate old wrongs? And can the slaughter of
an innocent victim take away the sins of mankind? This is practicing
religion by the neglect of moral conduct. The sensual man is the slave
of his passions, and pleasure-seeking is degrading and vulgar. But to
satisfy the necessities of life is not evil. To keep the body in good
health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp
of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. There is no savior in
the world except in truth; there is no immortality except in truth.
The truth is best as it is, have faith in the truth and live it. Not
by birth does one become an outcast; not by birth does one become a
Brahman; by deeds one becomes an outcast and by deeds one becomes a
Brahman." What could more strongly emphasize the position of Buddha in
regard to the infamy of the caste system, as it has been developed in
India, than the parable of the low-caste girl at the well who had been
asked by the disciple Ananda for a drink. This girl, seeing that he was
a Brahman, or member of the highest caste, replied that she could not
give him even a drink of water without contaminating his holiness. To
this, Ananda promptly replied: "I ask not for caste, but for water."
And when she came to Buddha with her heart full of gratitude and love
for Ananda, he spoke to her in the following language: "Verily, there
is great merit in the generosity of a king when he is kind to a slave,
but there is greater merit in the slave when, ignoring the wrongs which
he suffers, he cherishes kindness and good-will to all mankind. He will
cease to hate his oppressors, and even when powerless to resist their
usurpation will, with compassion, pity their arrogance and supercilious
demeanor. Blessed are thou, Prakrita, for although you are of low
caste, you will be a model for noblemen and noblewomen. You are of low
caste, but Brahmans will learn a lesson from you. Swerve not from the
path of justice and righteousness, and you will outshine the royal
glory of queens."

Very little wonder is it that, from North Hindustan, the doctrines
of Buddha soon largely prevailed over Central, Southern, and Eastern
Asia. Of the almost numberless sects into which Buddhism is divided,
all go back for their inspiration to his teachings. In fact, he left
little for his disciples to do in the matter of enunciating a pure
and virtuous system of ethics, so thoroughly did he cover the ground
himself. When we remember that Confucius was living in China at almost
the identical time that Buddha was preaching in Hindustan, we cannot
help but wonder at the strangeness of the occurrence--both enunciating
a philosophy or system of ethics which was destined to affect the
conduct of so large a portion of the human race. As we read Lao-Tse's
injunction to "requite hatred with goodness," it seems that he must
have drawn his inspiration from an Indian source.

We return now to the location in Central Asia, and to the remote
antiquity from which we digressed. At the same time the Indians in the
southeast have been developing their religion, the Iranians have not
remained quiescent. Their great sage, Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, had
been teaching his dualism--in many respects the most subtle religious
philosophy ever promulgated. From what little of the Zend lore that
has escaped the ravages of time, we are able to-day to trace the
outlines of a religion and philosophy based upon primal polarities.
Ahura is to Zoroaster the great Life-Spirit-Lord, the Great Creator,
the Great Wise One. His six characteristics are the fundamental laws
of a righteous universe; simple, clear, and pure. Ahura creates the
world during six periods: in the first, heaven; in the second, water;
in the third, earth; in the fourth, plants; in the fifth, animals;
and in the sixth, man. All of the human race is descended from a
primitive pair. There is a deluge, and one man is selected to save
and protect representatives of each species so that the earth may be
repeopled with a better race. Zoroaster questions Ahura on the Mount
of Holy Conversations, and receives from him answers. So far, the
parallel between Zoroastrianism and Judaism is complete. The difference
now appears, for the former held that the world was to last four
periods--during the first two, Ahura has complete authority. Then comes
Ahriman, the self-existent evil-principle, and their conflict fills
the third period. The fourth period, which opens with the advent of
Zoroaster, ends with the downfall of Ahriman, and the resurrection of
the soul for a future life. It is entirely within the power of the
individual as to whether he wishes to come under the power of the Good
or Evil Spirit, and with whom he chooses to ally himself. But the
struggle is incessant, and watchfulness must always be maintained.
So much for the religion--now for the ethics. To the Zoroastrian,
the natural and normal in life is not derided and scorned, nor is
woman looked upon as "a necessary evil," as is the case in Buddhism,
Christianity, and Mohammedanism. Here is a quotation from the Zend
Avesta from the mouth of Ahura himself: "Verily, I say unto you, the
man who has a wife is far above him who lives in continence; he who
keeps a house is far above him who has none; he who has children is far
above him who is childless; he who has riches is far above him who has
none." If we can use the moral code of the only remaining Zoroastrians
in the world to-day, the Parsees, as a criterion to judge by, we must
acknowledge that no religion enjoys a purer and more perfect course of
conduct. Dr. Haug tells us that the following are strictly denounced
by its code: Murder, infanticide, poisoning, adultery on the part
of men as well as of women, sorcery, sodomy, cheating in weight and
measure, breach of promise, regardless of to whom made, deception of
any kind, false covenants, slander and calumny, perjury, dishonest
appropriation of wealth, taking bribes, keeping back the wages of
laborers, misappropriation of religious property, removal of a boundary
stone, turning people out of their property, maladministration and
defrauding, apostasy, heresy, and rebellion. Besides these, there are
a number of special precepts relating to the enforcement of sanitary
regulations, kindness to animals, hospitality to strangers, respect to
superiors, and help to the poor and needy. The following are especially
condemned--abandoning the husband, not acknowledging the children on
the part of the father, cruelty toward subjects on the part of a ruler,
avarice, laziness, illiberality, egotism, and envy. Here we find a
system of religion whose predominating symbolism was the worship of
fire as the nearest human concept of Ahura, and well it might be,
for those primitive people who had so sacredly to cherish it. In the
Greek mythology, Prometheus was inconceivably tortured for filching
from heaven the divine fire and carrying it to mortals. But according
to the Zoroastrian philosophy, Ahura has placed all good within
the reach of man, and it is for him to choose whether he will avail
himself of this or become a slave of Ahriman. It seems strange that
from Bactria, either from the old Mazdaism or through Zoroaster, the
world should have conceived its only monotheistic conception reasonably
free from anthropomorphism, and whose associated code of ethics was
so reasonable, firm and pure. There is in Zoroastrianism no thought
of dogmatic bigotry any more than there is in ancient Buddhism, and
its philosophy of primitive polarity well corresponds with what modern
science has taught us within the last five decades. Both of these
systems are meditative rather than militant, and, consequently, have
not exercised the influence over the destiny of the human race which
Judaism has.

In the consideration of the Jewish religion and its descendants,
Christianity and Mohammedanism, we are face to face with the most
warlike and combative monotheism which history has recorded. In the
earlier form, and as in the Hebrew worship of to-day, Jehovah shares
his authority with no one--in the Christian system, God and Christ
are equally powerful, while with Islam it would seem that Mahomet
had slightly the balance of power, notwithstanding the oft-repeated
declaration that "there is no God but Allah." Here we have the idea
of a chosen people of God carried to its logical conclusion; the
jealousy of Jehovah being in no wise an efficient operative cause for
the terrible butcheries of men, women, and children, such as we have
described in the Old Testament, as having befallen the enemies of the
Hebrews when they were victorious. This wild and fanatical worship of
a suspicious and revengeful God, although it called for the waging of
countless wars upon his supposed orders, and even for the immolation
upon the sacrificial altar of one's own children; yet it did not
promise, until the rise of the Pharisees into potent influence; the
pleasure of a personal immortality for his followers, or the punishment
by endless torture for his non-adherents. The effect of the selfish
idea of God-ownership we see inherited by Christianity with the ancient
heredity qualification changed to one of faith. There can be no
question that the historical Christ was, perhaps, next to Buddha, the
greatest religious reformer whom the world has known, if we accept as a
criterion the number of individuals affected, and the nature of their
work. As the enunciator of a system of ethics, it is impossible to see
how the Jew could be regarded as the equal of the Indian; although
no estimate of Christ can be consistently formed from the St. James
version of the Bible, owing to the many and important interpolations
of recent church enthusiasts. The plan of vicarious atonement is one
of the most immoral doctrines of which the world has a record, and the
contempt for woman which the Hebrew shows is not equalled by Buddha,
although he, too, was filled with that eastern asceticism which looked
with disdain upon intersexual affection. The narrowness and bigotry
which can regard an omnipresent and omniscient deity as working for
the benefit of but a few followers as against the great proportion of
human beings who have passed through an earthly existence entirely in
ignorance of Him, and who, on account of this, have to suffer eternal
torture, has been responsible for no less than ten million murders in
the name of Christ alone, to say nothing of the numberless victims of
war and famine who have perished as a result of the insatiable thirst
of Jehovah, Christ, and Mahomet for more influence in terrestrial
affairs and an augmentation of adherents. The code of ethics prescribed
by the Jewish régime was good--far in advance of that of the greater
portion of their neighbors. But Egypt and Chaldea both played a
very important part in this matter, as we must remember that Hebrew
chronology only places the creation some four thousand years ago,
and we now know that at least three and perhaps five thousand years
previous to the possession of the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve, the
Valley of the Nile was teeming with a well-developed civilization.
Christianity in the Egyptian City of the Greeks, through Philo, became
deeply imbued with the spirit of Zoroaster, and the aid thus derived
has been of incalculable value to it. The religion of Islam remains
much as Mahomet left it, and it has been, and now is, well suited for
much of the territory over which it has dominion. While its code of
ethics is reasonably high, its conceptions are usually grossly sensual,
and, unfortunately, since shortly after the death of its founder, the
institution of the church and the political organization of the various
countries where it prevails, have both been under the same head, and
are both, consequently, full of corruption.

Before taking up the possibility of a religious conception based
upon the best knowledge we have, there is an interesting point to be
considered. Between the two dates of 650 B. C., and 650 A. D., we have
the work of Buddha, Confucius, Mencius, Christ, Philo, and Mahomet,
as well as a score of lesser lights; in fact, all the great religious
reformers who have been instrumental in shaping the beliefs of the
majority of mankind since their time. And, stranger still, that since
Mahomet, the world has seen no reformer who could wrest a following of
any note from the established religions, although now, with modern
facilities for publication, it would seem to be a much easier task than
formerly. And so it would be, were it not for the dissemination of
knowledge, and the influence of the scientific system which has come
about during the last century, so that now there is not that fanaticism
prevalent concerning religious matters which was so rife at almost all
stages of the world's history until recently. More and more are people
beginning to realize the truth which Pope so well expressed in his
Alexandrine:

   "For modes of faith, let graceless zealots fight,
    His can't be wrong, whose life is in the right."

About 1850 A. D., there began to be felt among scientific men a
possibility that perhaps all of the natural phenomena of which we have
knowledge are so inter-related that all of our observations are but
different views of a few fundamental primary laws. These so-called laws
or statements of facts in their natural order of sequence were always,
and under all conditions, operative in natural affairs, had been quite
thoroughly understood since Humboldt's time. But it remained for
Herbert Spencer in England, and Ernest Haeckel in Germany, to correlate
the vast quantity of facts gained from experiment and observation
along the various lines of scientific research. Particularly has the
latter been a most potent factor in formulating the new and necessarily
predominating theology of the future--a system of belief which is
in accordance with everything which the individual knows, and which
is always ready to accept a new fact upon demonstration, although
its reception may revolutionize even its fundamental concepts. This
doctrine, which has been most aptly termed "monism," stands squarely
upon its basis of "empirical investigation of facts, and the rational
study of their efficient causes." In place of worshiping the trinities
of the old superstitions, it holds for reverence the "good, the true,
and the beautiful" wherever found, and in antithesis to the sacredness
of Sabbath and the church, it holds that for the contemplation of the
objects of its trinity, "all seasons to be summer and all climates
June." While denying the existence of a God outside of Nature, the
freedom of the human will and the possibility of an immortality for
the individual human soul, as usually understood, it does insist
upon the sequence of effect upon cause, and shows that here, in this
earthly existence, we are forced to be virtuous if we would be happy,
and that although we are not completely masters of our fates, yet
it fundamentally lies with us, in the vast majority of cases, to so
conduct our lives that either misery or happiness will result therefrom.

Monistic ethics differ from those of any religious system, from the
fact that the good of all is selected and digested into a code which
looks toward the "greatest good to the greatest number." In doing
this, individual effort is lauded and not proscribed, and altruism
and egotism are developed with equal emphasis. The pleasures of this
life are not forfeited to gain delectation in another, nor is the
"illitative sense" considered a safe guide for conduct. Woman is not
looked upon as fundamentally "unclean," nor is she denied any right
or any privilege which man enjoys. The righteousness of intersexual
love and association is maintained, when in operation within a proper
constraint, and the family is not only the social and political unit,
but the religious as well. Love is held to be more potent than hate,
and justice more beneficial than charity. There is no such thing as
either the forgiveness or remission of sins--the responsibility of
our actions is ours, and ours alone, and can be assumed by no other.
The result is the same whether our acts come through ignorance or
intention--it is for the individual to know before doing.

In the foregoing, a very brief outline of the progress which humanity
has made in historic times in religion and ethics has been attempted,
and, if an interest has been aroused in this subject, its purpose will
have been fulfilled. No matter what creed we hold, we cannot afford to
be bigoted, as simple investigation will show that in many ways we are
but little in advance of our progenitors of seven thousand years ago.
Only in the matter that we have a scientific basis to work upon, and a
vast accumulation of observed facts, have we any reason for pride. And
this has been gained, at almost all times, against every obstacle which
the church, as established at the moment, could bring into potency.



CHAPTER VII

LOVE


Without doubt, the greatest source of happiness, as known to human
beings, is love. Scott voiced the sentiment of all rational and normal
persons when he said:

   "Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
    And men below and saints above,
    For love is Heaven, and Heaven is love."

It is owing to the fact that we cannot enjoy anything to the fullest
extent alone, since our nature is so constituted that we must have
company in our pleasures, that friends are indispensable. Cicero
realized this over two thousand years ago when he said that, "The
fruit of talent, and worth, and every excellence, is gathered most
fully when it is bestowed upon every one most nearly connected with
us." Appreciating this, nature has given us the love and friendship
of parents in our childhood; of the companions of our youth as we
grow older; of our life-partner at a later period, and last, the love
of our children and grandchildren, so that, by an interest in their
lives, we may become ourselves rejuvenated. In this, as in everything
else of a physical or mental character, we start at the bottom, and,
by a crescendo movement, reach the acme of the condition which with
age diminishes, but in this instance the quality does not deteriorate.
Our likelihood of forming acquaintances and friends in later years
is very much less than in youth, and, certainly, with our habits
and idiosyncrasies established, as they are after middle age, the
possibility of forming intimate friendships is very much decreased.
In childhood and youth, we are more imaginative and less practical,
and, consequently, our inclinations in the line of friendships will be
more natural and less influenced by considerations alien to friendship
itself. Nothing can be more true than the axiom of Cicero, "Friendship
does not follow upon advantage, but advantage upon friendship." Clearly
demonstrated as this is, but few people seem to realize it. For the
fundamental truth at the bottom of this matter is, as he further
states, "the basis of that steadfastness and constancy which we seek in
friendship is sincerity. For nothing is enduring which is insincere."

Of all virtues, sincerity is the greatest, yet, broadly speaking, how
extremely rare! There is almost no trouble and pains which people will
not take to make the world think that they are something other than
they really are, when but a fraction of the cost might make them what
they are trying to seem to be. The reciprocal relation of friendship
demands sincerity, just in proportion as it becomes intimate, and this
applies to all friendships, of whatsoever character.

The love of children is perhaps the greatest of all affections in
the aggregate, because experience has not taught them to doubt and
impugn the motives of others, since everything to them is just what it
superficially appears to be. Our most violent heartaches come through
dissimulation toward others, and nothing tends to make so callous and
blunt our finer sensibilities as this. But just in proportion as we
are sincere, must we be careful as to who arouses an interest of more
than passing moment within us, as after affection is once started and
nurtured into luxuriance, it is not within our power to control it.
While love, when reciprocated, can afford an ecstasy and happiness,
otherwise unknown, it can, also, when not returned by the object of
our affection, become the most potent cause of superlative pain and
anguish. The expression of this truth by the greatest of all English
poets, would, in itself, make his name forever immortal had he never
written another line, and constitutes not only the soundest philosophy,
but the most sublime of all sentiments evolved from the human mind:

          "Love is not love
    That alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove.
    Oh no! It is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark
    Whose worth's unknown, altho' his height is taken.
    Love's not Time's fool; though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle's compass come.
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out e'en to the edge of doom."

If all the race thoroughly understood the truth of these words, how
much more happiness there would be in the world! It is our trifling
with our affections, or the reckless manner in which we bestow them
upon others, which causes us our deepest sorrows. In childhood, with
ordinarily kind parents, we have such experiences as afford us pleasant
memories throughout life, simply because we lived in accordance with
nature's law, which she makes easy for us at this age to follow, when
we have no experience or reason by which we may be guided; but as we
grow older, we form those habits of dissimulation which lead us into
all sorts of trouble; simply because we can do certain things without
our friends and acquaintances becoming cognizant of our actions, we
are foolish enough to think that no harm can be done. If we would use
our intelligence at all, we would see at once, that while it may be
possible to deceive others in the matter of our thoughts and actions,
we cannot delude ourselves. We would also realize that our actions and
our thoughts are efficient causes in the making of our own characters.
We would further see that in order to get any real enjoyment out of a
friendship, of even the most Platonic kind, we must be able to play our
part sincerely; in other words, we must be all that we attempt to make
our friends think we are. The old proverb which tells us that we should
go courting in our old clothes, is true in the largest sense in which
we can apply it.

When we consider how much we are dependent upon our after-affections
and their outcome for our happiness, we see that Coleridge resorted to
no hyperbole when he wrote:

   "All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
    Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
    Are but the ministers of Love
    And feed his sacred flame."

Nor did he overestimate the bearing which each and every act of our
life has upon our ability to either love or to be loved, since it is
only when we are capable of returning affection as pure and unsullied
as is given us, that we achieve the acme of delight. It is on account
of the necessity of the possession of these qualities which we have
found to constitute the only possible basis for really lasting love,
that we are so much interested in those of great affection. Emerson
truly said that "all mankind loves a lover," and equally valid is his
observation that "Love is not for levity, but for the total worth of
man." It is the affection of any human being which constitutes his
life and his friendships, both as living and when coming into his
companionship, and when dead, as forming the memories upon which the
imagination will fondly dwell, and that bring into his life whatever
real satisfaction he may have. As a means of æsthetic development,
nothing is of higher value than the affections, and, as a stimulant
for action along this line, they are without an equal. We have only to
remember the story of Damon and Pythias, to see that the ancients fully
realized the power of affection; or to read what Plato puts into the
mouth of Phoedrus, when he has him say, "Love will make men dare to
die for their beloved, and women as well as men."

What we have noted, heretofore, refers to all affections. Now we come
to the culmination of all affairs of friendship,--that relationship
which is known as marriage. Upon the immensity of the importance of
this ceremony have almost all of the religious ideas of man been built,
and in many cases, if not in all, to the utter profanation of the thing
itself.

In the old tribal civilization which prevailed, the idea of marriage
was ill-defined, and it was only as the desire for the ownership of
children grew that moral ideas in this relation became at all definite.
The fact that men wished to leave to their children property and
chattels, which they might not have the opportunity of disposing of
satisfactorily before their death, brought about a desire for marriage
upon the monogamous and monandrous basis; and the fact that man was
the owner of the property, and that the wife, until recently, had
no inherent right therein, made the matter of the ownership of the
children of primal importance, so that the wishes of the father in
regard to the inheritance might be fulfilled. It was on account of the
supremacy of man in his own home that the family became the unit upon
which the State is built, just as the male individual was the unit upon
which the family was built, and citizenship was primarily evolved and
applicable only to the male portion of the population, inasmuch as they
were necessary to the State both as tax-payers and as warriors. This
idea of the ownership of children enforced upon woman the moral code
under which she lives in Occidental countries to-day; and, at the same
time, and for the reasons above stated, kept man immune from it.

The significance attached to the sexual desire in this relationship
is and has been greatly overestimated, to the greatest disadvantage
of mankind at large. The most distinguishing feature about connubial
affection as compared with Platonic friendship, is that in matrimony
there is the added unification of the parties thereto, owing to the
community of interest between them. Their individualities are merged
into one another; their development must be along similar or parallel
lines. Richter has given us a good account of what a man should select
in the character of his wife "to whom he may be able to give readings
concerning the more essential principles of psychology and astronomy
without her bringing up the subject of his stockings in the middle of
his loftiest and fullest flights of enthusiasm; yet he will be well
content should one possessed of moderate excellencies fall to his
lot--one who shall be capable of accompanying him, side by side, in
his flights so far as they extend--whose eyes and heart may be able to
take in the blooming earth and the shining heavens, in great, grand
masses at a time, and not in mere infinitesimal particles; one for whom
this universe may be something higher than a nursery or ball-room, and
one who, with feelings delicate and tender, both pious and wide, will
be continually making her husband better and holier." Since the time
of Jean Paul Richter, woman has been allowed educational advantages
more nearly equal to those of her brothers than heretofore; and, as a
consequence, in many instances and quite often, do we find the lady not
only the better but the larger half of the home, intellectually.

As Geoffrey Mortimer has well shown, love among cultured people is
largely dependent upon the imagination. In savages and in the human
race, primarily, when at this period of their existence, it took the
form of hedonism, or even the more gross sex-worship, and it was not
until mankind was removed far from the brute that his imagination
developed, and his mind was capable of abstract thought, that his
æsthetic nature began to develop. As his intellect became more
profound, and his mental range wider, his power of abstract thinking
was accordingly augmented, until to-day, with the average human
being, love is only, in a restricted sense, dependent upon physical
gratification. Herbert Spencer has given a very sure test of love,
based upon its dependence upon the imaginative faculty. According to
him, when we are absent from the one we love, the mental picture
which we form of her, and the attributes which we at that time give
her, are all found in her when in her actual presence. Then, we are
really in love with the person whose faults we cannot see. The truth
of the old adage, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," still further
shows the part which the imagination plays in love. There is no human
being who has been so fortunate as to marry the first object upon
which his affections settled, providing, of course, that his previous
life has been spent so that he can enter into this relationship
equitably, who did not find that if his love was reciprocated, life
possessed a transcendent charm which words cannot express. Such an
affection is necessarily based upon a most profound respect, and can
only continue when this deferential regard exists. While feeling a
security in its sense of ownership of the one loved, yet it asks and
demands nothing, and can only bud, blossom, and ripen into its fullness
in the atmosphere of kindness and absolute liberty. While sensual
gratification, in the earlier stages, has been the means of nature
in perpetuating the species, it is also the most powerful factor in
the evolution of that community of interest which is the very soul of
this attachment. The infinite number of little incidents which are
never to be forgotten by any real lover, are all of a purely physical
nature, but, in the aggregate, they form the nucleus of that "amazement
of love and friendship and intimacy" which is like the melodious
harmony of the sweetest sounds, which lead us into an ecstasy in every
way supersensual. It is in the realization of such delight that Gay
remarks, "Not to know love, is not to live."

We can best understand the real potency of sensual gratification in
love, if we consider that those moments which are the subject of
our most pleasant memories, are not those in which our desires were
gratified, but those in which we ourselves practiced the most ascetic
self-denial. Well has Schlegel expressed this sentiment when he says,
in his essay upon the Limits of the Beautiful:--"Those who yield
their souls captive to the brief intoxication of (sensual) love, if
no higher and holier feeling mingle with and consecrate their dreams
of bliss, will shrink tremblingly from the pangs which attend their
awakening." But nature has here so arranged her course, that after
marriage, our children's, or, in their absence, our lovers' affairs,
become a part and parcel of our lives, and thus, what began as selfish
interest, from the pleasure which we obtain from the presence of our
loved one, is transmuted into altruism of the highest type. To those
who love, there is nothing of the spirit of boasting in the words of
"Valentine," when he says:

          "She is mine own,
    And I as rich in having such a jewel
    As twenty seas, if all their sands were pearls,
    The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold";

but rather of a pious appreciation of the being who has brought him
such great happiness. There is something unaccountable about this
passion called love, and anyone who has experienced it does not wonder
at the words of Madame de Stael, "Love is the emblem of eternity; it
confounds all notions of time, effaces all memory of a beginning, all
fear of an end."

In speaking of the happiness which is to be attained by means of love,
we should not fail to note the fact that in order to secure the most
enjoyment from it, we must be able to satisfy the conditions for which
such a close and reciprocal relationship calls. It is here that the
philosophy of living, based upon self-interest, is by far the safest
guide of conduct known, since once the fact that we must be able to
give to the ones whom we love all that we ask of them is instilled in
our minds, we will have a most powerful stimulant to virtuous living.
And in this matter, there is no chance for misunderstanding. If we
would get all the happiness out of love, we must go into it according
to the old injunction given to clients who were both about to try their
case before a court in equity: "You must enter with clean hands." It is
strange, that even in the affairs of a Platonic friendship, a citizen
of morally rotten Rome at the time of the decadence of the consulate,
should realize that "Nothing is more amiable than virtue; nothing
which more strongly allures us to love it," and yet, two thousand years
later, so few people are practicing this truth, and many, who, in their
ignorance, will utterly deny it. This has largely come about from the
fact that, in times past, man has been able to mold the opinions of
his sisters, and, consequently, virtue was not demanded from him. But
if we will teach our children that it is essential to their happiness
that they should be virtuous, so that they may enter into an _affair
d'amour_ with equity, and obtain from it the happiness which it only
can bring, we would sweep from their paths, with one stroke, the
temptations of licentiousness which are to-day proving to be the ruin
of the majority of the young men of this country. We should teach our
boys that they must be able to give to their wives a mind and body as
unpolluted by debauchery as they expect and insist upon receiving,
and that unless they are able to do this, the pleasures of love, as
it affects the marriage relationship, are forever beyond their power
to experience. We should teach our girls that they should demand,
from the man who asks for their hand, as clean and as spotless a past
as they are able to give him, and that, unless they insist upon this,
matrimony will not turn out to be the "grand, sweet song" which they
have been told about, but will be more like an "armed truce." Connubial
love is of such a nature that it will not find happiness in the
contemplation of the possibility of a rival, and of all of the exacting
passions with which humanity has to deal, undoubtedly this of love
is the strongest. The old saying that "familiarity breeds contempt,"
is based upon this fact--that unless we are able to maintain, in the
one we love, the esteem for us, which under a smaller knowledge of
our individuality, we have excited, the sentiment of attraction soon
turns to one of repulsion even more potent than its opposite, and even
as great a source of misery as is the repulsion of hatred; not even
being secondary when compared with jealousy, which "mocks the meat it
feeds upon." What possibility of happiness is there in marriage where
there is constantly running through the mind a comparison of the
partner which you have, and a possibility of what you have given up?
How much happiness is possible when you are always comparing yourself
with some rival, and wondering what your lover sees in him which you
do not possess? It is the strongest argument in favor of monogamy and
monandry, that only under this condition can the marriage relationship
be equitably fulfilled, even more potent than the necessity of parental
guidance in directing the development of the growing mind.

Man is, by nature, socially inclined, and it is only in the society
of his fellow-men that he really matures intellectually and morally.
Under the influence of love, in the most intimate association with a
limited number of others, preferably of his own kin, who will reprove
his faults gently and reasonably laud his courage and achievements--he
finds the perfect element for inspiration and development. Holmes has
expressed this sentiment beautifully in his lines:

   "Soft as the breath of a maiden's 'yes';
    Not the light gossamer stirs with less;
    But never a cable holds so fast
    Through all the battles of wave and blast."

The enthusiasm which comes from the struggle of maintaining a home for
your loved ones, where privacy and comfort may be found; a retreat from
the cares and trifling annoyances of the work-a-day world, makes the
place of abode a shrine where all of our interests are centered. Most
truly has Longfellow said:

   "Each man's chimney is his golden milestone;
    Is the central point from which he measures
    Every distance, through the gateways of the world around him."

Without having experienced a real and genuine affection, no man can
realize the highest possibility. Edwin Markham has most truly said that
the love adventure is the episode of every human life, and, without
it, no existence is complete. There is no other earthly possession
with which it can be compared; consequently, we cannot be too careful
in seeing that our lives conform to the necessary demands of the
nature of this passion. The effect of love upon human ethics cannot be
doubted. The finest faculty which we have is that by means of which we
are able to judge right from wrong, and is what we call conscience.
With this truth in mind, we have only to remember a portion of an
incomplete sonnet of Shakespeare's, saying, "Conscience is born of
love."

In this observation, as in many of his others, the bard of Avon has
reached the heart of the matter at once. Without love, we would have,
and could have, no conscience, as we are only considerate of others
when we have much at stake ourselves, and wish this consideration for
reciprocal reasons. Had we no affection, we would have but little
incentive to moral discrimination. In this sense, as well as for its
happy memories,

   "It is better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all."

In considering the advantages of real love, it is also important that
the disadvantages of its counterfeits should be made clear. In the
first place, many of the noted teachers during the last decade have
called attention to the frightful reduction in our marriage and birth
rates; and this, notwithstanding the fact that we feel that we are
progressing upward in the scale of civilization. Now, while many of our
political economists believe that the increased cost of living has been
largely responsible for this, it seems that we should not, however,
attach too great importance to the claim. There has been a growing of
the moral sense among women of the Western nations, and particularly in
America, during the last few years, which has tremendously influenced
the foundations of our civilization. The Women's Christian Temperance
movement, under the guiding hand of Miss Willard, not only advocated
the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic stimulants, but also became
a tremendous power in the social purity crusade, which began to sweep
over this country some twenty-five years ago. The agitation, which
resulted from this reform movement, developed facts which were
previously unknown to the general public, and in every way caused
people to begin to think about subjects which had previously never
been brought to their attention in a specific way. When the statistics
were published that, in this country of eighty million people, we were
having one divorce for every twelve marriages, and that every year
showed a decrease in the marriage and birth rate, thinking people of
all classes began to seek to find the cause for such facts.

It would seem that one of the primal causes for the decrease in the
marriage rate is the ease with which vice has been allowed to become
organized in this country into a regular system, which is conducted
upon a basis of cold-blooded business calculation. The fact that we
have between six hundred thousand and three-quarters of a million
of prostitutes in America, and that this class of people is being
recruited at the rate of over fifteen thousand per annum from foreign
countries and about seventy-five thousand per annum from our own
country, is certainly highly significant. Furthermore, the fact that
probably three-quarters of the women in America who marry are forced
to undergo major operations within the first five years of their
married life, on account of the moral delinquency of their husbands,
has certainly not given any impetus to marriage in our own country. We
have also to remember that over one-third of all the blindness in this
country is traceable to a like cause, and that this occurs in innocent
children, who usually are less than a week old when their sight is
lost, as the result of venereal infection. Furthermore, in many of the
homes which we all have an opportunity to observe, there is not that
happiness existing which would lead thinking people to rush ruthlessly
into matrimony, and the necessity for making divorce easy and the
marriage relationship hard to enter into was never as imperative as it
is to-day. The majority of the children being born, and in whose hands
the entire welfare of this state in the future will rest, are usually
those of parents who are either unfitted or unable, physically,
intellectually, and morally, to give them such character and education
as will make them good citizens; in other words, vice and crime are
breeding faster by far than moral restraint and virtue. Whenever we
are able to have our young men understand that self-control on their
part is a matter of first importance in the requirements of good
citizenship, and a prime requisite if individual happiness is desired,
then and only then will we begin to find marriage becoming more popular
and divorce less to be desired by those who have entered into this
relationship.



CHAPTER VIII

PROBLEMS OF THE FUTURE


The close of the last century found humanity under a different aspect
than ever before. Westward and ever westward had swept the course of
empire until the early years of this decade found the Mongolian again
demonstrating his superiority over the Slavonic people of Eastern
Europe. For centuries the battles for individual freedom of body
and mind had been fought in torture chambers, at heresy trials, at
the stake of every auto-da-fé, as well as in the legislative halls
of insular and continental Europe, and finally this struggle has
culminated in the greatest, fiercest and most devastating war of
modern times, which was America's tribute to the cause of democracy
and freedom. The nations of Europe have looked with wonder upon the
growth and sudden rise into importance of the American Confederacy of
States, and crowned and titled tyrants, ruling by the "divine right,"
have long dreaded the absorption of American ideas by their subjects
or American interference with the course of governmental procedure.
With the advancement and dissemination of learning, democratic
government has got to come, and woe to those who oppose it when the
time is ripe. Poor, bleeding, ignorant Russia is at this minute in
the throes of internecine strife, and no one realizes better than
those of the autocracy who by their selfishness and sloth have brought
upon themselves the engulfing tide of revolution, what was meant by
the dissolute associates of the French Court directly before the
horrors of the Commune when they used to say "After us the deluge."
And little as they expected it, this deluge did not wait for them to
leave, but in many instances helped to usher them from the field of
human activity, upon the block, before the guillotine. It is not at
this time even improbable that the great Siberian prisons may soon
be filled with the bluest blood of royalty, and perhaps the Kara
mines will yet be worked in by their owners, for the benefit of the
revolutionists. But whether this comes to pass or not, we know that
we have seen absolutism gradually give way to constitutional forms of
government, and these in turn become metamorphosed into republics. And
in these democracies we see a tendency to return to a centralized form
of government, particularly when the chief executive is an individual
whose judgment, although it is in error, has been actuated by motives
which no one can impugn. What then is the meaning of this--is humanity
traveling in cycles? Politically, we can answer emphatically, NO. The
ease with which knowledge is communicated among people to-day and the
unimpeachable integrity of the great middle classes are the surest
guarantee that never will we return to the degrading darkness and
servility of the past, while the trenchant manner in which our press
uses the weapons of ridicule and cartoon insures for our posterity
an even better and more active public conscience, which will demand
duty performed commensurate with privileges granted. Municipalities
and commonwealths may be full of political rottenness and corruption,
senates may be filled by the paid agents of capital, representative
halls may be packed by demagogues elected by the most radical element
of organized labor, but regardless of temporary mistakes, just as long
as we maintain an efficient public school system and make education
compulsory and leave the press unshackled, we cannot under a democratic
form of government, where tenure of office is for a short period only,
ever permanently retrograde.

Students of contemporaneous American history who have followed closely
the exposure of municipal officials guilty of the worst forms of
malfeasance, will probably be led to believe that we are going from
bad to worse politically in our larger cities. Owing to the publicity,
however, which such matters get, and the fact that our citizen body in
the aggregate respect honesty and integrity, we have nothing to fear.
The reform wave which oftentimes sweeps with violence over our cities,
to be checked only when persons of much influence have their liberty
jeopardized, will inevitably bring about an understanding on the part
of the majority of the citizens that politics must not be corrupted by
people who make a business of seducing the electorate of our cities.
The commission form of government has already done much to lead the way
to a better state of affairs, and even if it had not, it would be only
a question of but a short time until publicity itself would bring about
a better, purer, and more economic administration of government.

As a nation, we are more seriously menaced by the accumulation of
gigantic individual fortunes than from any other one and perhaps from
all other sources combined, as in but very few cases does a competency
mean the use of time for a leisure of culture and ennoblement, but
rather for the development of selfishness, avarice, cruelty, and
immorality. Christ certainly did not overrate the awful disadvantage
of riches, particularly if considered in relation to the recent
developments of our criminal trials in our great cities, when He said
that "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter Heaven." Wealth in the hands of the young
is the worst condition with which they can be surrounded--it almost
forces them into the company of irresponsible and immoral persons who
lead them into vice, thus sapping their vitality, as well as engrossing
them in habits of infamy, which their weakened mentality can usually
never shake off. The direst poverty, on the other hand, pinches and
confines both the body and mind through lack of proper nutrition and
time for rest and recreation, so that it is of double importance to
the State to see that enormous private accumulations of wealth do not
exist, and more especially that they cannot be inherited. A reasonable
sum should be fixed upon by our lawmakers as the maximum amount which
could be inherited by any one individual, and any part of an estate
which was not legally disposed of under this act, by will or otherwise,
should pass into the undisputed possession of the State and should
be spent, not for the ordinary administration of the law, but for the
building of schools, hospitals, parks, museums, and the purchase of
public utilities, such as water, lighting, power and transportation
companies. Should the means above suggested prove too slow in operation
or inadequate to meet present emergencies, an income-tax might, for
a decade or two, be a necessity--the returns from which should be
expended as suggested above. Unless something of this character is done
within the next century, it would seem that our country cannot continue
to advance in civilization, although she might in political prestige
and commercial importance, but would follow in the steps of so many
other great states, and sooner or later arrive at a time where her
present would be but a meagre shadow of her majestic past.

If we would have the most that is to be got out of life, we should see
to it that more time and attention is paid to the development of the
æsthetic side of our natures. Our public buildings are to-day usually
designed upon grand and majestic lines; some of our public parks are
laid out with the idea of showing the beauty of simplicity and harmony;
a few of our private mansions are architecturally works of art; we
have in our large cities a few museums which are kept open a few hours
to the public upon days when it has leisure, but, further than this,
how little are we taught, or do we see, the beautiful aside from its
arrangement in nature in the ordinary routine of life? With all but the
wealthier class, the getting of a livelihood and the attention to other
material things, consumes all the time and energy available under the
present régime so that no leisure is left to cultivate an appreciation
or desire for the beautiful. It is the amount of development of the
æsthetic nature of the masses which is the surest and most certain
index of any civilization. Schlegel has most justly observed that
"when men are left to the sole guidance of artificial law, they become
reduced to mere empty shadows and soulless forms; while the undivided
sway of nature leaves them savage and loveless." It is therefore in
this middle ground that we should provide stimuli for the growth of
this cult of the beautiful, and to do this we must begin with the
children. It should be the care of the state to see that our streets
are kept clean, that grass plots and flower beds are harmoniously
and tastily arranged at the intersection of the highways, wherever
possible, and that all houses intended for tenement purposes be so
built that plenty of light and air can be always available. Powerful
and elevating music should be performed in public parks at frequent
intervals, whenever the weather will permit of general gatherings
in the open air. The best talent should be secured to address the
people upon subjects of a general nature, such as topics of the day,
political economy, popular science, etc. Our school rooms should not
only be clean and well ventilated, but their walls should be hung
with interesting and beautiful pictures, and our school libraries,
as well as our public libraries, should be numerous, and filled with
the best literature that money can buy. In our homes, we should see
that every refining influence possible is thrown around the children,
and, above all, they should be taught the beauty of self-sacrifice and
heroism. Particularly should they be taught the value and beauty of
affection, and they should be both told and shown that the pleasure
derived therefrom, and its value to the human species, depends almost
wholly upon the self-restraint and self-sacrifice which is exercised
in connection with the intimate relations arising from it. Schlegel
again speaks right to the point, "Every inordinate indulgence involves
a corresponding amount of suffering.... Others, on the contrary, who
devote themselves to glorious deeds and seek enjoyment only in the
intervals of more serious exertion, will have their best reward in the
pure, unchanging happiness purchased by such self-denial. Pleasure,
indeed, has a higher zest when spontaneous and self-created; and it
rises in value in proportion to its affinity with that perfection of
beauty in which moral excellence is allied to external charms."

Our attention as a nation to the acquisition of material wealth to
the utter disregard of our æsthetic natures may very largely account
for the fact that America has produced but few of those literary and
artistic stars which are almost always coincident with commercial
prosperity. We seem to have neither passed the Elizabethan nor the
Victorian age in literature upon this side of the water--not because we
have not produced talent along these lines, but because the quantity
has been so small and seems to be growing less every year. Since the
opening of the present century, there has practically been nothing
produced which will demand recognition among literary and artistic
people after our own generation.

There seems to be only one other great problem before humanity to-day.
Next to the distribution of wealth, it, however, is undoubtedly the
most perplexing question with which every democratic country will
sooner or later have to deal. In its two forms--as prostitution and the
restriction of birth--it constitutes what for a better name is commonly
called "the social evil." Under our civilization and in our system of
social caste we have no class of serfs; but as low, if not lower, than
these we have those women who sell their favors for money to anyone
who will pay the price. Unfortunately, we have not yet reached the
place where the majority of our male population decry moral looseness
on the part of women with whom they are not connected by blood or
matrimony; although this may or may not have been done for profit, as
the case may be. It is still largely a matter as to how general the
knowledge is, as to how great is the crime. Nevertheless, with those
unfortunates whose character is generally known, our modern society
has no place--they are outcasts in the true sense of the word. Worse
than all, is the fact that society refuses to proscribe immorality of
this nature in man as it does in woman--consequently, she alone before
the world is made to suffer for what he is as much to blame for as
she is, and very frequently more so. The incongruity of this, under
a democratic form of government, is readily apparent to anyone and
that such a condition of affairs may not exist permanently under our
civilization cannot be doubted. It would therefore seem that either
one of two things will have to come to pass in the future; either we
shall have to regard our prostitutes as a class, as they were probably
esteemed in ancient Greece, or we shall have to attach an equal calumny
to man as we now attach to woman in these relations. In the first
instance, we tacitly admit that the nature of man differs from that
of woman, in that continence and monogamy are not fitted for him but
are for her, which every fair-minded person knows to be a falsehood;
or else in the other alternative we have the entire sentiment of this
country upon this whole matter to make over and that against those who
are in power. Mrs. Parsons, in her carefully prepared and comprehensive
study, entitled "The Family," does not, it would seem, speak other than
satirically when she proposes that the same license be allowed woman
before she bears children as society now allows man. This would seem
to be a step backward, inasmuch as there is to-day, with no small
percentage of the people in this country, a decided stigma attached
to promiscuity on the part of man, and this should be fostered and
encouraged, at any expense. Her recommendation of early trial marriage
also smacks of the satirical, while her propositions "to make the
transmission of venereal diseases in marriage a penal offense, to
render identical the age of consent with the legal age of marriage,
and to abolish all laws requiring parental consent to marriage, to
consider parental duties the same in the case of an illegitimate as in
that of a legitimate child, and to abolish legal separation and divorce
law provisions prohibiting the defendant to remarry," must appeal to
all fair-minded persons as exactly what is needed. With sentiment once
well started in this direction, we can hope that the next two or three
decades will accomplish much--more particularly if we lose our money
madness and return from "the flesh-pots" to things that are of real
value. The happiness and virtue of our children will never be secure
until society is founded upon a basis of real monogamy, and male as
well as female continence before marriage, and the sooner this fact
is admitted and enforced the better will it be for the human race. In
this molding of sentiment, woman can be and is an important factor,
and her position becomes the more commanding as she becomes more
independent financially. If she demands purity on the part of her male
friends--sooner or later it will be accorded to her--if she insists
upon it in her lover, her Prince Charming will come forth with the
quality.

Concerning that part of this question which deals with the restriction
of birth, it has always seemed that outside of voluntary childless
marriages the importance of "race suicide" was over-estimated. Where
there is no pathological reason why children should not be born, there
can be no question but that voluntary childless marriage is what has
been well termed "a progressive substitute for prostitution." But
where not used to consummate this end, but to keep within the limits
of the proper education and the bringing up of the progeny of a human
pair, such practice as does not involve infanticide cannot be against
the best interests of the race. Consequently, it would seem that,
before marriage, young men and women should become acquainted with
the fundamental phenomena of conception, with the purpose in view of
regulating the number of children which they bring into the world to
such a number as they can properly educate and equip for the struggle
of existence. Such biological knowledge as is necessary to attain this
should become the common property of humanity, and the state should
not restrict the sale of such articles as would further this end. On
the other hand, young men and women should be taught that it is their
duty to have what children they can care for, and at such times and
under such conditions during wedlock as will insure their descendants
the best physical and mental equipment. Infanticide in any form and at
any time, except when performed under the jurisdiction of a reputable
physician, should be made a crime and proper punishment provided
therefor. In this phase of the question, there is also a place for the
fostering of proper sentiment. Parents should show their children that
they constitute a very large proportion of their happiness, and that
child-bearing, within the limits above set forth, is a privilege and
not a burden. Under these conditions, voluntary childless marriage will
become less frequent and the family will occupy the position of primary
importance in the state to which it is entitled.

It is impossible to estimate the far-reaching influence of the Woman's
Rights movement. The agitation to-day extends completely around the
world, and even such Oriental countries as Turkey, Japan, and China
are being forced to realize that they have it to face in the near
future. Politically, there can be no question but that the movement
will tend more towards the purity of the administration of justice
and the elimination of corruption in politics than any movement which
has been started within the history of man; and, as examples of this,
we have only to look for ample proof in countries where women have
been given full rights of citizenship, such as New Zealand, and in
Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada States in this country. Socially,
we have already noticed the effect which this movement will have as
tending towards the purity of masculine morals. Economically, however,
it presents a far different aspect, since every woman who enters
commercial life, whether in the office or factory, diminishes the
child-bearing population of the earth, and with the greater sense of
justice and equity which comes from the higher education, the demands
of woman will not only become more and more exacting, but she will be
becoming constantly more potent in their enforcement. The economic
phase of this problem is so great that it is impossible to state at
this time what the outcome will be, but a still further tremendous
decrease in the birth rate is absolutely sure to come about; and it
would seem that possibly those evils which will, in the long run,
be most largely rectified by this movement will be augmented in the
immediate future, as a result of this agitation, until such a time as
the majority of our citizens may be given such education as will enable
them to reason more logically about the fundamental propositions of
life.

We have looked at a few of the phases of human existence; what shall
be said of the value of life? Modern science has forever taken from us
the comforting delusions of a personal Deity, an immortality for the
soul in a personal sense, and the idea of our possessing a will, free
to force our direction whithersoever we elect. It has left, in place of
these, the idea of duty--individual and personal responsibility--which
cannot be shirked. George Eliot, in the epilogue of Romola, preaches
as strong a sermon as she ever could to Mr. Meyers, when she talked to
him upon that now famous evening in May at Cambridge. Carlyle, no less
than his countrywoman, realized, not only the importance of living up
to individual responsibility, but also understood how hard it often
was to know just what should be done. His rule, which is most worthy
of emulation, was: "Do the nearest duty that lies to your hand, and
already the next duty will have become plainer." In order that we may
be the better prepared to fulfill our responsibilities, we should
obtain all the knowledge possible, even although it may cause us lack
of insight temporarily, and much mental agony. Faith is not comparable
to knowledge, any more than wishing is equal to the obtaining of
results. We should therefore be aggressive in the discharge of our
duty--liberal and tolerant, pure and upright, loving and unselfish,
virtuous and truly religious, so that it may be said of us, when we
have finished, that the world is a little better, and life has been,
for as many as possible, a little happier for our having lived.


THE END



THE ~"HOW DOES IT WORK"~ SERIES


No. 1. =Electricity.= By THOMAS W. CORBIN. With many Illustrations.
Price, 75 Cents, Cloth.

Explains in simple language the working of Dynamos, Motors, Heating and
Lighting Apparatus, Trainways, Railways, &c.

"The information given is clear and easily understood, and many
excellent halftones and line drawings are given. It is an A1 book for
any boy or man with a leaning towards things electric."--_Publishers'
Circular._

"The descriptions are given in very plain language and there are
excellent illustrations."


No. 2. =Model Making.= By CYRIL HALL. Cloth. With many Diagrams.
Price, 75 Cents.

Contains instructions for making a Steam Locomotive--Turbine--Steam
Boat--Electric Engines--Motors--Yacht--Printing Press--Steam
Crane--Telephone--Electric Bells--Telegraph, &c.


No. 3. =Modern Engines.= By THOMAS W. CORBIN. With many illustrations.
Price, Cloth, 75 Cents.

Steam Engines, Gas Engines, Petrol Engines, Marine Engines, Steam
Pumps, Steam Boilers, &c., &c.


  At all Booksellers or postpaid by
  R. F. Fenno & Company



Transcriber's note


Text in italics has been surrounded with _underscores_, underlined
words with ~signs~, bold with =signs= and small capitals changed to all
capitals.

The first two columns of the Geological Table at the end of Chapter II
have been combined to keep the width within limits.

The following corrections were made, on page

   91 "posession" changed to "possession" (after they had secured
      possession of their)
  127 "formluæ" changed to "formulæ" (had recited certain magical
      formulæ which had)
  175 ' changed to " (never to have loved at all.")
  200 " added ("The information given is clear).

Otherwise the original has been preserved, including archaic and
unusual words, as well as unusual or inconsistent spelling and
hyphenation. For instance: Phoedrus is usually spelled as Phædrus,
this has not been changed.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Human Life" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home