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any such problem at all. Of the underlying purpose we know nothing—absolutely nothing. For once we can use the word absolute in its full meaning. Our great thinkers would reconcile the ways of God to man. Was ever such absurdity? What God intends IS, and what is He INTENDS. And we understand Him exactly so far as He intends, and no more. It is in the modest seeking out His facts that we shall find His will find Him as He is. And He has given us life, and its little problems He permits us to help in working out. But they have to be worked out. There is no one panacea for every ill. There is no one quack nostrum of universal application. But it is in collocation of effort; it is in all working together; it is in the application of pertinent principle to ascertained facts that progress alone is to be found. If the principle to be applied is wrong, failure will result. If the facts are imaginary, success will be as impossible. Let our philosophy be never so magnificent, but finding no correspondence in conduct and in resulting life it is negligible. It has no vital, no moral momentum. It has no more effectiveness than mass without motion, or an atom in a state of high velocity. And conduct on a high plane will go from strength to strength when it finds its twin component force in a sound and true principle which has not been guessed, nor imagined, nor otherwise lazily evolved out of our inner consciousness; but which has been sought and found and hammered out on the forge of actual life itself.
theorieentially streat forberei
It is in race education we find the all-essential of life. How far it is within man's powers to effect change may be debatable. Race preservation is the great prescriber of philosophy and conduct. That there is action and reaction between these two great forces of life in undoubted. Life, essentially self-protective, gathers round it those theories and principles with which it is in accord; these again give it permanence and force. And taught by experience, the great mistress, what practices prove beneficial, these become protected by religion or taboo. Thus established, they become as years pass by sacred with time; and attributed to divine revelation, their rightness or wrongness ceases to be arguable. Conditions may change, but customs, even with utility and meaning lost, survive, so much have they become part and parcel of the moral consciousness of the race itself.
And it is this race consciousness which distinguishes one nation from another. Great traditions find counterpart in a philosophy and conduct largely in accord, whilst a troubled past finds reflex in a corresponding life. And born of infinite experience, it is this race consciousness which is the basis of the codes of honour, ethics, and thought which go to the very being of existence itself. Again and again we find the individual saying such and such a thing is not right. He is speaking according to the inherited racethought of generations, and is in the main correct. But to be altogether correct is a matter of the greatest difficulty, so many and so vital are the considerations involved. Our English notions are well exemplified in the contemptuous phrase, “ It's not cricket." "I can't define a jingo,' said Morley, “but I know him when I see him.” So no more touching epitaph has ever been penned than the simple words, “He played the game." And what finer epitome have we of an English gentleman in whatever rank of life he be found. And it is such concepts that are the most precious inheritance of a race. The greatest heritage of any race is not its art or literature, but the noble example of its great sons. And the world may weep when such a one is wrongfully dethroned. His loss is a void no brilliancy can fill.
And happy the race when such consciousness is a noble one. To change life, the crystallization of the thought and action of many a century, is beyond the power of any single generation. A cataclysmic event may effect it, but it, only after lapse of many years, maybe centuries. It is very gradually that a race is weaned from long-established notions, good or bad, All change in races is along lines of well determined channels, and this is a fact which must never be lost sight of. Would we help our fellow man at home and abroad, all-important to first inquire, what of his particular life, what of the way it is already taking ? And then it is the tendency of any change we must consider, far more than the proposed change itself, e.g. with all our virtues as a virile race, is not improvidence our national failing? And what of the tendency of the numerous so-called reforms we have seen come and go in our time? A false move, and it is only a more bitter lesson to be learnt in the days to come. And would we raise our fellow man to a plane of exalted perfections, still we must inquire is it in accord with the race-consciousness of which he is the result? Is it in accord with the flood of life moving with resistless force and sweeping him and all before it? It is so little divergence we can effect, even if working with the stream. And against
nfoundrement we people. And is
as well attempt to empty Niagara with a tea-cup. And here we find reason for the shipwreck of so many a fair scheme for the improvement of mankind. It is on lines foreign to this genius of its people. And in the attempt it is no improvement we shall make, but confusion worse confounded. Volumes could be written full of the tragedy of those already miserable, but whose misery has been made unbearable by a zeal undoubtedly well intentioned, but not too wisely inspired.
And the evolution and development of such mental concepts is essentially the province of psychology. Probably of such psychology the ethical or moral is a most important part, but it is much more farreaching, including as it does all phenomena relating to the mind or soul. And here I must express regret at the absence of the friend on whom I had relied to work out this branch of our inquiry. He was well qualified for the task. He had wide experience of mental cases, only too numerous through the war, and had amassed a vast amount of material which would have been invaluable had he been able to join in its presentation. But other duties have called him far from these parts, and I am afraid it has to be left undone. For myself it is altogether beyond my powers to deal with it, but as its points of contact with what we are considering are many, it may help us a little to mention a few heads under which investigation is being prosecuted in the true scientific spirit, i.e. by the collection and study of actual facts. And here again we find proof that it is only by the discussion of a principle in connection with the actual facts in which it is involved that any valuable conclusion is to be arrived at. With my friend; a new case—and it always was—what the deductions from it? How did it fit in with experience? What did it suggest? Here, e.g. a patient was in despair because his pension was renewed; he wanted assurance he was well once more-poor fellow, he was not; and there an applicant, quite as sincere, indignant when told he was right. Here was a man
matrand each passed
practically carried into the room and leaving it in ecstasy because he had been made to walk by himself, and there another as depressed that there was no like magic for him. Malingerers were few—a happy phase of his experience and cases passed through his hands by the thousand, and each had its own lesson to teach. And all so matter of fact, and for mastering the true functions of the mind in relation to the body of more value than the profoundest theories of the profoundest metaphysicians of our own or any age. True, we are only on the threshold, but our scientists are not the stuff to be content with looking through a door that is only half ajar. They mean to have it much wider open before many years are passed.
And to glance at our subject. We begin with the great mystery of all the mystery of life itself. It is both unexplainable and indefinable. Life is life: and we can only refer to concrete examples if we would further elucidate our meaning. Our next stage : human life, as we know it here, is mind and body, and we realize the importance of the subject when we note how completely the body is in subjection to the mind. As ever, we have action and reaction, and we do not know of mind altogether rising independent of its earthly tenement; and certainly the mind 'gone,' and the body ceases to function. And what has been the evolution of the mind as ages have passed ? Experience seems to have been the one great teacher. Much of life improved, is found in the simple phrase, “never again.” Man has erred and suffered. Like the child he seems to have learnt. Careful it shall do itself no serious injury, in a little passing smart, we are glad for it to learn the danger of fire. So, happy a nation when in small matters it has learnt to avoid a great catastrophe.
And for the moment our scientists are hungry for facts connected with the mind. In both health and disease they seek for them. These they mostly classify under three great heads : Consciousness, and the physical and mystical attributes of the mind.