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hear, and hear again, a voice which says: “Arise and get thee hence, for this is not thy rest.” And the greater and nobler and more sublime the spirit, the more constant is the discontent. Discontent may come from various causes, so it will not do to assume that the discontented ones are always thé pure in heart, but it is a fact that the wise and excellent have all known the meaning of world-weariness. The more you study and appreciate this life, the more sure you are that this is not all. You pillow your head upon Mother Earth, listen to her heart-throb, and even as your spirit is filled with the love of her, your gladness is half pain and there comes to you a joy that hurts. To look upon the most exalted forms of beauty, such as sunset at sea, the coming of a storm on the prairie, or the sublime majesty of the mountains, begets & sense of sadness, an increasing loneliness. It is not enough to say that man encroaches on man so that we are really deprived of our freedom, that civilization is caused by a bacillus, and that from a natural condition we have gotten into a hurly-burly where rivalry is rife-all this may be true, but beyond and outside of all this there is no physical environment in way of plenty which earth can supply, that will give the tired soul peace. They are the happiest who have the least; and the fable of the stricken king and the shirtless beggar contains the germ of truth. The wise hold all earthly ties very lightly—they are stripping for eternity. World-weariness is only a desire for a better spiritual condition. There is more to be written on this subject of world-pain—to exhaust the theme would require a book. And certain it is that I have no wish to say the final word on any topic. The gentle reader has certain rights, and among these is the privilege of summing up the case. But the fact holds that world-pain is a form of desire. All desires are just, proper and right; and their gratification is the means by which nature supplies us that which we need.
ot only causes us to seek that which we need, but is a form of attraction by which the good is brought to us, just as the amoebæ create a swirl in the waters that brings their food within reach. Every desire in nature has a fixed and definite
purpose in the Divine Economy, and every desire has its proper gratification. If we desire the close friendship of a certain person, it is because that person has certain soul-qualities that we do not possess, and which complement our own. Through desire do we come into possession of our own; by submitting to its beckonings we add cubits to our stature; and we also give out to others our own attributes, without becoming poorer, for soul is not limited. All nature is a symbol of spirit, and so I am forced to believe that somewhere there must be a proper gratification for this mysterious nostalgia of the soul. The Valhalla of the Norseman, the Nirvana of the Hindu, the Heaven of the Christian are natural hopes of beings whose cares and disappointments here are softened by belief that somewhere, Thor, Brahma or God gives compensation. The Eternal Unities require a condition where men and women shall be permitted to love and not to sorrow; where the tyranny of things hated shall not prevail, nor that for which the heart yearns turn to ashes at our touch.
V YHILE this seems true in
the main, I am not sure
the artist needs no religion beyond his work. That is to say, art is religion to the man who thinks beautiful thoughts and expresses them for others the best he can. Religion is an emotional excitement whereby the devotee rises into a state of spiritual sublimity, and for the moment is bathed in an atmosphere of rest, and peace, and love.
5 All normal men and women crave such periods; and Bernard Shaw says that we reach them through strong tea, tobacco, whiskey, opium, love, art or religion. I think Bernard Shaw a cynic, but there is a glimmer of truth in his idea that makes it worth repeating to But beyond the natural religion, which is a passion for oneness with the Whole, all formalized religions engraft the element of fear, and teach the necessity of placating a Supreme Being. Our idea of a Supreme Being is suggested to us by the political government under which we live. The situation was summed up by Carlyle, when he said that Deity to the average British mind was simply an infinite George IV, The thought of God as a terrible Supreme Tyrant first found form in an unlimited monarchy; but as governments have become more lenient so have the gods, until you get them down (or up) to a republic, where God is only a president, and we all approach Him in familiar prayer, on an absolute equality Then soon, for the first time, we find man saying, "I am God, and you are God, and we are all simply particles of Him," and this is where the president is done away with, and the referendum comes in. But the absence of a supreme governing head implies simplicity, honesty, justice, and sincerity vs Wherever plottings, schemings and doubtful methods of life are employed, a ruler is necessary; and there, too, religion, with its idea of placating God has a firm hold. Men whose lives are doubtful feel the need of a strong government and a hot religion. Formal religion and sin go