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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES

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HUMAN QUINTESSENCE

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE BY SIGURD IBSEN AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION BY MARCIA HARGIS JANSON NEW YORK B. W. H UEBSCH 1912 .

S. \V. A.Copyright. by B. by GYLDENDALSKE BOGHANDEL Copyright. igi2. HUEBSCH PRINTED IN V. igii. .

191 V^ >^ : IV Of Great Men an Essay in Valuation 231 . . 3 Why Politics Lags Behind III .3^ CONTENTS PAGE Nature 'and Man II . .119 Of Human Aptitudes and a Human Art .

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NATURE AND MAN .

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NATURE AND MAN WE to all know that there exist religious dogmas that are matters of faith. but do not admit them And I venture into our deeper consciousness. but is which comprehension impervious. limitations in that we to — concerning those very systems that have the widest theoretical scope none other than the discoveries that are associated with the make this statement names of Copernicus and Darwin. but probably only the lips. few are fully aware that there are certain sci- entific truths that are subject to corresponding appropriate them solely as topics of information. also. station. that there are ethical rules one acknowledges with the but seldom makes use of as guidance for one's actions. The man earth slung out of its central deprived of his divine patent of [3] .

our self-valuation lower than that of the generations who believed that the earth was the center of the universe and that on the fifth day of creation man was formed in God's image. for itself concerns One with the very basis of our existence. who so comes to learn that he is a changeling. a subversion will is it working man's son: what a How take place in his mind! then. mendous produced alteration as that in the which science has conception formerly extant in regard to the earth's position in the universe and man's status in our planetary life has not influenced the entire range of our fundamental instincts and given the race quite new values with which to reckon? tain For no one can mainthat our view of life has become darker. filled with the most exalted thoughts of his birth and gracious calling. that such a tre- to be explained. may imagine a king. There only one explanation we have adopted these views of nature into our intelligence by is : a purely rational mode of procedure but they U] .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE nobility: the extent of this displacement of it ideas has never been equalled.

in this respect. star among millions of others. conception of the universe based on natural science (to speak more accurately. What then will remain of our little planet? Even now it nothing more than a grain of dust in the universe. . We know that both the one and the other are at the mercy of the laws of transitoriness and. that also undergoing could exhibit organic life and. either by natural decay or by a violent catastrophe. must disappear. every schoolboy in these days is taught that it is the earth that revolves about the sun and that this body is simply one fixed It is true. Therefore: when one hears mention of a ideals. a monistic constantly gaining one must of beware attaching an exground. our our inner ego. there may have advanced farther than our earth. [5] .NATURE AND MAN have not penetrated into our emotions they have not succeeded in changing our motives. Perhaps it is not even unique of its is kind: may be other spheres that are a similar development. sooner or later. conception) which is aggerated importance to the transformation.

The immeasurable dimensions of the heavens able when expressed in numbers do impress us mobut mentarily. for us. theory. we register dutifully in our brains. that repeated astronomy's teachings should inculcate humility in us. the figures do not awaken an efifective lack power of conception in our minds.HUMAN QUINTESSENXE This is what natural in a science is tells us and we is accept it it way. human conditions. we hear often do things. as well as of the infinitely small. our sight is adjusted to We earthly. It our planet and the sounds so reason- and yet is. is When other spheres arc mentioned. We are bound only in to the earth and. of the appreciation infinitely great. but follow Ptolemy. that to say. only cheap wisdom. after all. another practice: Copernicus. infinitesimal as it it is. just because they are so incalculable. because they is the center of it all How constantly remind us of nificant part of the world life what a is really insig- that abounds on it. what [6] the point that . But one thing we do homage to And it is not our manner of speaking that we still allow the sun to rise and set.

that his interest concentrates itself on the question as to whether or not these stars are inhabited by creatures that resemble men. we can acknowledge the truth it. We have not found however. significantly enough. so will he some day [7] .NATURE AND MAN catches the layman's it attention? The huge No. The human being is certainly to us the most important object in the world. will appear. To be other- would imply that we had found the Archimedean point which permitted us to observe ourselves from a station outside of and beyond our human state. Research tells us that man is only a link in a chain. sprung from very humhear that the period he has ble sources. in nine extent. wise. and when it is announced that Darwin gave the death blow to anthropocentric conceptions. but not as applied to a practical view of life. We is lived extremely short compared to the ancien regime of other organic forms and we draw the conclusion that just as he has on earth once come into existence. the enormous distances? out of ten cases. of the statement from a scientific point of view. a gifted upstart.

we can proclaim Monists: the unity of nature and include ourselves in this great continuity. we can so easily do all this. are creatures of a day. : whose insignificance we catch a glimpse when we think of unlimited space and eternal time.ut when it comes to the point. we can coquet with it in an idle moment. let us say that a certain right to call ourselves tlius in virtue of our being adherents of a philosojjlijcal we have system. of process. but. we can confess to our own inconsiderableness with becoming modesty. in spite feel ourselves the elect of In theory. because at heart we do not really believe in our newly-acquired of everything. of no especial importance in this great natural Nature has no sympathy for our joys and sorrows both insect and man. creation.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE For science teaches us that we are disappear. P. scientific still wisdom. And we can acknowledge this teaching. Pantheists. wc prove unhkc the way to be such in a in wliich manner not very Victor Hugo desired to be a citizen of the world and a democrat: [8] . in their transitory condition of development of material and power.

Hugo. the immeasurabilof Sirius can not compete with Caesar's greatness nor can the Lisbon earthquake nor Krakatoa's volcanic eruption be compared. of man. in lasting depth of impression. it is What world it? It is everything for us. must be by humanizing the [9] as brought nearer.NATURE AND MAN citizen of the world in a common brotherhood. it were. the mass. For man has always been measuring rod for . the " And is yet. to me. as individual. of human maniin man. with certain epi- sodes in the French Revolution. influence that can rival that of festations. Nature is foreign to us it and if it is to be it. where Victor Hugo's fatherland should march at the head of the nations and democrat in a society where all men should be equal with the exception of Victor peerless. its phenomena will never be able to exert upon us an itself. is the unique. Wonderful as it is. ity In this respect. the Never will the infinity of nature impress our minds as does the multiplicity of human life. what this quintessence of dust?" says Hamlet of his fellow men.

the of painter that interprets for us the beauty nature. at the time considered the most perfect. always been by means of the human medium. fill it That nature to which we are told Goethe longed to abandon himself. sub specie Jnimanitatis. the allegory into lifeless objects. was after all cre- ated by him. and indeed. The Highest Being a comprehension of those human qualities. a reflex of his own spiritual Pantheism counts him among its emotions. what system is this unithere that could not appropriate him — versal intelligence. that spanned both Occident and Orient. we ourselves when we devoutly admire nature: what do we and they do. greatest names. brutes speak. The fable that lets the dumb that puts significance the poet that sings the force of the elements. Phidias could not represent his in every religion is Zeus nor Michael Angelo his Almighty Father in any other than human form.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE to explain things whether we have wished to ourselves either Nature or Divinity. other than with human thoughts and feelings. that was at [10] once both classic and . it has all .

in spirit and truth make a reality of his natural-science view of the world. imprinted with the repose of antique art and permeated by modern sensibility. from the passions and prejudices which belong But unlike Buddha. jectivism. his feeling for nature is equipoised by his exaltation of man. Yes. he must incorporate himself into the universe. Goethe was a pantheist. purified to our kind. and this finds its mightiest ex- pression in the poem Prometheus. He must he must. take part Like Bud- dha under the fig tree he must strive to lose himself in an all-embracing Nirvana.NATURE AND MAN romantic. forms. One may counterbalance his Lieder by his Oden. but he was also a worshiper of great personality. he must not allow himcontrolled be bv human partiality. in harmony with all in the life of all existing bodies. who in his innermost depths was actuated by sympathy for the race way self to rest to and by the desire to show it the and peace. [II]' . must tear himself away from this human sub- He who would do away with the opposition between the ego and the material world.

Le Disciple. and vice. but only a spectacle of chain. so long as he concern works. to a principle. which he has unwillingly had a is But one day he share in invoking.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Certainly he would not exclude the human altogether: this being a part of Pan-Nature would also find a place in his system. in common with growth of cells or the revolution of heavenly bodies. Tlien his system fails [12] him . Adrien Sixte. himself the task of realizing such programme. is And he is capable of doing so. He would human phenomena. advancement and conditions just as on other Happiness and misery. a consequence of link in a the general laws the of cause and effect. virtue degeneration — these would no longer be for him. the au- thor has drawn set who has a a philosopher. of praise or blame. is seated at his desk and his only to occupy himself with scientific fine dragged out of his book-worm existence: he becomes involved in a tragedy. power and movement. but it would not be the most he would not exalt look upon it essential part to him. In Paul Bourget's book. objects of joy or sorrow.

Indeed it is a question whether a philosopher of this type can be quite consistent. from among those writings that verse. The before me and it elev- enth edition lies its is easy to of sub- understand popularity. Ernest Haeckel? Now. I shall embody his views of the uni- choose. It is a reprint delivered several of a much-noticed lecture. as illustration. would happen with an ordinary- Thus it is in romance. it shaken through and through. even when he the exposition of theories. the short- est but at the his principles same time the one that outlines most concisely. can entirely free himself from is his sense of the human. and in realwould ity probably not take a different form. [13] It treats . seek this strict consistency concerned only with Where should one if not in the utter- ances of the great master of modern monism. The book is biased but nevertheless contains a grain of truth.NATURE AND MAN and his soul it Is exactly as creature. years ago bears the at a natural-science congress title and szui- scJien Religion Dcr Monismiis ah Band und Wissenschaft.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE jects that interest wide circles and does so in manner that makes for easy reading and is at the same time thought-compelHng. in form. In a brilliant synthesis. of which the latter. animal and man. the merging of substance. the validity for all existence of the law of He proclaims the underlying unity and organic nature. the inexbetween spirit and matter. a the natural-scientific premises. according to him. in energ}'- and matter into sub- stance. rich in content. There is no absolute difference between plant and animal. finished The first part. That which we [14] call soul . the race of man a shoot of the vertebrate animal branch. And just as little is there between body and soul the psychic development is dependent on the physical and tlie human consciousness differs from the ania schism : mal only in degree. He emphasizes the cominorganic : mon origin of all organisms all plant and animal forms arc twigs of one and the same genealogical tree. is complete enough. has sprung from the former. Haeckel tricable connection shows us the unity of the universe.

all.NATURE AND MAN is a sum is of plasma movements and conscious- ness a brain-function. in their turn can be traced to chemical and physical processes. the beautiful and the true. human ruler Nature is sole all and whence all is human swept superstition. For the message we receive is this: we must strive to attain the good. as well as his faith in a personal interferes in The individual soul dis- God who After having spread out for our view his canvas where great affairs. Now this is a melody which we. as a link between re- and science. accustomed speech amply and the thought is of venerable age. gospel of monism? And we will it How Will sound — the listen in our accustomed speech sujffice to express the is new thought? sufficient Yes. the proof of the application of this principle to excited expectation. one and [15] . dualistic prejudice away ligion like witliered leaves. depending on the mechanical work of the ganglia cells and these. : Haeckel arrives at his real subject monism life. appears with the individual body: man's demand for immortality is reduced in ahsurdmn.

the activities of our conscious aims. but the link he promised between religion and science.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE can join in singing. that is I not to be discovered. but we have heard it from babyhood and our forefathers before us and it is sung most often by those who do not at all share this natural-scientific view of the world. in other words. are just those that emphasize human peculiarities and differentiate them [i6] . am quite aware that he has attempted to effect a connection by recommending us to strive after the good. They have come to the same result as Haeckel without the help of his monistic substructure which proves that monistic reason- — ing neither adds to it nor subtracts from one it. Nor is there any reciprocal connection between his premise entific and his conclusion. the beautiful and the true via a monistic route. But now our strivings. the is sci- and the other can very well pass for a to forge confession of faith. But what does is that mean? "Monistic aims": the not this juxtaposition a contradiction? By word "monistic" can be understood that is wliich in harmony with nature.

No one has striven more systematically than Haeckel himself to prove the lack of aim in nature and he would certainly be the first to combat the thought that nature in lectual. Take notice of the omen is : in the neighborhood of the spot where he holding his lecture the prin- ces of Thiiringen. he ends his speech by pointing to an incident which he mentions as a favorable indication that his creed will triumph.NATURE AND MAN from the rest of nature. In reappearing. It is just died in the play. noble protectors of the Uni- versity of Jena are. For raising himself to a poetic pitch. he says to us (if we have not already said it to our[17] . and is —some If his prelude will monistic his finale its is human note is perhaps find that last almost too human. the of the golden wedding Grand Duke and Duchess of Saxe- Weimar. assembled to celebrate a rare feast. as This well-turned compliment calls us back to the kingdom of reality. appears before the curtain and bows to the when the actor who has applauding audience. at the moment. ethical its entirety should reveal intelaesthetic tendencies.

The natural-scientist can do these heights steps and we soon turn our — . it was not seriously. as they were a species raised above the ordinary laws of life.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE selves) : meant so "Ladies and gentlemen. but that does not prevent his showing respect for certain of its individuals. He can dethe Father . For he also repreDo not sents one side of the eternal human." From time to time we can it also translate ourselves to the sphere of a natural- science view of the world. its life announces itself and demands rights. away with God grade the race of man to a shoot from the tree of vertebrate animals. . but we cannot wander forever in dreamland. but he cannot deny the existence of the Grand Duke. underestimate him it is not easy to get around this great man. Laplace found the forif mula for the mechanism of [i8] the solar system. certain privileged vertebrate ani- mals. but is cold on downward toward the cheerful valley where the human element reigns notably the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. for a few hours we have forgotten ourselves in the tense atmosphere of the drama.

he said that he had "no use for this hypothesis". What did it help then that he was a monist? Alack! how little ultimate significance these phrases possess. he never reached so far that he became oblivious to the bril- liancy of those other stars that are distributed by potentates. ineffectual for science to proclaim that such trifles. on the other. ist can theoretically refer all phenomena to a single principle its . things are that daily human events bethat come infinitesimal when one remembers [19] . he bowed low before the corpulent Louis XVIII and however much he wandered about in the infinity of the starry heavens. on the one side. In his life he will assign to human affairs an importance It which is his theories declare to be inordinate. But he selves to be checked was filled with awe for the great Napoleon. dualism makes plea to him also: we humans. his sovereign thoughts moved about in unlimited space and did not allow them- by any Creator. The mon- but in real life. our Lord did not impress him in the least.NATURE AND MAN he concerned himself with the very highest problems. the rest of nature.

social considerations or patriotic prejudices.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE the entire history of mankind is only a short episode in the organic development of one little planet. allow himself to be influenced by personal affection. express in both the bad itself in different and the good meaning of the words he may be the prey of weaknesses and inconsistencies — ways Of course. this may — Laplace or he may be a straightforward character. like all good citizens be concerned over the condition of the budget. as Darwin or Spencer was. a noble personality. either in his own case. in his daily life he will be a human among humans. In short. share in their joys and sorrows. join this or self in the that political party. tyrs —we research seems to be everyLike religion it can boast of its marcall whom them the martyrs of not literally correct [20] : science. but the human element can unlike der no circumstances be disregarded. There are those for thing. interest him- sayings and doings of his fellowmen. but the title is they should . He will none the less scan the news- papers for the latest telegrams. or as applied to others.

worth our while to examine the causes of this keeps us imIt might be it is dependence. with contempt or worship. human offered well-being. whether it fills us with hate or love. it prisoned in its charmed circle. It leaves us no peace. It impregnates Ernest Haeckel also and for the sake of the hu- manity in his life work. Even knowl- though we are absolutely wanting [21] in . no matter how we act. health and life apparently to the idea. our every thought runs upon the human. the experiment. we gladly forgive him the too-human element. All of the really great in the world of science have been inspired by this emotion. it makes all the strings of our innermost being resound and. They have a primus motor: the irresistible longing. with fear or pleasure.NATURE AND MAN be called martyrs not of science. but ardor there always lies a deeper inducement. the undertakbehind the scientific ing. but of feeling. of furthering the comprehension and happiness of their fellow-men. Let us agree then that. more or less conscious. to see whether or not a neces- sary result of unchangeable conditions.

These may. be infinitesimally small. This second factor. Exthe idea is: detail. we undertake nothing that does not influence the universe. receptivity. we can nevertheless try to find an answer to the question.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE edge. always be present. pens exhibits Everything that hapall-embracing effects. in certain cases. nothing takes place in the universe without influencing us. Two conditions are neces- sary in order that they shall assert themselves with great intensity: a certain strength in the agent that influences and a certain receptivity in the object influenced. thoughts and actions. both of our own spiritual organism anH of the exterior influences that are decisive for our feehngs. in the assumption that we and all other existences that surround us. at least conjecturally. unmeasurable and unnoticeable but they will . The following at- tempt at lies an explanation makes no pretenses to Its point of issue be other than a surmise. naturally plays the role more important on a so- and we must consider [22] it as based . are in constant connection with pressed in all more the forms of energy.

A two Marconi instruments correspond when they are tuned to the same electrical struck. but at least more or less degree. but it is not limited to the use of these outer and visible means. with human beings: as creatures similar in kind they are reciprocally tuned to similar We keys and each of them therefore receptive to the forces that is especially his fellow-creatures — emanate from in course.NATURE AND MAN called ''harmony" —the active and the passive. of they are more receptive to all these expressions of energy than to other telluric and cosmic expositions in whose whirls we live and move. less between the parts concerned It is similar to that spoken of in music a harmony and in wire- tuning-fork vibrates in harmonious correspondence to a certain tone telegraphy. A transference of thought and feeling can take place without experience it at unexpected moments in our relation to those closely allied to their help: we [23] . find analogous conditions wave-length. This efifect of human power can be easily observed where the influence is exercised through the medium of words and actions .

rep^' dissolve each other. The effects would be stronger or weaker according to the brains' affinity or perhaps also according to the distance which separates them in space. forming a psychic stream of a power that we are not able to withstand. but we cannot suppose that there is a limit beyond which it is totally fect may absent.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE US. Who can say what part If this condition plays in the rise of ideas. it The theory has been proposed (and should by no means be discredited) that the molecular movements of every brain are transferred to all other brains. Such brain's phenomena are explained thus: the oscillations transmitted through the ether (just as all other vibrations) reach another brain and involuntarily call forth analogous oscillations in it. but they can also unite themselves into groups. in the society of congenial souls. ten- dencies and trends of opinion? [24] we knew . These numberless influences can cross. that our souls are constantly under the influence of and are themselves constantly influencing all other existing human souls. The efbe minimal.

We our own can not separate ourselves from ego. and that is ourselves. but even if we were to shut ourselves We up in a cell. for [25] .NATURE AND MAN our psychology.. this. at things in a general way. if hide ourselves in the wildernpK. our philosophy. We suspect that our entire existence fluences of which is subject to a sum of in- we mitst remain unconscious ele- because they together constitute the very ment in which we spiritually live and move. feelings. we can only guess plane than it does. We are woven into a net of common whose meshes are formed of millions of creatures. who do not know us and whom we never come to know. there is one thing from which we cannot escape. we can not strip oft* our own Therefore. humanity. just as we hinder them. fly we were if we were to to from the sight of man. we can do is to move about inside the can evade certain influences. All net. from ever reaching out to that great freedom beyond the human. but who nevertheless hinder us. our historical research and our social science would stand on a higher As it is. a certain definite environment.s.

for a consistent monism would demand an exertion of strength ble which we are simply incapaIt of putting forth. we ourselves become the psychic subject. a violation of the principle of unity. True enough. the creation of our own psychic intelligence.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE one thing. has been said of unblended form. tice. and is the natural-science view of the world It so in prac- rests first of all on the concept. Christianity in its But compared with the demands of monism. but the formulate this moment we undertake to concept. but with- out doubt a violation impossible to avoid. real Christianity has never been practiced by the great masses: entire peoples and states have not been able to adapt themselves so as to rest on a foundation of renunciation and withdrawal from the world. that it. For average creatures it has been at best a religion for Sunday [26] . thereby placing ourselves outside of and in opposition to nature. they are not so extreme. nature. will be specifically human. this is Therefore from the very beginning. makes demands on us that exceed our powers.

sympathy with our kind has always been a deep lying instinct love in human nature. above all things to live. their kingdom has been of the earth. [27] . but the feeling itself. but in offering future compensation. it has nevertheless l)een the joys of the earth that they have and. is of God it is God who. they have offered up prayers for heavenly bliss. To lose themselves in the great beyond. no matter how much coveted most keenly. The worship it en- forces concerns a things. considering all an ideal human being: the worship The brotherly the worship of man. The its sacrifices which re- ligion demands of followers may be heavy enough. on the contrary. But pure Christianity. although seemingly so inaccessible. proclaims is altruism carried to an extremity. to turn away from the earthly life. has not been their concern. and they have assimilated from its teachings only those elements that were not in irreconcilable strife with their innermost inclinations. they have wanted. earthly. if looked at rightly shows a connection with humanity absolutely continuous.NATURE AND MAN use only.

he win another and a he has abandoned his destructible body to the mercy of Fate. a rarity.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE It appeals to human self-interest. And may be asserted that if the true Christian nomenon see. quite aside from the fact that no one can say therefore how we it should act under it. in order to save his immortal soul. he has acted from a more remote motive of self-preservation. intended as a continuation. On the other hand. needs. for his faith. life Whenever a Christian has given his has done so in order to better life. the true monist is a phewe have never seen and never shall is But what does this prove. consistent Christianity has al- A ways been an but. it is an excess that lies within the human grasp. is in its way. a con- sistent monism is inconceivable. an extension of it. has signified excess any rate. a merging of our ego into a nonIt would be in utter opposition to all our ego. That which seems to us to be a denial of the human. at exception. [28] . one will ask. because it would presuppose an absolute renunciation of the human.

It One is inclined to assume so in adif seems natural to reason thus: we acknowledge its a theory. try to find a —does involuntarily simple statement. but only to prove that we are Now apply them to ourselves. we must also accept are not exempt from consequences. as far as we are able. Our intention has not been to combat monisti- cal teachings. imply a state of imperfection for which we should. satisfies It is willingly conceded that our intellectual cravings regarding causality more than any other philosophical system indeed one can go fiirther and . We this duty because it is difficult. because a com- [29] . and should really be superfluous to point out that the foregoing observations are not in the least aimed at monism monism as such.NATURE AND MAN Must we conclude from delusion? it that it monism is a By no means. say that natural research absolutely forces this theory upon us by the necessities of logic. The remedy? vance. this state of affairs has obviously such farreaching consequences that we cannot content unfitted to ourselves with the not it question arises.

And it must be noted lectual is and moral. of which we acknowledge to being a part. Nature.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE plete execution of it is unattainable. in other all words. can be traced to what appears to us as a practice that is anti-monistic. that the fact of its necessarily being so so. and we should therefore form our bring our existences. but less none the strive after it. as far as possible. we dis- cover that contradicted by an impregnable fact. that our progress. technical and political. This conclusion seems incontestable. into harmony with this Panlives after its views. but if we make it is a closer investigation. Indeed. and the cause of fest its being become fully mani- to us by means of this very science of it nature and the philosophy based upon [30] — al- . we should The monistic teaching does convince us once for all of the unity of nature. intel- accompanied by an evergrowing element of opposition between man and the rest of nature. is the distinctive characteristic of an ideal it that can never be quite attained. for experience teaches us that what we agree in regarding as human perfectibility.

Isil .NATURE AND MAN though of it its apostles have either been unaware or else have not suffered themselves to carry their argument through to this conclusion.

that we cannot grasp we cannot so much nature as ex- Spinoza. which we cannot account.II is such a subject as the relationship between nature and man we should really be able to WHAT nature? Before entering upon answer this. We are con- stantly realizing that in its entirety. But no satisfactory reply to the question can be given. propounded the conjecture. but only as they reveal themselves to us. Later Kant pointed out. we learn that their activities are limited because the justed to human organism is adno more than the scattered categories [32] . that we can learn nothing of things in themselves. in his theory of knowledge. And finally experimental science has arrived and informed us of the insufficiency of our poor five senses. that "absolute substance" perhaps possesses attributes for amine it in all of its details. long ago.

just as a slight way different from change in the human organism could modify our entire conception [33] . unknown to us. We know exist colors. in addition to these provable phenomena are other forms of energy. What is then. would interpret things ours.NATURE AND MAN of the ether-vibrations that to our minds constitute the life of the universe. in a sense-organs with structures adapted to vibration-forms. we have been but. that we can neither have learned by a very feel nor measure. magnetic and repulsions that escape our By means of sensitive instruments able to establish their existence. attractions senses. We simple method that these forms exist. which lie between and that there beyond these categories. electric streams. We lack the inborn powers of comprehension necessary to grasp the movements. but we have no suspicion of their number. their nature. Creatures. sounds. that we call nature? Only a portion of the exterior world comprehend tion — —the our in reality portion that we therefore a reflec- of the state of own and nerve-cells. it nor their mode of operation.

Now. we can sharpen our powers of observation and widen our point of view. we can now. only no longer the same for us. and we would perhaps come to a more perfect comprehension than that to which attain. we must acknowledge that our consciousness can apprehend only fragments of nature and even these we observe spectacles of and perceive through the colored subjectivity. it is clear. and we can form scientific hypotheses which fill in the holes of empiric research and throw a light on conditions that are not accessible to direct experience. that there is not pass. that by this means. As things are. we must as- sume. would continue to be the same. The world itself. But extent. are conditioned by and will eventually be limited by the scope of [34] we come only a a barrier we can- . in that both the inventive powers that produce instruments and the intellectual liberty that creates hypotheses. of course. to a certain We remedy the defective equipment of our sense-outfit.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE of the world. can make instruments that. part of the way. in our present state.

NATURE AND MAN man's powers. Even the natural-science hybuilt on the aspothesis. have an independent exist- the analogy limps. which is certainly sumption of conformity to law. induction but we can admit no more than so-called Newton believed that laws of nature do not exist in themselves. as we substantiate laws of state. we the are forced to this this. The conception "law" was originally applied to social conditions transferred to and thence But the processes of nature. is Our intellect so constituted that . while the regulations supposed to underlie nature. but are only [35] . ence. consist in the necessities that dwell cannot subin the things themselves. We law of nature by direct methods. as a result of necessity. It is not laws stantiate a we observe in nature. but groups of facts from whose mutual harmonies we infer a conformity to law. stantly effect We this see a number of of con- recurring conditions cause to and our- and explain recurrence selves. moves within the human sphere of thought by this very assumption. for the legal standards that rule our society.

of the causes that nature. in its day. could not investigate scientifically and technically We without them and so far they are comjustifiable. We nowadays confess is that if the nature of spirit is obscure to us. the fundamental laws of natural philosophy are becoming more natural research is and more uncertain. who attribute to things this natural necessity and that we have no warrant that it is really Strictly speaking.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE formulae. But matter no longer presents the sure support must that it was thought to render. boast that it reckoned with tangible facts. at the same time. could. whether or mat- we ter. pletely But. we know nothing present. we must not hide from ourselves. on the other hand. that come to the assistance of our need these formulae. call the philosophic principle spirit and what is matter? Unwary materialism that would refer all phe- For what is spirit. . They totter. we apprehension. It is behind the processes of worthy of remark that while lie constantly making new conquests. nomena at least to matter. that it is we. that of matter [36] no less so.

What much as do we know then. become In less time. but even the most liberal spirits will always entangle it in human meshes. interpret we do so in our own way. For energy. but. makes a personification unconsciously tempting. The mere fact that it is necessary to comprise all "nature" under one collective concept. higher than ours [37] it is true. And the conception of nature still prevalent among the great majority! It is pure an- thropomorphism. Naturally this no longer appears in its most extreme form. . expression of energy. our philosophy of nature will naive. we have progressed no further in comprehension. what can we we really learn about this world it it. we live in? if Only so try to discloses to us and. But it has persisted in a representation of a spirit in or be- hind nature. also. is a puzzle to us and we can moreover investi- gate only a few of its forms. as the actual personification of objects and phenomena that we know from mythology.NATURE AND MAN There are those who resolve it into sheer But even if we consider matter as an energy.

above the animated by wisdom and goodness. is We are told here that the universe a harits monious whole. is repelled by in its cold and hard circles. ents of beneficent foundations of tradition. and even scientific there are those who make compromises with In this connection. guiding and progressive principle. human mind consequences the old ideas. where every atom has [38] task . who arranges all things so wisely for her children. but also worshipers of reason and freethinkers have. time. have been We inoculated with Who ever since our school days. has shaken the science. in some form or another. I can refer to a book that serves as an example of what could be done in this respect as late as the year of our Lord 1908 (Professor Dr. Natural in the last fifty years. has not learned from teachers and parit mother nature. Not only the advocates of religions. M. sworn alle- giance to the belief in such a directing. Wilhelm Meyer: Vom Himmel und von der Erde). fundamentally similar and. but the amended conThe cept has by no means forced its way.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE at the same all.

forms into a circulating longing for the heavenly body shows higher animates the least as well as the greatthat In the organic world the struggle for existence is a fight between the good and the est.NATURE AND MAN and works of it. every chaotic clouditself mass. that endeavors to improve that its condition. besides —which in being a popular-science writer has an esteemed name as a professional researcher be capable in exact investigation and at the same time weak proves that one may philosophic production. for progress in structure. but one cannot assume that the author has. in reason and in beauty. An unprejudiced observation can only come [39] to the result that . restlessly all towards the completion For nature-development strives for perfection. bad. on that account. these opinions are found in a book which was meant to reach a wide public. Nature is inexhaustible in her life means of helping the progress of fore and she has theretheir given human beings intelligence among other things. Every worm. It is true. done violence to his convictions and it must be pointed out that he.

at other points there are globes that are approaching destruction If new nothing to indicate that the process of development is stronger than that of dissois and there lution. we [40] see half-finished at- . promiscuous creation and destruction. who beguided by a consciousness. acknowledge that it cannot resemble the that its ways and means are not identical with ours. it heve that ought. to any case. by the side of combinations apparently ingenious. can just as easily be disproved as corroborated. according to the facts. The well-meaning and expedient tendencies that human and imaginatively attributed to nature. keep to the sphere that lies nearest our comprehension. organic nature to Or — — it what is is it that is revealed to us when we look about us? a Measured by human standards. life we see absolute indifference and happiness.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE nature is incomprehensible. that By the side of phenomena as to may be interpreted as results of fore- thought. from which one selects are his material. globes are forming at certain points in space. in is Those. game with forms.

ian natural-selection theory. : — — ideal. eternal detours. a choice takes [41] . We in the struggle for existence. if it took nature as teacher in everything. and the more we separate ourselves from nature. the nearer we come we and our methods to the human tion. could not survive.NATURE AND MAN tempts. The reluctance felt against adopting the new natural science. in the Darwinknow that. of in a word. the inner strife between knowledge that and is feeling. Confronted by the conditions under which the struggle for existence takes place. in compensation they think that their belief in the wisdom of nature has found a stronghold in science itself. an enormous waste of rudimentary forms and possibilities. a striking lack of plan and economy. between to investiga- tions that cannot be dismissed and life-ideals one unwilling to relinquish. on the whole. have caused compromise. a lack of valuaright and justice — So much is certain a band of wild men however hardy. they have been forced many to discard their belief in the goodness of nature but.

Stronger inbe vanquished by weaker. those more their fortunately equipped survive. are more favorable to a lower than to a higher organism. that is to say those whose qualities correspond most accurately to given conditions and these conditions. that "nature aristocratic. in by laymen. as is Darwin does not is often expounded. but is so we must repeat teach. The mistake has been corrected stubbornly once again maintained. This explanation of the mechanism of life's development is as well-known as it is misunderstood —misunderstood. but some of course.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE place. where a A human dividuals creature would perish." that the best triumph in the struggle. he teaches that the best-qualified triumph. when may [42] . chiefly cases also by people who is should know better. by which those while less able to face existence disappear. in certain cases. yet strives after progress. propagate transplant their qualities kind and by inheritance. though she seems uncharitable. : many times. poisonous insect can thrive in a swamp. Again and again it used to prove that nature.

during the develop[43] For who knows but that. but the The coral. But there is no support for such an assumption. it mushroom. Primitive animals have out still small sometimes accomplish more than the great: it is not the whale. died gigantic while millions of microscopic creatures exist. and archipelagos. that adjusts changing conditions in favor of existences constantly be- coming more and more perfect. We see much oftener that the lowest forms continue to exist side by side with the highest and there are even proofs that exterior conditions can change so that they cause the structure and functions of the creatures afifected by them to deteriorate. . that lion. that builds islands is not the changes things.NATURE AND MAN these are present in sufficient numbers. position of cisive The existence and dominating the human race are not even deof proofs the triumph of perfection. we must have the conviction that development has taken place according to a plan. the appearance and condition of but the In order to believe in an inherent tendency towards progress.

in most cases. that it is by no certain that man Even is the masterpiece one likes to imagine. many life-germs." us that the mechanism of child- Nor is our sense-equipment is irre- proachable: Helmholtz said to have re- marked that if one of his assistants were to bring him a preparation so imperfect as the human eye. the way in which he comes into the world tell is food for criticism: physicians birth is an extremely unpractical arrangement. which does little honor to the "ingenuity of nature. bear- ing in themselves richer possibilities than those our species can realize. One may means say.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE ment of organic forms. often makes the is patient unmanageal)le. by the way. is a doubtful advantage. pain cannot be shown to be servit iceable for any end. it The warning element attributed to is inconsistent with [44] . but unsatisfactorily as. it would be rejected without ceremony. some try to explain this as a consideration of utility. where quiet the necessity of the moment. have gone to waste. On the contrary. That humans are more sensitive to pain than any other creatures.

by violent neuralgic pains. This differentiation certainly carries with it a greater perfection in the exercise of the function. which ac- companies the refining of the nervous system both with animals and man. also a greater danger in case of disturbance and distress. the increasing sensitiveness. We understand by "higher forms of life" those that are characterized by the condition in which different functions are apportioned to special organs. but a growing hindrance to their adaptation to their surIt is a mistaken belief that higher roundings. Insomuch therefore. but on the other hand.NATURE AND MAN the fact that mortal illness. is not only a source of new sufiferings. such as Inflammation of the kidneys and cancer are absolutely crucial stages. while fairly painless in the first harmless diseases of the teeth announce themselves immediately In fact. as existence becomes thereby more and more dependent on the unobstructed cooperation of the organs at the proper time and [45] in the proper way. forms are naturally endowed with greater powers of endurance than lower. we may .

on the contrary. that ence. without the coThat operation of the principle of intention. it turns out to be in [46] . These philosophers considered nature's liked to explain what they wise method and pre- destined aims. which serves a purpose is produced. but not finality. because it is constantly being measured by its relation to the condiWhen one analyzes tion of the environment. by referring to a plan arranged providentially from the very beginning. that the expediency here mentioned is only relative.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE natural development does not favor higher forms of life in the struggle for existinsist. it has tried to uproot the teleological idea that played such a great role in earlier philosophy. production: there But it must not be forgotten. the assertion concerning the survival of tlie most adequate life-forms. but pur- pose is is not the cause of its causality. while Darwin proved duced quite that expedient results are pro- independently. A but striving for progress presupposes a goal: Darwinism is far from attributing to nature a systematic activity.

taken in good or a bad arof this we can form no objective in In order to pass judgment on our planetary development. we must be able to draw a parallel. in a higher sense — their entirety. — what degree they. have the best prospects of triumphing where But rethose very conditions are present. as it does no more than express the indisputable truth that those best equipped for certain conditions of life. But even then we would not be able the to to reach the desired conclusion: a final ques- tion concerning the plan lying behind universe entire would arise —a question which neither optimism nor pessimism is capable of replying but which nothing less than superhuman knowledge of universal aims could undertake to answer.NATURE AND MAN reality a self-repetition. the universe It But after all. constitute a rangement opinion. form a comparison with the progress of development on globes whose evolutionary hypotheses accord somewhat with our own. garding the design in these conditions. has it? any such plan lying behind [47] does not exhibit any in that portion of na- .

so foreign to our A thousand things give evidence of lack of design. . it is but Perhaps we are not capable of finding a deeper meaning simply because we ourselves are afflicted with blindness. No wonder then that former generations have stretched to include the it whole of nature. Our lives are so dominated by this conception that our existences are absolutely dependent on it. But when it has once gained firm ground. but such an idea is make-up that we with reluctance admit it into our minds. to judge from our own experience. but does not apply to nature in the widest tion of design in nature is meaning of the word. the lack of harmony between nature and ourits selves soon appears to us in entire scope ^nd we easily agree that a [48] human Demiurgos . What we is at best an external coherence. we must assume that the concepa purely human mode of thought which indeed has validity for us.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE ture see accessible in it to investigation. But it is a fact that we cannot find one and. chains of causes and effects a play of forces that seem to us to wrestle in the dark.

He would have arranged things so that the "higher unities" would become the basis of constantly n^w evolutions. in harmony Vv^ith the formulae of Leib- nitz He would have utilized Hegel.NATURE AND MAN would never have created a one that reveals itself to us. he would [49] . nor gigantic animal species only to let them disappear without continuation. v^^orld sucK as the He would never have created solar systems only to dissolve them again into nebulas. but which we look for in vain outside of ourselves. forces in such a way that the greatest possible and results means would be obtained by the simplest and the shortest route. He would have gone to work systematically and economically. He would have been animated by the spirit that philosophers and others have imagined to be behind nature. nor plant growths only to destroy them under the glaciers of the ice-period. A human master-builder would not have evolved such cumbersome machinery working without end or aim. In other words. nor spirits of genius only to tear them away before they can unfold their powers.

is the bottomless vessel of the Danaides. say to ourselves: thus No matter how and turn. then then once more a recoil. shows a perpetual circle: provided for an following development. Nature on the contrary. struggled and suffered only body and of the powers of the soul and only to sink back into the darkness of impersonality. that he shall have developed and matured. it is the stone of Sisyphus which is constantly rolled up the fills mountain only pace. labored. It again progress. to roll down again lies at equal A deep meaning it in the old myth here referred to: is an imaginative picture of man's dread of the purposeless. It makes no diffor the destruction of the ference is how much we the way of development. the human in us cannot become reconciled to natural detwist [50] we .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE have unending progress. the central. which dissolution and empties without cease. Is it not this dread that causes him to cling fast to the hope of regeneration and the belief in immorHis innermost depths rebel against tality? the thought that all is over when the life-processes end.

— [51] . sinks and disappears. Development is like the wave that rises.NATURE AND MAN velopment as it is. but progress. but progress is like the ship for which we set the direction and the speed the ship that steers towards the goal. What we want is not development. reaches its crest.

isms is are impelled by a need that causes us to desire as time goes on the very thing that nature otherwise appears to us not to The natural development of organpassive in as much as it proceeds as an involuntary adaptation of these organisms to given circumstances. salient point. without consideration of values. — — an active advancement. the great incompatibihty which seems in its entirety. that man he would. It is a necessity. We more and more want.Ill WE have now touched on the between us and nature us. but in addition to this process. which expresses itself in an adaptation of circumstances process. [52] . there is seen to exist in him and in him alone a reverse if has not been able to avoid. and nature who ap- pears to move in a circle. and appraise. without purpose or object. pursue aims. to stand between calculate who wish to advance.

Oxen of the present day. monogamy are found represented in the animal kingdom. as permanent indications of species. [53] Undeniably . while man's social tendencies reveal themselves in the most diverse forms and the laws of a social in community often undergo a vital changes very short time. by means of a con- sciously purposeful activity. they do not manifest themselves. if left to them- selves. inextricably bound to physical structure and other conditions of life. All forms of sexual union polygamy. as in other living creatures. Bees and its own and there is ants complicated combinations. but their regulations are always un- form extremely varying and they always act in the same way.NATURE AND MAN to himself and his needs. but each species has — —promiscu- no example of any species having gone over from indiscriminate marriage to polygamy and thence to monogamy as in human races and states. And these needs vary and increase. seek no other nourishment than the oxen our forefathers knew and the swallow builds his nest as he did thousands of years ago. ity.

to subjugate them into his service. but environment besides is not the only element. — artificial methods of conveyance. in the forces and press not content with offers it. but produces changes in them by breeding and crossing.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE the natural surroundings play a great part in all human development. Process process originally abandoned to the mercy of nature. that nature puts at his disposal. He has no toleration for the equipment nature has given his own ameliorative organs. instruments. to advance. he appropriates and subjects after [54] . nourishment form that nature but prepares it as it best suits him. the more conspicuous does the contrast between possible man and is it nature become and the less for it him is. —the this exterior spiritual tendency The more strongly this tendency asserts itself. to come its is to terms with nature such as He He tries to correct its imperfections. but improves and completes them by all sorts of devices machines. there exists an inner one factor. He is not satisfied with the domestic animals and useful plants.

but the off-shoots become more and more re- mote from their sources. And his just as man remodels life and society in own image. [55] But. bear leaves. As culture springs up. flowers They and fruits. in the . modifications. in short. The might tion's of man versus the might of nature is — such. It accomplishes easily and quickly results that naformula. these are the in- common to all organisms. ture could not produce without many circuitous and age-long operations. The tree of roots deep in primeval nature. it and further away from the original stincts To live. to struggle. branches spread. that lead man brings further constantly type. and art can form things to which nature knows no parallel. the expression of civiHza- While the forces of nature constitute a sum.NATURE AND MAN to the authority of reason and method. so do these react upon him in and work changes culture has its him also. to reproduce. which always remains like unto itself. The trunk grows. the human spirit strives more and more to widen its domain of power. in that he modifies the condi- tions about him.

It was based partly on a justifiable dissatisfaction with the defects of social condi- but partly also on a romantic illusion with respect to nature.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE course of time. rules of reproduction. [56] . when strife shall take place souls and when is only between love has become recreated in a form for which we now have no name. Who knows where culture finally may end? Perhaps the day may come when life shall have become an art. but independently of the which worthy in itself. in our forefathers' days. He but it is not for him he wants to Hves. true enough. pointed to a return to a state of nature as the desirable goal. enough . but the mating instinct in him passes into erotic passion and this into love. which cannot be maintions. he has gilded luster He it with an exterior and the pathos of great sentiments. Probably no trend of thought has ever followed a false trail more certainly than that which. propagates young as do other creatures. but he has made war a science. improve his condition. to act and to create. He fig-hts. man has refined them.

we goes forward. The emo- tionalism of the eighteenth century. but. so to speak. with the great difference that the former humanized nature. an approach between nait must be admitted.NATURE AND MAN talned under scientific criticism. has naturalized man by referring his psychic mani[57] . the watchword of progress is "away from nature." whether it is a question of ameliorating the conditions of man or the ennobling of the human individual himself. while the latter. As civilization — ideas. it has always been chiefly occupied in proving original coalescence. Not that science can give us any information in regard to nature: this is and will continue to be an enigma. It seems to me that modern science does not lay enough stress on this growing opposition. But so much can it say that there is between us and nature a divergence which has a constant tendency to become wider. tried to bring about ture and man. as well as the scientific investigations of the nineteenth. we are impelled by make use of methods and aspire to ends that separate us more and more from the rest of nature. In truth.

forced into the background. Now dominated by the thought of the unity underlying Pan-Nature and it is clear that the he is other point (man's growing incompatibility with the rest of nature) must be. opposition arises simply from the circumstance that man. at the same time separates himself from the other parts. properly viewed and tion of opposition so that nature and man appeared to face each other as hostile powers.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE festations to the activity of the general laws a scientist's pointed emphasis of man's connection with nature is explicable. without ceasing The to be a part of Pan-Nature. equally mythological as the one wise represents nature as our good and mother. of nature. temporarily. de- velops his peculiarities and thereby becomes involved in tendencies which it becomes more [58] . we should indeed be guilty of an unscientific that opinion. as to bring it forward might be misconstrued as a concession to the still powerful dualistic prejudices. But appraised this point seems easily reconcilable with monistic points If we were to construe this condiof view.

one of those modalities. to unfold itself and its influence surroundings in accordance with It is in this that is what we call progress. while entirety. these tendencies continue as unessential as before. itself is But now such a thing indeed no unusual phenomenon. The ostensible is "antimonistic likewise practice" I mentioned above owing to a process in of differentiation. Of the two chief factors that determine organic But this peculiarity also —we development —individuality and environment must assume that in man individuality has in the course of events obtained a unique advantage. The element that is peculiar to human differentiation is that it can express itself in the form of active progress. acquired a surplus of energy which impels aims. but on the contrary one that is seen on every hand. can be explained.NATURE AND MAN and more momentous for him within nature. under which all development takes place. consists. it to assert itself. as progress nothing more than a continuation of development in a direction serviceable to the end in view and human ends [59] . in its to follow.

in spite of a lack of reliable connecting links.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE are determined by human individuality. simply because there is no It counterpart in the nature lying about us. in that they are a striving after a reahzation of the possibiHties and demands of our nature. beginning with tribes where it is so weak that it can scarcely be discovered. for the two hypotheses are in reality [60] . not concerned with a sudden leap. In any case. is opposed to a monistic conception. does not scruple to proclaim as an article of faith. We cannot see that this conjecture in regard to the genesis of our progress. is : where the principle of individuality appears in very different degrees. the growing divergence between man and the rest of nature is indisputably a fact and an intelligent monism would not be inconsistent in acknowledging these successive removals as well as the original coalescence. the distance between passive development and active progress is no greater than that that separates organic and inorganic nature. And however that may be. but a slow transition we see it in the present race of man. whose unity monism.

germs of which are even now found in the higher forms of animals. in this connection. the knowledge does not advance either art. artistic Even though one may see an element in the birds' play.NATURE AND MAN both based on the same principles of development. the difference is great. and. — yet depends the And it is upon [6i] this that is essential for us everything not the point . a religious element in the dog's affection for and obedience to his master. his proof of the common origin has certainly an interest for us. but in regard to their practical value. while the study of hand we must cant. the representation of man's cohesion with nature as such is fairly insignifi- When Haeckel refers all human spirit- ual activity to functions of the brain. monistic aesthetics and so on. morals or religion one inch. a moral element in the mutual helpfulness of bees. but yet only a retrospective one. speaks of monistic ethics. peculiarity gives us a guiding in understanding the goal towards which human strive. Theoretically therefore they have equal justification. for.

Just as a genius is not judged by the nineteen-twentieths he has in common with other people: but by the onetwentieth that constitutes his originality. partly hypnotized by the name monism. to emphasize unity to such a degree that human life is unconditionally classified under the formul?e of natural law. as we flatter ourselves we are. which sepa- rates him from is the rest of nature.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE from which we came. so should man. simply because it can be proved that these formulae apply to all other forms of [62] . is it preposterous for modern science. but extremely important to render an account of the fact that we have the power (that it is animals do not possess) of developing these qualities and of learning what direction the development would take. And just as it the so common absurd to apply to the standards of daily man of genius life in general. be especially observed in the light of the peculiarities. the genius of creation. but the point to which we can reach. It is comparatively unimpor- tant to acquire information in regard to the animahstic pedigree of our spiritual qualities.

he in most had not gone exactly the opposite way. what knowledge can we humans derive from this law? A famous explorer.NATURE AND MAN existence. Such a view might unreasonable easily result in the most reaction. that if man had if exclu- sively followed the same rule. lately in a treatise on Science and Ethics answered the the energy we possess. to adapt the organism to the environment and not waste it in meaningless ef- Now question thus: "We should use all forts to adapt the environment to the organlife ism. he would never have advanced to a stage respects of culture. When to our forefathers learned to animals and improve build houses. Examine the law of the survival of the best adapted forms of life this one. versal. who is at the same time a scientist." It is undeniable that this rule of corresponds to our knowledge of natural selection in general: the chief point with plants accommodate themselves to exterior circumstances and those. train [63] . that cannot do this. if any. might seem uni. But no and animals is to less undeniable is it. are doomed to destruction.

proving human conditions up to the most vated endeavors in the domain of spiritual Have those not the elect of mankind. to reform them in accordance with the needs of man — it runs like a red thread through all traced from the history of progress. one must not assume an illegality. This phenomena cannot be narrowed down established analogies of natural law. that the formula explodes but on that account . on the contrary. but conquered them and fashioned them in accordance with their idealistic aims? not the place to expand this thought the relevant point is to show that all human is . And this Hne: not to content oneself with things as they are. during time. it is only a case of differentiation. it can be the most primitive attempts at imelelife. been who did not respect conditions and en- vironment.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE plant-growth. [64] . to the It may happen that the analogy does not hit the mark. an unfolding of human And this should neither be peculiarities. but. the epochall makers and reformers. they were actuated by the desire to adapt environment to the uses of organic Hfe.

it. In addition to this direct We and empiric study. trate its human nature is of the should try to penemysteries dwelling in our own depths. to force them more to the so that the rose becomes even it foreground more a rose than was before. on the con- trary. Likewise should the task of culture be to like. thus enabling ourselves to observe and understand sympathetically that that dwells in those of our own kind. make man more and more man- Of course. teristic As a rule.NATURE AND MAN overlooked nor explained away. one should at- tempt to get to the bottom of one's ability. The su- periority of a rose. which [65] will always be the . a deeper insight into greatest importance. in order to attain this object. is just the part of our being that should be en- couraged. to the best of For it is a plausible supposition that that which constitutes human singularity. consists in those qualities that distinguish it from other flowers and the horticulturist's efforts are not directed towards obliterating these qualities by driving them back to a common type. it is in what is characthat we find what is worthy. in our eyes. but.

166] .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE chief source of our comprehension. in that it informs us of human peculiarity in no other way than by comparison and antithesis. find natural science also we shall an advantageous assistance. but only indirectly.

which it cannot shake. influence whose But there deep. a human center of gravity. in outlining an enormous periphery territory its encroachment is often is is a center to which it never it reaches. searches widen our intellectual horizon. its technical applications reshape our material Its theoretical conditions and thereby influence our economAnd while it ical. social and political life. may change our conditions of existence. is has accomplished great things and still going to ac- recomplish greater. even though it may change our picture of the world.IV is certainly not ITrate my intention to underIt the scope of natural science. makes individuals more possibilities of its intelligent and creates higher forms of social existence. it As scarcely affects our view of life at all. soon as there is a question of the practical crit[67] Even though .

show more is the nature and cause of this incompatibility. we no longer construe things from a natural-scientific point of view. It by chance drawn from remembered will be aroused the scien- how great- Pierre Curie's death or rather the circumstances est which stir caused it. [68] And in the observations in the press. connected as it of radium. fell killed on the spot. to that when he was street. judging from everything. His was with the discovery all over the world. and sensation name. The example tific circles. but we make them the object of human valuation. still capable of redeeming the so it And happened one day. This dualism has already been spoken of in the foregoing pages. in con- . trying cross a very crowded under the wheels and was he collided with a wagon. he was young and. richest promises. had recently become celebrated every place.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE icism of human life and its conditions. The subject is now ripe enough to be taken up again and that will I shall attempt to bring still more light to the question by the help of an example effectively than all logic.

the monistic view of the world to the phenomena of human life. In short. It [69] . it respective force clear and power of that Curie would have is to be knocked one remembers with what great weight the wheels pressed on certain of his or- down. "what a tragic loss. what a meaningless fate.NATURE AND MAN versatlons. there was one outcry constantly repeated. And if gans and of what importance these organs are for the preservation of life. occasioned by the circumstance. how would he take a case like this? I think that he would have to express : himself in about the following way that the occurrence is meaningless it: it "They say — far from most that is. it is obvious that death must follow. mechanics and physiology." if Now one were to imagine a man who likes to apply consistently the natural-scientific. Further if one estimates their resistance. Curie and the wagon. it was unavoidable that they should meet at a point of intersection. justified in the satisfactory With the direction both objects took. on the contrary. the catastrophe is in perfect harmony with the principles of mathematics. way.

his feeling would decline to give his logic [70] it . improbable that even the most confirmed monist would express himIt is also self thus on this particular occasion. According to the law of the conservation of is . but to count this as a loss a prejudice for in reality. appears to us no less paradoxical. By Curie's death. even tJi might uphold the opinion though abstracto." to other forms of As it consistent as this line of reasoning is. disappeared. matter.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE cost the life of a distinguished scientist. and it gives only a new evidence of how inapplicable to hu- man affairs the yard stick of natural law some- times can be. connections of the nervous system pass into other combinations when dissolved. nothing in the universe is entirely lost. and the living powers it produced simply The complex become transplanted movement. only the individual form which clothed his nervous system and the personal soul which represented its work. not even a slight part of energy or of substance can be obliterated neither the atom — of a brain nor the energy of a mind.

taken from Haeckel. masses fair. the spiritual included. from a human point of view. It is true. No experi- ment up to this time has is organism proven that when an dissolved. He would reply in this wise: is "My to op- ponent's argument well-known loss me. a corresponding increase of inorHowever I shall ganic energy takes place. assume that nothing in nature is lost. word for word. apparently perishes. comes the decisive objection — — it is now this teaching in regard to the conservation of matter is concerned only with the quantitive side of the af- But besides this. there is a qualitative element. What in he expresses in regard to and death general is. But if it were to be ad- vanced. overlook this weakness in the monistic system and without more ado. But and only to take another form. that when living powers disappear. [71] . the champion of the purely human view of life would not be embarrassed for an answer. that when a material or a force. Haeckel never proved his assertion that that which is called soul can be transplanted into another form.NATURE AND MAN validity in concreto.

mechanical and physiological necessity. It is not enough for us that fact. in that when once gone. it will never return in the same form.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE of matter that are equally large are not on that account equally valuable. the loss is is irreparable. it is When naked reference to causes and effects. What sort of combinations they form themselves into or whether a certain amount of matter and energy is spread in the earth and atmosphere or whether it is condensed in one rare personality is not a matter of indifference to special combination called us. substantiate a that is we wish also to appraise to say we wish to discover in the exterior coherence. As far as the is individual conit cerned. This irreparableness comes home to us all the more when unusually well-equipped Therefore we in- dividuals are concerned. look upon Curie's death as a real loss and that ocit currence which caused continues to seem meaningless to us notwithstanding the proof of its mathematical. man fate. we can it. we a question of huare not content with the bare. an inner consistency between that which hap[72] .

ture seems to have no more significance than an ephemera. our aesthetic and our moral sense." In natural processes not a trace of such proIn them.NATURE AND MAN pens and him to whom it happens. no less than the lowest infusoria. every germ that shoots up there are thousands of others that are either killed or stunted by unfavorable conditions. at variance with in this respect our sense of proportion. our economic. is denuded of every element of valuation. at one and the — same it time. characterize the occur- and rence as meaningless. is To comprise we it all in one word. although perhaps they may have borne within themselves the same power deed who knows ! — in- [73] . This conIt sistency we cannot find in the case in hand. a misfortune befalling the very one who least deserves it all this offends. the brutal crushing under a senseless wagon wheel of an infinitely fine organism. The crea- useless destruction of a precious human ture. From into a giant tree. a human creaportion can be found. and the Macedonian Alexander is at the mercy of fate.

that the race is — turned. glory and obscurity. in science. nor yet riches to men all. while mediocre ones are permitted to execute the great deeds of history and to have an influence on the course of culture. [74] .HUMAN QUIXTESSENXE greater possibilities. men of skill but time and chance happeneth to them Translated to modern speech. Many are called but few are chosen and those not al- Perhaps still ways the most excellent. personalities is Circumstances are stronger than and the impotence of individuals the tragedy of every day life. nor the battle to the strong. the thought can be expressed thus: happiness and tribulation. It may is that which be repeated to this very day in the Preacher's book: '1 resun. Trivial conditions cause great characters and geniuses to remain inactive. and saw under the not to the swift. in gen. But also in social processes. everything is chance. the course of things often agrees only indifferently with the demands of valuation. The Jewish wise man saw it but human creatures.'' of understanding. nor yet favor to . in industry. in politics. neither yet bread to the wise.

But they like to beare to the place lieve that life is like the popular shown back comedy: even in the in the though inferiority may seem to triumph third act. It has been a necessity for them to construct an imaginary world-order. are so their made edge that they decline to acknowldependence on blind and deaf chance.NATURE AND MAN eral. it undeniably happens that talent and circumstances meet in perfect communion. ''true" genius. The iuses. and things look very doubtful fourth. above all things. the in the fifth. for history is. always makes its way through all difficulties? they pounce with avidity on every phenomenon that argues in favor of the existence natural that they should be tempted to rely on this. where the capable reach their goal and the incompetent where they belong. worthy man Has unfailingly triumphs not the schoolmaster told them anyhow that genius. They cannot fail to see that evil powers sometimes get the upper hand. the saga of the fortunate It is quite And of this system. unknown heroes. — it has nothing to recount of the obscure genthe But now and then. [75] .

produces satisfaction. and the harmony which expresses itself between power and success. the innocent may expiate the fault of the guilty. This is retaliation. certainly is due. All harmony in large part. just the same with the idea of a Nemjustice. and the attraction which his life has exercised over men's minds.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE most striking example of this is seen in its Nalast poleon's career with the exception of phases. the justification of which we. For example we cannot see any rea- sonableness in that dispensation of Providence by which the good-natured Louis XVI was forced to make amends on [76] the scaft'old for the all mistakes and crimes which were almost . to this harmony. befate it tween It is esis. will and is valued that much more highly because rarely appears in real life. of the present day. an equalizing it In this connec- tion another place in the Bible to. but of a kind. to a material and by-gone way of belongs thinking. may be referred where speaks of the sins of the fathers being visited on the children. will scarcely acknowl- The conception that the suffering of edge.

the esteem and the influence which their descendants enjoy. But There is any number of evidences of the fact that the can be extremely advantageous to their children. one cannot do by any means. we could only show this its practical general application. committed under his predecessors. Nowadays perhaps we might have patience with this sort of retaliation as if an imperfect but unavoidable arrangement. one privileges and would be able to put together a register of sins that would form a collection as complete as could well be demanded. find it more given this would just they themselves had been penal sentence. If one were to examine the origin of certain royal houses. The misdeeds of the forefathers have borne splendid fruit in the comfort. sins of the fathers noble races and millionaire their families.NATURE AND MAN. but to them was if We granted the privilege of dying in their beds. the source of their power. But it is not to be discovered that the descendants concerned have not as a rule profited greatly by the results of these sins. [77^ A democratic long- . their wealth.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE ing for a Nemesis consoles itself by thinking that the members of such races are more ex- posed to the danger of degeneration. in that supposed to punish the fathers' sins by the misery of the children. there is one awkward thing with those [78] . If one could obtain comparative statistics. of deterioration among the proletariat is by no means less than in the highest circles of society. its administration is certainly very peculiar. can produce similar results. But this is only one of those current articles of faith in proof. Degenerate appear but of course those that have a prominent position are which repetition takes the place of more noticed than others. accompanied by undernourishment and unhealthy dwellings. in individuals all classes." that justice which nature is supposed to have taken upon herself she is to maintain. In the first place it is not vice alone that is punished by diseased off- spring: quite innocent poverty. And in the next I)lace. it would certainly be seen that the per cent. If any sort of justice is to be seen in this. And here I touch upon the subject of "physical justice.

NATURE AND MAN vices that we are here considering. But in if this be so. Hmits itself to the by no means certain results of drunkenness and sexual dissipation. It is sufficient that he takes care to do nothing to injure his health. it No. steal. one will why is the proportion between merit and award so imperfect subjection of spects only. without leaving the least injury on his children's organism. commit as many crimes as he wants he can murder. if he only observes hygienic care. they are [79] . In one of MaeterHnck's essays. cheat to his heart's content. nities lead human society? is For the simple reason that this society under the human Even standards in certain re- the best arranged commu- an amphibious existence. his issue need not fear nature's is retaliation. in which he goes into this question. So we see that it has a limited field of action and what is more it affects weakness rather than real sins. A father can to. lives in us ourselves. its native soil is the hu- man ask: consciousness. but to. he draws attention to the fact that the retahation referred possible. justice not to be found in nature.

whom one where such an expression as "chance" would be omitted from our dictionaries. too many. every social step forward ing and planned for the purpose of correctlimiting the arbitrariness of chance. of this latitude the task to narrow still more hazard. let many. in that they in life.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE still standing with one foot in a state of nature. [80] . such as that that reveals itself in death of a genius. in which we are now mere playthings and domain. Of course human beings will never reach so far and without doubt they will never be able to avert completely the meaninglessness of nathe ture. But they will be able to naregulate and master many conditions of ture. to be We to humans do not wish mere creatures something happens. whom something or other befalls. they will be capa- in the purely social ble of introducing regulations in which the ele- ment of valuation will have a it more rightful place than now has. the whole source of culture The ideal future would be lies in this feeling. Every is technical. conditions of It is our things shift for themselves.

does not lead through an easily contented optimism which sees a higher direct- ing power behind the life of communities. There is history. with which it is sometimes confounded. just as it thinks it can discover in nature a principle of goodness and wisdom. which is content with tracing causes [8i] . called the science of which reasons somewhat after the Everywhere that it finds a wise arrangement. it spies after an original aim which has guided the course of afifairs. from same fashion. sociology. a certain science. In this it differs from another branch of knowledge. Perhaps one remembers the anecdote about the lay-preacher who wisely Providence had looked after the interests of com- described to his listeners how arranging that most towns should be situated on navigable munication by large rivers.V BUT must The road in order to be to it approach this goal they above all things exacting.

but the simple methods are not always the ones that are applied from the beginning in the do: mains of both vention. it is theory and practical inmost often to be observed that scientific long and devious windings are made before one reaches a solution which proves after all And when it is a to have lain on the surface. [82] what seemed to them . The interpretation is made in accordance with is the realities lying be- fore us: this a physical adjustment which also. can be verified elsewhere in For example. in addition. Adthe pre-Darwinian view of nature. there is. herents of this view observed. in the different plant and animal species. a psychological factor from whose influence very few of us can free ourselves: the confusing influence of the accomplished fact. question of the explanation of historical phenomena.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE and therefore would conclude among other things that towns which are laid out on navigable rivers have the centers of more chances of becoming trade and commerce than some others that are not so fortunately situated. This conclusion is indeed a very natural one.

In other words: the foundation [83] . Now if we widen the scope of fate of the this observation from the simple people to the so-called history of the world.NATURE AND MAN an admirable conditions of suitability life to the surrounding and they interpreted this as a preordained harmony: it was clear to them that the environment was arranged with a view to the needs of the organism. that most people cannot inevitably imagine any other course of events. rises involuntarily. the impressive final chord of history. The development of incidents fit seems so consistent. Things are likely to appear in the same light when one looks back on a finished division of the history of a country. each in its own age. It has been forcibly said of this philosophy that all its systems have this in common. that they find. They wonder over the fact that the circumstances were arranged beforehand and the idea of a guiding thought on which the whole process has rested from the very beginning. we arrive at the philosophy of history. every link into seems to so what has gone before and what comes after.

modern in- the earlier In natural science they have got past the point of looking for an aim behind the phenomena. which are to establish the correctness of this principle. with which they are concerned. the aim of the questions any more movements of the globes. just as little as the geologist worries about the deeper meaning in the for- mation of mountains or the physicist about [84] . in regard to with the demands harmony effect. course the most beautiful agreement it undoubtedly rests on a circu- his z'itiosus. stands in the same relation to the philosophy of history as the terpretation of nature stands to one. who has not got a screw loose. Sociolog}^ which makes no claim to understanding the aim of development. of is reached but . of science. No astronomer. consist of a number of events which have led to these same results. in better It is. but confines itself to pointing out and grouping social con- ditions of cause and method.HUMAX QUIXTESSEXCE principle in from which they reason of the is to be found the results And as the facts contemporaneous age.

We all know about those historical missions that are supposed to have selected this or that nation for special prosperity and for great works. But let us agree that the matter has nothing to do with science. As a rule the question is answered in this wise. Why then should the historian seek a providence behind phenomena. and out of season therefore cannot be too highly recommended to all those who wish to make a career. [85] . for example like the French Revolution or England's colonial power or the dynasty of One should leave that the Hohenzollerns. When several races appropriate this prerogative. sort of speculation to intellectual dilettanti and professional patriots. This patriotic confession unfailingly bring applause and give the impression that the speaker or writer is a man with his heart To repeat this in season in the right place. it is not easy to decide which one of them is the supreme elect. that it is that race which has produced the prophet who is speaking and the public to whom he is making will his appeal.NATURE AND MAN that In electric forces.

repeated destruction of civilizations. must we ask. Why these wasted this oft- these frustrated attempts. But neither if is any glimpse of this one observes the progress of his- tory without prejudice. it is to be seen every day in private how many powers go to ruin without having been used. this inwhich have eternally finity of hindrances stood in the way of all progress ? Were these [86] . what a plaything each one of us is for tune the caprices of chance. to be seen.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Indeed life. how forand misfortune befall irrespective of merit. these crowds of physical and mental sufferings to which race after race have been obliged to submit? forces. Why. No wise direction can be discovered in individual fates: why should then come into activity when the common existence of society is concerned ? This would it have to mean that the hundreds of thousands of meaninglessnesses in individual life. these mountains of injustice. come to constitute a higher wisdom. how arbitrarily the good things of the world are distributed. would. why these masses of crimes. in the aggregate.

exhibits progress. history. But in order to explain this progress one does not need to assume the mediation of an extraneous power.NATURE AND MAN and devious means necessary for the attainment of this paltry advantage and could not this have been reached in a less immoral cruel and. which has an inclination to transown sense of order to things and condi- tions outside of itself. The system is to be found only human fer its brain. instead of being led see a sys- astray by pedagogical dogmas. It is true enough that. Any half-way intelligent schoolboy could point out the absurdities. For what is progress? fined it In a foregoing chapter. if his reasoning powers had been trained to healthy disrespect. less unpractical v^^ay? And yet one still hears Providence and a world-plan spoken of. on the whole. I have deas a realizing of the possibilities and [87] . to speak plainly. we who live to-day have unde- niably reached further than our ancestors in most respects. To it tem in history is really to show too much in the honor. notwithstanding all checks and recoils.

we ought to judge it on the chief points it as a natural process.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE demands of our nature. We cause. not make lightning conductors embankments. judge without admira- but also without it indignation. must be regulated by conscious historical life In human creatures have been more or less like "floating vessels that run foul of each other. and progress depends upon our taking the rudder in our Heaven does own hands as far as possible. drawing use from only the conclusions that we can do not quarrel with floods or storms. be hypercritical of history. The arbitrariness of natural processes activity. the sea does not raise . markable tries to There is nothing recreature rather it is in the fact that a human : more potentiaHty remarkable that this effort forces it reahze his own its way Naturally difficulty. for it appears chiefly as a natural process and as such idle to is with such would be necessarily And tion cumbered with imperfections." to use a Goethian comparison. but of course it is another matter that we can try to prevent the damages they to advantage. [88] for us.

NATURE AND MAN
and "development" cannot be said to take pains to satisfy our ideals. That there may be forces and powers in the secret-laden atmosphere that surrounds us, that exercise an influence on our fate, is a possibility which cannot be denied.

But as

they, at all events are

beyond our powers of perception, we must leave the unknown world alone as practically
indifferent to us,

and try

to interpret the phe-

nomena

of life about us

by the help of factors
Therefore
itself, lies in

that are accessible to experience.

the only providence that reveals

ourselves: in our maintenance of the

human

over the natural.

[89]

VI

THE away from
other,

dictum that we should try to get
a
a state of nature, impHes anconsequence that we should

as

strive to reach its opposite.
If
is

But

in

what does

one this consist? questioned about it he will answer: the opposite of nature is culture.
art.

Or, perhaps: the opposite of nature is Both answers are obvious, both are in

agreement
is

with

antithetical

usage

of

lan-

guage, only with

this difference that the first
is

more exhaustive, while the other
Culture includes
effort in the highest sense

more
huonly

directly elucidative.

all
is

man
be

and art
is

a single manifestation of this; but,

it

must

acknowledged,

the

latter

excellently

adapted to illustrate the state of opposition,
especially

when

it is

taken in a wider meaning,
artificial

including both the

and the

artistic.

The

artificial

makes amends
[90]

for nature's ex-

NATURE AND MAN
terior
insufficiency,

the

artistic

supplies

its

lack of inner coherence. of
its

It is just
life,

on account

lack of coherence that
life

as

we

see

it

about us, the

both of individuals and of

Causes and society, offends us at every step. effects stand in no reasonable relation to each

Fortune and misfortune, punishment and reward strike blindly, they are distributed
other.
at

random.

The threads

of Fate are cut in the

most purposeless manner, and historical processes which appear consistent to us, are intervisible

rupted in the midst of their progress without cause. Individuals are placed outin situations that are in the most absurd right

or most regrettable opposition to their powers and inclinations. Great events often take
place at most inconvenient
versely, fail to

appear just

moments and conwhen they may be
;

needed.

And human

can make

beings ask what they of this confusion for be it for better

or for worse, they are creatures, for whom it is not sufficient that something or other hap-

pens
it.

:

there must also be some

meaning behind

If they are religious natures, they will be
[91]

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
content In their belief that events, no matter

inexpHcable they may be, are always an expression of a higher will or wisdom. If they are philosophically inclined, they will invent a system and try to force the phenomena
into
its

how

categories.
if

But even

neither of the two,
is

they are they suspect that there
if

no meaning in things and, therefore, can make no headway in the world, as it is, nevertheless there

always a last resort left them: they can move into another world to which
is

they give a meaning and where their ideals can be realized. This more perfect world is
the artistic.
bitrariness;

Life
art
is

is

disproportion, chaos, arbalance, symmetry, con-

formity to law.
life
is

As

such

it fills

a need, which
It obliterates

incapable of satisfying.

the brutal play of blind chance, it gives liberty of action to forces and possibilities to which
life

does not grant the chance of coming into

Beethoven, lonely and unhappy as he was, found in music the purer and more beautiful world that reaHty denied him; but
their rights.

Goethe,

too,

though exterior conditions ap[92]

NATURE AND MAN
peared to him In a marvelously harmonious form, nevertheless confessed that he had
drained Hfe's cup to the
productivity.
full

For these

only in his poetic chosen spirits, art

was

their proper

homestead; but in addition to

privileged ones, there are numerous others, who resort to it to help themselves to

these

surmount

life's
life

contradictions
to us as
it

and

defects.
If the

Art reveals

should be.

natural process that life is, for the most part, could ever be organized in such a way that
existence should be recreated in the image of humanity, then art would be superfluous: for
life itself

would have become

art.

If

we wish

to account for the opposition bereality,

tween art and

we need only to examine a drama, a realistic one, if we like, for even such a one will mark the profound difference. The action of the play is a unity from which
all

inessential elements

have been extracted.
proceed

United

in a systematic whole, its acts

from

introduction to crisis

and thence to the

solution.

And

this solution is a logical conse-

quence of the peculiarities of the characters
[93]

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
and
their conflict with given conditions.

In

reahty things seldom or never take place in In the first place, there is scarcely this way.
ever seen action of such a pure culture, to
as that of

speak

biologically,
life

the

drama:

events of real

disturbing place, neither do the conflicts of

are constantly crossed by bi-circumstances. In the next
life

always

lead to a definite result: they just as often cease and come to nothing. And finally, even

though

it

should come to a result,

it is

not cer-

tain that this will

answer

to that of the play, his vio-

where the tragic

figure

must atone for

lation of written or unwritten law, or

where

the chief person of the
his

comedy acknowledges wickedness and promises to make amends
in the future.

and do better
not
the

Of course we do
end with

mean

to maintain that all plays

triumph of reason, truth and justice. There are those that, on the contrary, show us
the defeat of those powers and in this respect it seems to us that such a typical play as Henri

Becques' Ravens is especially true to life just on account of its disconsolateness. But while
[94]

The method of the first is indirect and negative. Of course it must work with natural elements and its insomuch connection with nature does not [95] . yet will always be . that of the second direct and positive. the second constructs it as it should be. On the whole.NATURE AND MAN it is true to it see that more closely. But what is common to both is the idealizing tendency which points to the imperfection of real life." is the way : The play with ferent a dark view of life really is dif- from the drama with the atonement ending only in method. if we look will pic- ture of reality." and then the conclusion "It should be otherwise. we gives us something more than a life. the first criticises that which is. We has adjusted the elements of the piece in a way that forces us to this observation: "This the society we live in looks. cannot doubt for a moment whence the author wishes to lead us he . only a question of the manner of presentation for according to its very nature all art that deserves the name will be idealistic. one can talk as it much as one will of naturalism in art.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE suffer interruption. in groups them into a whole which it fills with its own spirit. but the natural one consists in an unconscious adaptation to pre[96] . But the idealizing tendency which reaches be- yond nature always manifests itself. But on the other side. Nature shows us only fragments. art collects these fragments into an entity. in the peculiari- The arts of painting and poetry are not so abstract: they are more bound to exterior conditions than music is. have their deepest roots that moods are in the ties of human being our species. The musical cre- dependent on exterior models. which cerselects. it breeds within its own depths selfexistent values. twists it that tainly no one will attempt to explain as a sheer imitation of natural sound. it maintains its own self-assertiveness in that it and reshapes these elements. by the rise and fall of tones. and musical receptiveness. Both in nature and art a choice takes place. This freedom of art shows itself most clearly in music. the ative power is not awakened by sound and rhythm. by harmony and dissonance. himself.

whilst the artistic dominated by an overmastering feeling and aims at an idealization of given phenomena. behind the con. Goethe is said is is founded on an effort which to have remarked about Claude Lorraine's the paintings that they possessed truth. but exactly this method of representation that lends striking truth to the work. the essential. wdien the poet in drawing a type borrows lineaments from different living models which he blends into a single figure. without consideration of their value or justification. Behind the phenomena's multiplicity the fusion. original in his characteristic feature. It will it is [97] . it can certainly be said that the artist is not keeping strictly to reality.NATURE AND MAN vious circumstances. but no trace of reality. behind the casual. a coherence catches glimpses of a unity. behind the forms. highest expresartist The sion contains the entire quintessence of art. task lies in it The artist's separating the essential and mak- When the sculptor pura posely emphasizes single line in a portraitbust in order to reveal to us the nature of the ing real for us. an idea .

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE be true. But it beamed in the soul of the master and we others who ob- work have a feeling that this light significant of essential. this idea. that is one of the modes of expressing right to be. the one of the modes of expression: for just as light and heat. is a At any rate. question which none can decide. economics and technics no more than special applications of the univers[98] . electricity allied and magneof tism are closely manifestations a single power-group. so are art and science. an the something which for him was Whether that which is called essential it whether has an independent existence. is to be found nowhere serve his is in nature. dwells in things themselves. The mysterious light that shines in Rem- brandt's pictures and which has set the fancy and the brushes of so many in motion. religion and morals. Indeed the artist can present the unreal to us and yet give us truth. provided that it is successful in catching the essential. I say. as an idea it lives in our own depths and this condition is sufficient to give the art.

nor the whole. In a way. by glimpses that the poetic symbol illumines this ensemble over which philosophical thought casts an even clearness. but it advances the [99] . artist lets things remain as they are.NATURE AND MAN ally human principle of the essential. with the poet will condense itself into an action. every scientific system is an archiNeither the scientist tectonic work of art. both strive to collect scattered elements into a With it the philosopher this unity will find expression in abstract conceptions. by this individualization it is making use of an artistic element. When religion personifies the source of all things by also seen that their equips with the most perfect qualities. which it science has a woof of art wherever it reaches to a more advanced stage. just as well as the other will give us a glimpse of It is true. a destiny or a typical figure. whenever it rises superior to a mere search for facts and at- tempts to survey circumstances as a whole. It is spheres are constantly coming in contact with each other. but the one. But also the God-image. it is only the coherence of things.

the purposea masterpiece. there is no distinct line of demarcation.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE knowledge of the true in a no less degree on For science is not alone in dethat account. when it forces and in the most perfect possible har- give an impression of acts without visible waste of may mony between is the work and its result. a symphony. the useful. even a prosaic machine beauty. on the other hand. But. which strictly to many have wished separate from that of [lOO] . and just as there is none between the beautiful observation. There another domain. that of morals. Artistic arrogance has looked down upon gotten that the useful its and in so doing has for- foundation principle —the at- tainment means exactly the same artist must observe in case he wishes to create is — of the greatest effect by the simplest as that which the The ponderous. an economic system or a technical invention. the superfluous inessentials affect us less. siring truth and to be willing to limit the domain of art to beauty is a narrow method of Between the true and the beautiful. painfully. whether they appear in a drama.

and likewise that easier for us to forgive certain crimes. This accounts for the fact that nobility of aim can justify an act which would otherwise be the considered criminal. which seem objectionable in everyday life.NATURE AND MAN art. For the sight of an unusually well-equipped individual awakens an aesthetic feeling of pleas- ure which is sometimes more effective than the ethical repugnance his actions are calcuIt happens also that qualities lated to arouse. they are it is when committed by great personalities. impress and unconsciously attract us when they dis[lOl] . all What offends us in a crime is above ity its monstrosity. for example. whether it be the incongrubetween the energy summoned and the miserable aim upon which strength is squandered. or the incongruity between the worthlessness of the criminal and the significance of good which he has succeeded in destroying. egoism and hardheartedness. The old Greeks did not do so: their un- translatable "kalokagathia" comprised in one the beautiful and the good. And the relation between ethics and aesthetics cannot be word denied.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE play themselves in enormous dimensions. polity. because these are in agreement with the greatness of the figure and complete its wholeness. As we so in question of proportion plays a In fact it does decisive role in such things. purely aesthetic feelthe statement would be its and one could just as easily maintain the assertion that art is an off-shoot of morals because it can exercise an ennobling and soulOne could. limited purifying [102] . Can we therefore maintain that the con- sciousness of right. art is limited to In that case. judicial and political domains. morals Not if the in general. and statecraft wishes or at least pretends to wish. of its groups and of individuals. A sense nothing else than a desire for prois portion between merit and lot. see. the all the modifications of morals. to bring about harmony between the various its interests of society. positive right founded on a balance between utilitarian conof justice is siderations and the demand for fairness. in the social. rest on a basis of art? word ing. law-giving. with the same influence.

in thought. sometimes the kernel of things or the inner agreement or the higher unity. herence in existence. Raphael gave harmony of forms and Napoleon wished to realize it in his own existence. permanent element in phenomeWhat would be correct to place would be not any of these categories dependence to another. but to consider them all coequal revelations of a in a relation of single law of nature: the longing to find realize and de- the essential. it is sometimes called the ideal. Pythagoras saw it it in expression in the numbers. in all purposeful activity and seems to have a Proteus-like multiplicity of forms. It evinces itself in the life of the feelings. The essential is scribed by different names. doubtedly got a glimpse of [103] it when he rejoiced . My old mathematics teacher uncolor.NATURE AND MAN defend opinions like these: that religion is synonymous with philosophy because they both agree in their effort to show a coright. or that philosophy is of the nature of religion because it seeks that covered— the which religion believes itself to have dis- na's shifting mass.

But although the life. out of lines and movements. the beautiful or the useful. it was not with the idea of giving it a precedence in regard to importance in hu- man elevating of our lives which is the object of the sum total of our aims. and the lover is unconsciously seeking it when he. according to circumstances. they are not won witli the same ease as the Science is bound to facts. and is then called. the artistic or the technical-economic. religion is [104] . conto his longing. which answers can be comprehended and seized from dissimilar sides. from the metaphysical. In taking art as the point of departure and comparison. the softness of a voice. the moral. out of the play of expression on a face. The widening and results of these are just as valuable. as a rule artistic. the beaming of a pair of eyes. out of words which he makes structs a figure It into more than words.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE in the "elegant" solution of an equation. the true or the good. can be just as effectively forwarded by other means of activity. But rightly viewed these conceptions are only facets of one and the same diamond.

with words and tones and colors and forms. the other hand. in the inadequacy of his powers to realize his idea. The artist works with the lightest and most willing material.NATURE AND MAN encumbered with prejudices. statecraft must make its way between mutuallynatural hindrances opposing interests and power-conditions. indeed sometimes it is not necessary for them to assert themselves at all. [105] others gives eviinforms us of the . The human being cannot expand himself in such perfect liberty in any other direction. cannot be so wholly and Therefore art more than all entirely himself. above dence of our peculiarity. of It our struggle to attain all it the essential. in the artistic domain. Where the power is present in sufficiency. and the opposition he meets. other activities reveals the purely human in us and therefore it is also typical of the human tendency in general. in reality only lies in his own limitation. the culties On diffi- coming from without are limited to a minimum. artist is sovereign. technics have with which to struggle. the more sovereign than any other creating spirit.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE quality of our condition of opposition to nature and gives us a hint of the goal which the longing for progress should set for itself. [io6] .

[VII is ITcance superfluous to emphasize the signifithat a reliable and generally-recog- nized standard for human values would have. . And yet it is just here that a wise common tics is standard would be desirable.Where is there a criterion for the correctness [107] . opinions really agree only domain of discoveries and inventions. is not infallible. for poli- whose interference in human conditions is always the most comprehensive and not rarely the most perceptible. it is often obscured by preconceived opinions and other circumstances. However there are those who seem to deny outthe factor right the possibility of finding such a standard. and in that of politics they are constantly in opposition. As to what constitutes progin the ress. in the intellectual-scientific sphere they are already divided. instinct of The human being's mere what its nature demands.

which has an especially strong influence on the opinion that many have of society. he says. In such expressions. it is easy to trace the influence of natural science. It is the Darwinian natural-selection exercised theory. places. but the creature remains the same. can prevent the elements of society from taking the same attitude toward each other as the millforms. it has been appropriated for so-called practical [io8] politics and in . one of the most instructive textbooks I know). stone and the grain. Not until after a policy has been successful does it appear as the correct one. Struggling for existence is the is normal state of human beings. the struggle everlasting. Hellwald in his History of^ of politics? asks Culture takes a similar standpoint. In state-life.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Gumplowicz in his Sociology. (by the way. No Human beings exchange new martyrs appear in place of the old ones. forms change. He does not believe in the transforming power of re- laws nor regulations. And he answers: no criterion can be set up in advance. which are by no means rare.

because the superiority. by human idealism.NATURE AND MAN economic life for so-called free competition. be made to practical politics. and its results are partially determined by undeserved difficulties is or no less undeserved facilities. is forced to submit to the inexorableness of chance. It not very different in human society. proclaiming that might makes right and that it is necessary to adapt oneself to the given environment. inner justification. it is a mistake to refer to nature. which can only be measured by its relation to casual pre- vious circumstances. but marked by pressure. cerned. no warrant for The same objection can offers which the most distinguished support of As far as free competition is conprogress. where [109] . are certainly the social pendant to the biological process which may doms. be observed in the plant and animal kingBut it has been proven by some one is that this process imperfect from our point of view. its Now the practical politics with application of maxims. and indeed this is rejected time after time. as an is example. The struggle of the organisms is not free.

Formal it is far political equality has already been established countries and there are persevering movements on foot to complete these efforts many by a still chances. Candidates for examination. tendency seems new to us only because [IIO] The it. more effective equality in social Our modern social politics would were only the reform of a day that But it has an ancestry it to be. a rivalry tions. be some day. though only in sporadic manifestations. for the first time. participants in a duel. shows itself as the unified im- .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE that condition which a national-economic school has honored with the is name "free com- A petition" usually a caricature of freedom. in other words. parties match and gambling are usually Otherwise very placed on the same footing. offer a very doubtful foundation for predic- tions if it many that consider can be traced back to ancient history. under exactly equal external condiappears only exceptionally. really free competition. will in the great social race But possibly in it from being so. in a betting little is seen of equality at the starting place.

artificial human brain. artistic recreation.NATURE AND MAN petus of an international movement. if affected by such reasoning. has certainly lain smol- dering in the human mind since those days when and people began to think about themselves their condition. In' this were quite consistent. of thinking. all of [III] . technical perfection of given elements. in our sense of mathematics of our equality are. But the idea that animates it. on the ground that nature does not offer any analogy. be sure. can. scarcely be rejected. a demand that does not come and go in our way proportion. But when we hear the ing to secure equality in conditions sometimes described as a delusion. to products of the striv- Freedom and growths. but that has deep roots characteristic long run. we should also all have other to deny the justification of well-nigh forms of purposeful activity of — scientific search for truth. we are not necessarily fact. And the demand for the equality of individuals in initial conditions and for the unhindered expansion of their powers. in the For it is on a tidal wave. in the higher love of justice.

no matter how predominant sition it is in the compo- as is : a whole. into whose nature in some wise. which we cannot learn to understand anyhow. but rather seek own we can the clew in the study of man. above these impulses. while the stone takes second place. is to realize our In such questions let us not look to nature. we do not exist for the purpose of carrying out natural-scientific programmes: the point natures. if I which the decisive element. one observes that there a human is quintessence. reshaping and renewing them. However. the lower impulses [112] . obtain an insight. And is as one studies. To use a com- parison: the ore gets its name from the metal it contains. human not the What makes impulses we share a human with other creatures a special impetus that stands no. the impetus that urges us to bring our exist- ences and the conditions about us into agreement with an ideal picture we bear in our hearts. With most of us. may call it so.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE which are things to which there are certainly no parallels in the rest of nature. regulates and modifies it is I mean them.

s physicalare so constituted psychical make-up. is not a natural one. the sheer human Impetus Is weak painted In dull colors and But It Is usually present In some form or other and It should be added that. but can only say. but at least. With our limited knowledge of psycholwe cannot demonstrate the exact cause We One dares not assume that this it is is the only possible one. of this peculiarity. If we con- [113] . In no matter how dissimilar forms the is and the picture blurred outlines. that is to say. If ferently constituted the only —for we were difexample. selfthe creature that is contradiction and waste of forces. ideal reveals itself. Every not abnormal finds pleasure in harmony. Why is it so? ogy. while he Is repelled by disharmony. It it is In reality always one aims at a state that Is orig- inally not of this world. that it must depend on the human being'. but which peculiarity in Is a reflection of a human organism. and the same. that we strive after and are satisfied by proportion. one to which we are adapted. consistency and functional capability.NATURE AND MAN predominate.

between these categories cannot be obliterated and the essential in us is corroborated in all domains without exception. Statecraft should be the human art in an ele- eminent sense. of colors.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE ceived of space as having four dimensions^ probably our entire conception of proportion would be disturbed. we would not only have a different geometry but also different aesthetFor the connection ics and different ethics. the artistic enjoyment of rhyme and rhythm. its ideals cannot be different from the universally human. the technical-economic satisfaction over the application of energy and effective power with their reciprocal equipoise. understood as the art of vating the human being. of the accordance mysterious harmonies. of [114] awakening his in- . for which speech has no words these phenomena all have a common origin. the moral need of an adjustment between a deed and its consequences. of glimpses of — And insomuch as statecraft also is an ex- pression of the human spirit. The intellectual pleasure in the coherence of things. of the symmetry of forms.

because things have been and are so. Sociology looks too long at actual conditions and is led astray to the mistaken conclusion that. The artist in words. gradually to the human element. to tones and lines will materialize the essential for us. There are criteria for the correctness of the statecraft sought in and they must be specifically human.NATURE AND MAN ner powers to actuality. formation of what to come : here they have their firm point of departure and of support. But even in the the natural come selves to greater and greater expansion its in our- and extend sway over the w^orld that [115] . the task of the artist in realize it humanity is in life. The fact that the instincts of the natural state have in political practice is such a wide scope the only thing that constill fuses the conceptions. in that it brings about a proportion between social conditions and human possibilities. cism of what is. they must continue to be social domain of must practice. That this give way should win ground. that the essential should so for all time. just as Critiis criteria for all other values are sought.

And on this tion a principle of valuation can be built. T116] . widely speaking.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE surrounds us is. the common founda- formula of progress. the general application of which would exercise the most effective influence on the organization of human life.

WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND .

.

there are pictures by Michael poems by Goethe. s)miphonies by Beethoven. that they are the last word in art. inventions are outstripped.WHY POLITICS goes its LAGS BEHIND LIFE the way. we do not raise any questions about progress. certain productions elevate themselves. the old longing is replaced by new. Principles become by-gone. productions which seem to form exceptions to the rule of transitoriness. social orders disappear and give place to others. it is true. There are revelations of days which have preserved Angelo. art from Grecian their validity thou- sands of years. the for progress is everywhere setting itself a more distant goal. In the midst of all these changes. under the influence of which. not that after them it is vain to seek new forms or [119] Not .

one must take account as well of factors which lie outside of the human. Therefore progress plays quite a different role in the field of science and tech- nics than in that of art. in its it ap- pears to us the highest point. indeed human now and it. the conditions of work are less free: individuality is not exclusive master. for festations. but in recompense there is to be found no scientific nor techno- [120] . at an early day it was able to reach a high.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE new content. art it human temperIn order to produce the perfect in for a personality to appear. of facts of the exterior world which are incessantly being influenced by a changed and widened knowledge. because they in their respective ways have reached the extreme limit of In a way art can be incapabiHty. in science or technics. but because they of their kind represent the perfect. mani- depends only on the human being himself. materializing that In other departments. dependent of time. on the expansion of ament. then. is sufficient one with who a unites unusual intellectual powers gift marked for which stirs in his soul.

be said in regard to the scientific and technological productions of every period that they. at least in their own day. have furnished the [121] . no political edifice which one day will not fall to pieces or be overthrown. at least to be corrected and perfected by later results will be the invariable fate. While and technics involuntarily strive after progress and there is no possibility of their wishing to revert to more primitive stages. Insomuch there seem to be similarities present. to be excelled. a discovery or invention A never indicates a completion valid in itself.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND an absolute mean- logical master-piece in such ing of the term as an artistic one can be. turns to the domain of politics. a hypothesis. political process can sometimes express itself as reaction and its changes are not always And while it may necessarily improvements. one meets also the same inconstancy. to be pushed aside. theory. its which in the long run re- tains value. there is If one now no political system. but at the same time there are differences which science one can not help noticing.

as we well know from history and as we often see even in our own day. not destroyed and how many human powers has it not repressed. but it may also show itself as flatly inimical to culture. that a period when the tendency toward progress even in is political questions predominant. in other words do not keep up with the adjustments and methods of procedure. Neverin have become Admit we live that things — — theless it cannot be denied that. we see many political conditions which give a more or less ancient impression. better. Science and technics. how often has it not appealed to bad instincts and reaped happiness has it its own advantage by and holding the people in ig- norance bondage. as well as art. when we look about us. statecraft is not It is true it can effect necessarily so. an advance in culture and in the widest ex- when it undertakes to do so. politics has very seldom reached even such a relative stage of perfection.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE measuring rod for the highest conceivable knowledge or skill. which would [122] . are undoubtedly identical with culture. How much human tent.

Things would be in a bad way if those activities had progressed no further than the footsteps of a layman. art. however enlight- ened his judgment. that undertakes to elevate the level of the culture-consciousness. the That there exists in general is public a culture-consciousness political practice of fact. itself. and the technical inventions that increase our for demands short. [123] Experience has . one can scarcely imagine the possibility of a similar condition.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND be quite consistent with the demands of present day enlightenment. which In in advance of the is statesmen. But in statecraft we take the its it almost as a foregone con- clusion that culture-consciousness must that shape itself by own efiforts. scientific research that widens our intellectual horizon. an incontestable science in or technics. its In here its is the profession men and productions. is Fortunately the opposite the case: it is the artistic production that educates our view of art. convenience it and expediency. that it is it leads and the profession that comes after and usually with reluctance.

This typical conflict between tradition and the demand for culture all is the chief motive in the history of reforms and of most revolutions. til which gradually grows stronger unable to enforce its will. it is A voluntary coming from above. and unswerving minor- no longer willing to suffer it. of the [124] . in the directing body. such as has been executed by the late Japanese em- work of progress peror. so that the opposition between the existing and the desirable state of things penetrated more and more deeply into men's minds and the incon- gruity at length was felt as so unreasonable or so intolerable that the majority or perhaps just as often an intelligent ity. is one of the greatest rarities.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE taught us that as a rule improvements in this domain do not originate in those who should be nearest to them. has been that here and there course usual The new ideas appeared which could not be reconciled with certain time-honored conditions. but that the initiative is usually taken by an outside opinion. It lay at the bottom of the great French Revolution in 1789. brought about a change.

shows how imperfect The they present very modest claims. since that time self has asserted it- with rising intensity in the domain of social-economics and.WHY different POLITICS LAGS BEHIND for liberty all over movements Eu- rope in the nineteenth century. form of government Until about 1848. begun to play a part in foreign poli- struggle for culture self over the whole line but . it has likewise cies. the control of Parliament and other purely constitutional it questions. it was concerned almost exclusively with the rights of citizens. The now it stretches it- would be a misis take to conclude from this that there particular exactingness any in the people of to-day. an expression of it in of system and in the attempts see ative and to-day we the Turkish changes at a representin Russia. The subjects of conflict are for the most part such as really should no longer be problems. in recent decades. that they nevertheless still await their solutions only tice still political pracnations are far from being spoiled in this direction and as a result of this is. [125] In the more .

in international politics.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE backward when harm and they are even grateful the ruling classes do not do too much countries. that is to say. Diplomacy had at last submitted to an arrangement which in reason could not be otherwise." as the papers again and again pointed out. For the treaty contained no more than what the parties could have agreed upon when the affair arose. had not been at all necessary. a cloud which time after time had threatened it with war. ample of saw an exthe Franco-German We Morocco agreement. that was all. it is consid- ered sufficient they act in agreement with average public opinion. This proved that the cloud which hung over Europe for years. in more advanced if lands. As every newspaper [126] . As might be expected this contentment is evinced particularly in that field of statecraft that has been the last to be affected by the current of this lately in culture. was praised from all quarters in loud tones and that just because it indicated a triumph for "sound common sense. The press acbut none the less the result knowledged it.

WHY a POLITICS LAGS BEHIND reader knows. This basis for appreciation is characteristic. is almost invariably meets pioneering efforts in music and art with lack It of understanding. if one imagines the same process of valuation applied to achievements of a different kind. no sig- nificant work is produced as the result of obsense alone. here it reaches no further than for bare requirements. for in this and in similar arts. If it had always been allowed to rule. thought to dismiss the theory of the descent of [127] . why it is so will be easily understood. we should live and die in the belief that the earth stands still in the it heavens. ridicule or opposition. the It new and unusual. Let one attempt to congratulate a poet or a scientist by saying his work is an expression of common it sense: I surmise that he would take as a doubtful compliment. one of the best testimonials to political act is to say that it accords with this common sense. likely to Toward miss fire. And quite rightly. serving sound common With all the advantages which in other respects can be attributed to it.

ele- technics. it declared the . the broad fulcrum for the politics. we have come no is further than to be- lieve that the satisfaction of the demand for sound common sense ideal of culture. vation of culture. repents and appropriates as its own. it may become In in art. the same results when they are no longer quite new. on the other hand. the very its The day demands shall be realized in their entirety. Let us only imagine the tremendous disarrangement that would take place. it railroad to be a method of transportation withIn this out a future. science. for as time goes on. becomes quite it oblivious of this fact.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE man with witticisms first boat at looked upon the steamas an absurdity. the summit. way but it it is constantly making itself ridiculous. the greatest of all revolutions will be consummated. then. if the realization of one single demand slwuld be accomplished the demand that is expressed in the famous formula of — Saint-Simon —that every to indi- vidual shall be capabilities made use [128] of according to his his and rewarded according . At and best.

It is. in fact. But in it. just so complicated are they. that the taxpayers' money should be used for productive purposes rather than for armis ample: that peace to be preferred to ies tle and fleets . are connected with so many difficulties its that most people doubt the possibility of accomplishment. Even now ternational that the opposition to concluding in- arbitration agreements has been [129] .WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND performances. that it is more reasonable to set- quarrels by the courts than to decide them by the power of arms these are extremely simple truths. when it comes to execution. For ex- war. we are constantly sinning against and not only that: attempts toward its practical application are generally decried and. But when they are state-logic comes into the into game transformed problems. in any case. No in sentence could be more in- more son. a characteristic of statecraft's cultural demands. which all reasonable people ac- — cept. telligible. in principle all life keeping with right or reacan agree to it. that in proportion as they are simple to understand.

[130] .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE abandoned and these have become general. in the beginning of the twen- tieth century. never has the disinclination for war been more widespread. The whole world longs for reductions and relief in this quarter. it seems that. they simply had to let it drop. but in the meantime the running- match continues burden of debt at a rising rate of speed. ferences could not agree upon absolutely obligatory arbitration and as far as the question of the limitation of armament is concerned. in official quarters. and diplomacy. provides them with a clause which makes them ineffective in just those serious cases where The two Hague Conthey are most needed. but nevertheless it cannot be maintained that the danger of war is any less now. than in any previous period. the deficit in their budgets also and no one can say when or how this condition will Never has any period been be terminated. the in the different countries is in- creased. able to show a movement toward peace like the modern one. they are still looked upon as a sort of dangerous tool to be handled with care. as a rule.

And we live under conditions where such a thing at may happen any time.WHY That it is POLITICS LAGS BEHIND always present was proved not long since when the commotion in the Balkans came within a hair's breadth of setting Europe afire. Notwithstanding this premood of peace. Whether or not Austria wanted war is doubtful. and Russia. A all little we more excitement in Belgrade. It is a fact that in foreign affairs. we are subject to the power [131] . a blunder on the Servian boundary line and circumstances would have proved themselves stronger than the will of the people. Now is not the mere possibility of such a condition a humiliation for our time? A war which is thought to be demanded by hard necessity may pass. France and Italy decidedly did not want it. every single one of dominating these countries. but it is monstrous that four or five great states and several hundred millions of civilized human be- ings should be forced into a struggle which does not coincide with their interests. might easily have been drawn into a warlike whirlwind. but Germany was hardly desirous of it. England. as know.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE that to it we call "the situation" and take it we are so used that thinking we how I as a necessity without it uncharitably reveals the in- sufficiency of our political machinery. they must not announce themselves at all in so far as it is within the control of this human power. in short. our culture-consciousness demands that every it is its effort be made to insure the life [132] and limbs of . we hear nothing of them. when it is a question of civic health measures or regulations for industrial works. to whom x it occurred to maintain the unforeseen stant factors of traffic? as one of the concertainly in We demand that traffic shall be managed accordance with a plan. portation of people or freight in a similar way. which has calculated and combined all elements beforehand so that such things as situations will ought not to arise: theoretically. We reason in when we are speaking of the transway . we do so wherever a risk is precautionary present. situation" — 'The of wonder what one would say railroad authorities. Our day insures itself in all direc- pride to limit the scope of chance. tions.

WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND every individual and it seems rather preposterous that we should renounce our demands and abandon ourselves to the mercy of chance when the welfare of whole nations and states is concerned. Not only international politics but this. which we must social daily fight. as a rule the reply is: none and all. are all trade. are in the fewest cases called forth de- . its possibility we human beings who created but we do not always master it : on the contrary. very often it is it that masters As if we did not have enough to do in us. tame and regulate. If one asks who is the originator of such a political situation. dealing with the powers of nature. our social economics also bear witness to The money-market. capital and labor factors which we sometimes see sud- denly crises beyond our control. we have it created for ourselves a counterpart to conditions in over which we no longer have absolute mastery and which sometimes overpower us with the arbitrariness of a natural force. The great which visit the business world at interget [133] vals. It is .

the working classes self-consciousness and self- assertion. few profit by them but one fine day they are there. one has wished them. most cases. . but this has not kept pace with the de[134] . as a rule they rise of themselves. inexorable. to to But they have united produce a chaos of powers and endeavors which no ordering spirit. has brought unity or systematic direction.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE liberately. It is here that economic politics should take the lead. Of course it should be just the opposite. if the explanation is correct. in over-production —which. unexpected. the revolutionizing of the processes of production and the perfecting of the means of transportation: each of these circumstances has marked an advance. would indicate that it is really the product that rules the producer. No to look for their causes in and think to find them. up to this time. increase and The enormous awakening to augmented circu- lation of floating capital. And then we begin so to speak. but we are obliged to acknowledge that the complex of conditions which constitute our social economics overmasters us only too often.

tariff protection is the most stamped by the sheerest organized.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND velopment of private economics. society is it nomically lives if A he empties water from his window into the street. He runs the risk of imprisonment. [135] . can cause a panic. but the same man. a bank-failure. empiricism. even sums by circulating a purposely misleading reHe port in regard to the Canadian corn crop. unis man fined hindered by law or established custom. but ecoin mediaeval irregularity. as when the operation is due to an obwhen a number of Wall Street speculators. The interference of the state in economics is Hmited essentially to fiscal measures. made enormous that. Constitutionally. but it may be a perfectly lawful proceeding for him to put several millions of other people's money into his pockets. groping social which. a few years ago. for legislation and a part. if (nota bene!) this takes place on the exchange and vious trick. if he appropriates some one's else pocketbook. administratively and politically. a strike or a lockout which brings confusion to the interests of thousands of people.

the absurdity of are fruits which any child can see. deep down in us to the culture-consciousness which wishes to attain order in things every- where. They point to- ward where the union and methodical application of forces will have replaced present conditions.HUxAIAN QUINTESSENCE does not attempt to lie in wait on the highway. unsafe and uneconomic as they at a future [i3^>] . certainly not in the direction of justice. as the robbers of the feudal age did. All these undertakthis time ings. We see this especially in the United States. and boldly plunder peaceful citizens. And strangely enough it is the trusts themselves that are the guides here. the hot-bed of the trusts and we see there also how little the public up to has accomplished against the abuses of these combinations. of a laisses-faire policy which is losing ground preordained to more and more and which is For it is opposed disappear. a just and expedient regulation of hu- man conditions. but in the direction of expediency. but he can become a member of a monopoly and as such can help to levy a contribution on a whole community with impunity.

Think the difficulties connected with an affair that itself as legally ordained ar- bitration in disagreements between workmen and their employers. socialism though from quite different motives. The trusts are is. come.WHY bottom their are. but before it becomes so. are attempting to bore a passage through a tunnel. hazardous production. It is not without cause that governments and parliaments are in the habit of being extremely cautious in interfer- ing with things of fundamental significance to [137] . otherwise so different in nature. can insomuch be compared to two bodies of workmen which each from its own side. there are many The day will certainly hindrances only of so reasonable in must be overcome. when the organization of social economics will be a fact. their destructive competition and their burdensome accompaniment of parasitic middleman. The longing to away from more and more get this confusion asserts itself imperatively. a further manifestation of the same tendency and these two powers. one expression of this need. POLITICS LAGS BEHIND with their schisms and frictions.

The same lack of consistency is often seen in internal politics: that a reform is generally acknowl[138] . which the people would be more than glad to avoid. or of the bringing about of a state of justice that would prevent wars. Proposals for remedies meet with so many objections that. wall of opposition is immediately A raised. business crises. of replowing the very earth that breeds these social-economic weeds. agree upon beforehand.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE the economic regime : they know that there are no enterprises more deHcate to handle and that they may run the risk of putting their hands That speculation frenzies. one might believe that dangers of war and military expenses are considered precious benefits to which we should cling. when a mountain of scruples. suspension of work and glutting of the market are not beneficial phenomin a wasp's nest. Exactly as there is a question of the limitation of is armament. all we tion of uprooting the evil. if one did not know any better. But the agreement ceases as soon as there is a quesena. which felt as such a burden by the people of Europe.

Prussia. which serves no purpose except to thwart the work of the representatives of the people. no one system is about to celebrate In England. from its very introduction. as prophesied. but the agitatory movements against this inherited right of representation have. in any large Now why is it that in politics things [139] . up is to this time. come to nothing and if. they have been put up year after year and it remains to be seen whether a reform can be effected degree. that this factor. been a negative has Lords the House of long can deny. election by classes has. been looked upon as an absurdity by the large majority.WHY edged that it POLITICS LAGS BEHIND to be cheap and beneficial. but the country continues to In be all afflicted with a tax-system which is not at democratic and in spite of the fact that an overpowering majority would profit by an adjustment of the taxes. democracy has prevailed for a generation. it is certainly not too early. France. does not mean In will always be put into execution. its sixtieth birthday unshaken. but nevertheless. a near future will put an end to the veto of the Lords.

since not neces- this. social are generally much more difficult to solve is: problems than in technical ones. In politics. which is an opposing element: the improvement of institutions depends ultimately on human beings themselves. as in technics. when a jutting crag makes a road impassable away. human beings are in the habit of going about things more or less rationally. it could — be done sary in the more it is easily. When a flood threatens. as we know. they blast the obstruction they do not always act And —so should a yet all in a theorist think it is corresponding way.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE cannot always be arranged In the way the majority really wishes and which the demands of reason seem also to suggest? This can be answered by a reference to the influence of conservatism. to take account of nature. the same In weight is not attributed to conservatism. in other domains. they build a dam. other respects. Very well. but one cannot over- look the fact that. Nevertheless. But the question does their difficulty lie? immediately reply: it does not [140] what And then we must lie so much in .

can finally be com- prehended technically. Strictly speaking. Nor is there. political all social questions. ought to be possible to calculate the proportion between what a man gives and what he receives. [141] . and of social any dissimilarity between technical progress: both aim at the removal hampering circumstances. to a comparison which exIt presses an accurate proportionateness. in that they reduce themselves to the pure and simple elimination of the — complex on of these so-called problems are far from superfluous or harmful things. that of forces. in the large majority of cases down to a fine point. be referred to a mathematical formula. they are of a pathetic simplicity. we should be able to treat computatively practically international. as ple are inclined to assume and as professionals like to make themselves and others believe.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND most peo- their purely professional ordering. specific social phenomenon. Many contrary. at bottom. the avoidance of the increase of the useful activity Even the demand for justice. between merit and social lot. collisions. and social-economic.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE When the individual factors are known. Calculation for proof tivity is and guidance. to create the conditions. should proceed here with the same liberty of thought as that with which one plans a piece of engineering work or improves a piece of machinery. if sense alone it would accomplish a great [142] were al- . to construct the arrangements. one would attain analogous results also. in the regulimited it lation of details. But is it is just exactly liberty of thought that lacking. : But its field of ac- plays a decisive part only in matters of secondary importance. The exact method has never yet been exclusively determinative in any of the great questions that arouse the feelings of If one nations and states. that u^ould bring about a minimum of inconvenience and a maximum of efsometimes. Even plain common deal. classes and parties. fectiveness. applied also to the social domain: we see indeed how statistics are being used more and more is. it seems as though it ought to be possible to discover the most perfect form for their cooperation.

so long as it is concerned with sense. treated. nor the subjugation or turning to account of natural forces. it life. statecraft would exclusively accommodate itself to the principles of tion. to the logic of calculato the demands of justice and expediency. It expresses itself here in different guises. It is an ele- ment of that asserts itself in many departments but in none so strongly as in the political. but they often recoil before its con- sequences. would be quite inexplicable. But the fact that people will not always use their common full do they always dare nor are they always permitted to do so. the downright follies by which they sometimes allow themselves to be governed. when social The obvious conditions are being contradictions with which these conditions are encumbered. If human be- ings were pure creatures of reason. But these objective points of view are constantly combatted. if one did not take into ac- count this psychical peculiarity. they are obscured or led astray by a subjective element.WHY lowed is POLITICS LAGS BEHIND opportunity to dictate. [143] . They give it unlimited scope. number.

as regard to might-conditions. submission. prejudicial. one traces every single one of these manifestations back to its cause.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE shows results now in active. hypnotizing operations. All imper- fections in our social order have a common source: both the persistency with which they are enforced and the long-suffering with which they are endured. side. belong under one and the same category of influences. They are due to certain obstructive. the totality of which can be included under one universally valid definition. And draw this is a point to which should like to attention. one tradition. authori- tativeness. struggle for interests as sluggishness. if But will finally find that they all have their roots in the I same soil. [144] . now in passive forms: on the one as passion. namely. on the other. attachment to .

it muffles But the realities of things most decoratively. observing that state constitutions and law sys[145] . while in comparatively ad- vanced internal social arrangements. Every one. This juridical-moral dress changes with circumstances: in the less pro- gressive foreign policies it often limits itself to the barest fig-leaf.II is ITfact scarcely necessary to emphasize the that might-conditions have ahvays played a significant part in the life of communities. But he is also garb of law. might begins to be ashamed of its nakedness and gradually assumes the other benefits. the inner organization of the people. if one looks more cannot avoid one carefully. oppression and all kinds of encroachment have determined the boundaries of countries. who has read his history. knows how wars. the distribution of the land and aware that as culture advances.

it exI absolutely unveiled forms. ratifications of time- honored might-conditions. fundamentally. privileged classes enjoyed. It is true. aim at protection of the weak and this phenomenon looks like a partial refuta- tion of the validity of the might-theory.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE terns are. organizations are now being formed. tation. which on the other hand. mention such a preferential measure as the exemption from taxation which the will only To him that hath. shall be given was a saying under the old regime and we see that it is still in force: as is the composition of certain Upper Houses an expression of the point of view which believes that the classes that already are at an advantage. At all periods. [146] But . an addition of of In short. hibited itself in In former days. socially politically also be guaranteed and economically should an extra represeninfluence. legislation has been an exponent of the con- ceptions of society held by those in power and has been used by them as a means of protecting their special interests. the other object aimed at by these institutions has been protection the strong.

are on the point of becoming strong. be sure that the day the masses should attain We an absolute victory. The various mod- ern movements in the spirit of humanitarianism and democracy would not have been conceivable without that displacement in mightconditions wdiich actually has taken place and is still in progress. in reality. it is be- cause they are no longer so weak as they once were. If the less well-off classes in their hands. there frage been a question of the fair adjustment of taxes which now constitutes a standing subject of had not got the w^eapon of sufwould never have can parliamentarian politics of finance. are protected nowadays.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND If the weak the contradiction is only apparent. they would advance the unadorned interests of the common people just as partially as the earlier ruling classes have [147] . the social legislation which the present day boasts of would still belong among pious wishes. If workmen with their unions had not become a power of which the ruling class must take account. it is because they. if their interests are not left out of consideration either.

The party management and the trades unions of the socialists lay claim to a coercive power which is not behind that upheld by the civic organs of state. between capitalism and socialism. they are on an equality." a view which has labor the real at meaning it of the term ''work" or any rate to give kinds of activity. One had a taste of this in Paris under the openly maintained the supremacy of the proletariat in accordance with the principle that the lower classes are the counterpart in the socialistic inclination to consider manual its Commune which "people. and inso- much as they all employ measures of might. in accordance with own In this respect. in its a precedence over other Every factor which enters into public affairs will attempt to form society its is own image and needs. there no dis- similarity between monarchy and democracy.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE supported the privileges of birth and wealth. municipal to governments do not disdain [148] make use of . And on the other side. The great revolution did not go about things any less despotically than the monarchy it overthrew.

It is with them just as piously it is with the itself it Roman Church which crosses over the violence to which thinks —the public quisition its list has been subjected by the French Resame church which has the in- and thousands of burned heretics on and which shows itself to of sins be animated by the darkest intolerance where it has liberty of action. parties. [149] . — On this point we ought in reality to exempt the anarchists. classes or masses they cannot reproach each other on the subject of the misuse of power. join On this occasion all Poles anew in their complaint about they do not take heed of the fact that they themselves are unusually vigorous oppressors. Be in all cases it religions or nationalities. their oppressed nation. if hundred-year-old song of but they can only get at something to oppress: only see how they have mistreated the Ruthenians it in Galicia.WHY socialistic POLITICS LAGS BEHIND methods when they serve their purpose: even conservative Prussia has recently given an example of this in its expropriation law against the Polish-born landowners of the eastern provinces.

it is . There are those who wish to coerce by means of terrorism. But not all anarchists are consistent. sovereigns. they are but follow. deny the justification of any sort of coercion. It is true that the anarchists attempted to take human life show a contempt for it but in this. governors and generals prefer to direct theirs downwards and the deeds that the former commit on a small [150] while . who have ing famous examples.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE those who. who think they can prepare for the happiness of future humanity no more effectively than by regaling a number of contemporaneous fellow-creatures with dagger-thrusts. The only difference is that anarchists like to direct their death-blows upwards. in theory. has gone down to posterity as a hero and a martyr. bombs or revolver-shots. Orsini. certain ones of them do not neces- sary on that account to represent them as unBombs especially have paralleled monsters. but we must not forget that the national-liberal bomb-thrower. Anarchists least of but if all should resort to violence so. brought them into disrepute.

assertion was made with a view to the rocal attitudes of Prussia The recipit is and Austria. about the [151] . to speak mildly. And yet it contained no more than the corroboration of a fact. When Bis- marck proclaimed that the great questions of the time would be decided by iron and blood the effect of the statement was. It is however allowed policies. foreign the leading although in circles here also like to ornament acts which would be considered between men as assault and robbery. But as I have already hinted a certain dread of seeing these things in all their as an employment for the attainment of nakedness is prevalent. and certainly a time-old experience that in quarrels between states might is the ultima ratio.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND by way of eminence. with illusory shibboleths about the honor and welfare of the nation. in case of need. But we are not used to such frankness as Bismarck's. So statecraft shows of instruments of power purposes of power. comitself scale. most disconcerting. the latter have. mitted at wholesale.

we can Spinoza expressed by unbiased by personal conread it in the writings of philosophers and sociologists. No. we must not expect to hear it from those ruling. should like to see the statesman open-hearted enough to acknowledge that the internal policy of his country was power and by them alone. . it is true. reveal These outsiders have been able to what statesmen must keep [152] to themselves. inspired by purposes of Not that there has ever been any scarcity of statesmen that have arranged matters on this basis.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE But I cause of justice or cultural necessities. for they attack existing might-conditions. as Hobbes or this point. nor must we expect it from the leaders of the opposition. the full truth is only among the elder or Gumplowicz and Anton Menger among the modern. truth in regard to it the significance of power in state-life. but none of them has wished If to confess we wish to hear the full unreservedly. on men who have been siderations. but only to replace them by others. to name only a few among the expositors of che theory of might. for they would risk too much in betraying it.

WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND or else run the risk of losing the hold they may have on their contemporaries. such as the monarchical principle. republican idea. In order to rouse the masses to greater action. Even a genius like Napoleon : could not rule by the language of might alone he had to strike the strings of feeling. France's gloire. of a higher authority. Much less can the mediocre ones. does not do this. that it do without the light And so it has come implies pretty general suffering. but with he persuaded hundreds of thou- sands to go to death for him and his plans. lawful order. His- tory bears witness to a constant sacrifice of the life and happiness of innumerable human beings to things. political [153] the . one must talk to their hearts and their imaginations and a politician who appeals to sheer power only. national independence. invoke this appeal. France's greatness. though this as a rule has this peculiarity. which at first sight appear to be abstractions. about that might-conditions have ever3^where become identified with the general welfare. who usually direct the fate of countries. civic liberty.

civillzational missions. But behind these abstractions. "America for Americans! No dependence on foreign countries! No for expense of home This has been the industry!" war-cry of the protectionists in the United States. political or economic. an infinitheirs. but a rule these people constitute a coterie. a mere handful of people. very tangible reahties are hid- And when we must certain people incessantly exhort us to show idealism in the affairs of society. and the profit to the foreigner at the masses have followed and have been obliged to bear the burdens of war but the profits have it . self-interest and the covetousness power surround themselves with the national nimbus. [154] .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE and den. As tesimal minority. especially when they play on the patriotic instrument. Wherever it is a question of procuring advantages. the fatherland must bear the brunt of the battle. not believe that this towers idealthis high over the lowland of interest: the ism they demand consists namely in that — we shall serve not our own mterests. Nevertheless they can operate successfully.

to offer sacrifices for alleged necessities. the railroad magThe nates. which are only invented by high-born dilettanti or officious. Suppose human beings [155] . and in Russia the idea that the power of the Czar an excellent thing has been beaten in with the phraseology which teaches that autocis racy is When a local arrangement in "Holy Russia." will people become sensible enough not to listen to arguments of this sort? It is a tragi-comedy to see how they are driven to enthusiasm for so-called "ideas" which properly viewed amount to no more than other people's interests. the manufacturers and trusts." although the system as far as that is men knew were doing when they high-tariff pretty well what they concerned is employed in Eu- rope also.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND accrued to the coal barons. man Just as one hears the North Gersquires maintain their shameless demands imder the boast of being the original Prussians. christened their policy the "American system. a passionate part in questions and causes which are not of the slightest interest to take to them personally. professional politicians.

they must get them from outside and there is a rich supply in the excitement of politics. Admit that the source is muddy. but as they can find nothing in themselves. their thirst more intense life acknowl- edge that the matter can be observed from this But this does not exclude point of view also.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE should some day decide to discard all this irrelevant trumpery. Left themselves they would sink into tedium. the fact that would be preferable available energy which seems bound it if this to ex- [156] . They need a certain amount of impulses and sensations. to work each for his own happiness and his own perfection and not worry himself over any other common affairs than those that answer to the general require- ments ? Would not powers applied in this way is result in a total sum It of useful activity far besocial yond that which the present able to produce? system thought is be objected that this only a chimera. because most people may are not so made that they have sufficient in themselves to live their to own lives only. I it nevertheless after a partially quenches of feeling.

that it can secure weight for itself on account of the enormous numbers of ditions its inhabitants. For example nothing can be said against the fact that England has brought Egypt under its sway. and not the exof oppression. for hereby possibilities have been realized which the native inhabitants of the country would never have helped accord. [157] ternal fact Just because op- .WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND press itself in the form of public spirit. one which is less efficient in all respects except just this. It is the con- forward of their own trary with the Russian supremacy in Finland. if this entire supply of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice should be transferred to a more worthy aim dis- than the maintenance and forwarding of guised might-conditions. here we see one of Europe's most efficient com- munities repressed and subdued by the political organs of another country. It is this inner contradiction that makes might-conan object of criticism. It is quite true that certain power-condi- tions are not necessarily objectionable in themselves. should be led in a more sensible direction.

ancient Greece and could not have produced the masterpieces which are a benefit and joy to us to this very day. Without slavery. that should thrive at least some place than that at all. should not come to any expansion it under such conditions was to the inter- est of progress that the one class should be kept while the privileged people supported themselves at its expense. indeed acknowl- edged that slavery was a cultural necessity in those places where work was limited to manual employments exclusively and where. its in conse- prodiictivity was more than a bare ture demands a and as it is livelihood to too slight to yield For as culall. Not until the economic and the con- Rome comitant cultural motive for personal bondage had disappeared. certain degree of well-being it better. if only in one order. sible to defend it even where It is it has appeared in the grossest form. quence. it does not follow It has been found posthat it is condemnable. so that at least those down chosen ones could practice the arts of civilization. it in a nation. not until this bondage had be[158] .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE pression is found to exist.

if the But why should one other helpless creature [159] really not is not capable . unfitfeel the necessity if They of being dependent. that to say.WHY come POLITICS LAGS BEHIND its purposeless. At the present day there are no more slaves nor serfs. they that supply the re- spectable citizens. its moral justification as an institution. did is moral justification also cease. the hurrah-shouters. or with people who are attacked by indisposi- cannot live tion when they breathe It is in the lighter air of the high mountains. of course. the victims of war. they are to be compared with those submarine organisms that except under an enormous pressure. entangled ted for independence. but there are enough of unfree souls fettered by prejudices. It is true that Kant do thinks that no one should use another creature as a tool. in a blind faith. might always be immoral. so. the vot- ing cattle. they seem as if created to be material for politics and they are also treated as such. would not feel at ease the yoke were taken away. especially when borne by individuals whose talent and it character rose above their conditioii. for in individual cases.

Has one thought how the fact that the [160] . Our reason does not rebel at seeing one a hammer and the other an anvil. But this is an indispensable requirement and what offends us in so many might-conditions is that they turn right and reason on end. And yet I believe that most people are not quite aware of the entire extent of the injuries and losses which these arrange- ments have caused of in the course of time.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE of being anything more than a only a tool? The Kantian dictum is dogma of feeling. that they let subordinate spirits do just as they please and prevent their superiors from expressing themselves in acts. hinders and limits the selection of forces. I do not need to spend many words on the might-condition which in the form of direct or prescriptive privileges. that they put people in the wrong places. When the barriers suddenly fall as they did in the great French Revolution one sees for the first time what an overwhelming supply of talents has lain hidden. if only both are suited to their respective roles. is This indeed a subject that has been treated time without number.

that promotions to leading positions are made according to senFor seniority iority to such a wide extent? a might-condition and it represents "often. has been recruited in accordance with the most narrow-minded delayed for class-consideration. In America. if higher administrators. When sclerosis announces time of activity begins and there can be no doubt that the growth of soitself his ciety has suffered under the personal decrepi- tude of its and power would seem position. Infirmity to be a strange juxtadid not we know is that many mightis conditions aim exactly at preserving what about to decay. years of service mean very little. for the most part. must have whole generations the progress of international affairs? Or what a clog it has been upon domestic political life. also is but in our ancient Europe.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND positions of the Foreign Office have always been reserved for a diplomatic body which. the power of the impotent. it is accepted that a man shall have worn himself out. before he be allowed to come to the front. What called conservatism [i6i] . too often.

in efforts to lengthen the shadow life of by-gone thoughts and orders shall decide for the present. I repeat it: sarily an evil. might-conditions are not necesthey are just as often warranted Looked upon as facts they only tell us that a state. a class. an institution. that the wiser opinions always triumph over the less wise. no matter how much the [162] . But we cannot proceed on this assumption. of these might-conditions does not offer us any guarantee of the inner justification of this control. It would do so. as unwarranted. a party or an individual has got control over anBut the mere presence other of the same kind. : it is the past that it is the dead that lies There in the nature of might-conditions a force of weight and inertia which allows them to endure even at a time when the requirements that pro- duced them are no longer present. if we could assume that the most fortunately situated are the cleverest. shall rule over the living.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE or maintenance of tradition consists in great part. that justice is always the determining factor in social differences. on this most of us can agree.

The aristocratic might-conditions give no absolute guarantee. these are generalities so obvious that one is ashamed to offer them. a bad character notwithstanding. on the contrary. that they. fashioned for social to us the idea that has wished to convey is might right and that suc- cess is statecraft's only standard of value. but no less incontestable. life. but neither do the democratic the might that expresses : it- self by numbers is hardly any more reliable a [163] .WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND philosophy of history has tried to present the course of events in the best Hght. and that the mighty ones of the earth are very seldom those who accomplish the most excellent deeds. are very often quite insignificant personages. is the truth that a man may have worked himself up from humble conditions and be a coarse-cut intelligence. A glance at the conditions about us is enough to show that success does not always favor the most worthy aims. That the prerogatives of birth rest endow its on an accident. that wealth does not owner with superior powers. Less worn-out. and no matter how much a misunderstood Darwinism.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE standard than that that expresses itself by presume that even the firmest adherents of government by the people wealth and rank. I will is acknowledge that sometimes the majority mistaken also. in the political dovalue. conditions prove Taking all in all might- nothing more than success. they such should not be applied as a criterion: as they are useless. but by no means in that alone. might-conditions must prove their in themselves title. The conclusion of this is that But observe. only theoretically useless: for in practice they are regular determinators of In the first place. their ence appears even in fields that would seem to lie far distant from them. When a poet or a painter has made . main. but as success may be identical with chance. mightconditions rule men's minds more or less in influpractically all departments of life. that a single man may possess much clearer insight into social affairs than the entire public opinion. as the [164] literary and the artistic. indeed that it is even the rule that impulses to progress originate with the minority.

but its spread is due to an artificially made opinion which gradually takes the form of a power. is way it is has nothing to do with the matter. renown of which we are here speaking is nat-urally at the beginning based on an estimation. and we will not be has a woof of spirit and idealism. If long in finding it in a quite ordinary phenomenon with which all lands and all ages are familiar: I is which and obligingness usually shown very rich people on acthe respect mean count of their wealth alone. it means that a public which has no qualifications for judging his work. But it is true it is a power that always we wish to observe an unalloyed might-condition we must seek it some place else. him compelled to The wide public does itself not understand pictures and is incapable of The telling a good book from a mediocre one.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND a world-wide reputation. money-bag to which homage is paid. Whether it is incolIt herited or acquired. in whatever lected. yield is compelled and feels appreciation. And by whom? Not only by those who can hope for an advantage by ingratiating themthe [165] .

side. their thoughts fly hurls itself into the flame. exposition shows it to be dazzled by results. Their only consolation then is in the judgment of history. De- posed monarchs. this quality of sistible most people that they feel an irreattraction toward all who are successtoward them as the moth But. they are just as ready to withdraw when a change of fortune takes place. lutely disinterested calf. . defeated warriors. their feelings are immediately cooled toward those whom adversity befalls. these heirs or parvenus are courted gratis by cultivated people. dismissed ministers can all speak from bitter experience.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE selves. themselves as the consequences of the acts. on the other ful . is its its hero-worship Why should one praise Harmodios and Aristo[i66] an interpretation of success. no. even when it is undeserved. to which they always appeal without remembering that history is a corruptible It does not weigh so much the facts judge. well-to-do ones at that who do not need to do so: it is an absodance before the golden involuntary reverence for the brutal In fact it is a characteristic fact of Mammon.

hardly to be expected that a contemporaneous age. should be able to avoid it is the influence of success. in a high degree. but it is true the results were difgiton. which is in such close contact with these palpable things. of mightconditions. a concurrent motive in the judgment not only of the men of the day. of prestige. But the fact is that the North American free have grown to a world-power whereas those of South America have lacked a correstates sponding ability to develop. Consideration of existing might-conditions is. their deeds also.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND condemns Cassius and Brutus? The disposition of mind was the same. Why A personality equipped with higher potentialities. Now when not even historical retrospection can be impartial. but also of its social questions. while one should one put Washington on a pedestal which is denied to Bolivar? comparison would probably show us Bolivar as a ferent. Every one whose memory spans thirty or forty years will remember how socialism general run of people was once looked upon by the for them it was an exhi: [167] .

And we a successful coup should ever bring soits cialism to the rudder of state somewhere. it is spoken of with relative even respect by its decided opponents. of is its position in power. Now- we know. would immediately be increased by crowds of sudden converts. Such things have occurred political in all revolutions. Its teachings. what adays. in the general opinion. the people have gone over to the new the royal religion in flocks: they changed their faith in In France. in France some of adherents have obtained the portfolio of a cabinet-minister. have not changed. at the last German Reichstag election it controlled more than three nals have made it that if million votes. even respectable. These extercan be sure presentable. vailing power of the moment has always had [i68] . who would act as though they had been good partisans all of ranks their days. Socialism is advancing its most countries. Whenever power has enjoined reformation. as well as religious. on the other hand. as has changed.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE bition either of lunacy or of depravity. however. the prethe twinkling of an eye.

— it is the idea of the state and the is True enough. the Bavarian sense of fatherland is branded as particularism. when schisms are replaced by unity. When boundary are widened. Individuals who in childhood are transplanted to foreign soil. then values formerly valid are re- stamped: the Neapolitan state-consciousness becomes degraded to regionalism. as in Italy and Germany. but neither lines this idea independent of transferences of power. the citizen-monarchy have alternately been cheered with the same al- most unanimous enthusiasm. the empire. It is said that a permanent and uni- fying idea stands behind momentary regimes and parties fatherland. a majority on its side the republic. the legitimate monarchy.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND . become just as full-blooded patriots in their adopted land as those who are native to the soil. Not to mention the fact that patriotism itself is a product of dififerent might-factors. to be afterwards buried under an equally unanimous condemnatory judgment when the might-conditions changed. which shows that patriotism does not rest on an original inherent feeling for [169] .

some sense its if a war-cry in which the fatherland is one that secures for children conditions worthy of is human beings. which. indeed. exercises It a suggestion that is difficult to escape. to support. they have no cause for loving it as a state. in case of necessity. it was consistent with reason for the Frenchmen of tlic Revolution to seize [I/O] . to sacrifice themselves for the interests of this state.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE a certain country but that the accidental is it is individual as it is surroundings This milieu. the great masses have no reasonable cause for loving their fatherland. At least. of a number of both material and at produced by in which the moral elements constantly work. can certainly be asserted that as conditions now are. for little in much and gives the less they are possessed with the idea that it is their absolute the latter demands return. are always confounded with those of the "All for the fatherland" there is is rulers. threatened From this point of view. None duty to sympathize with. composed placed. and in this respect with debasement from without. in addition.

that they either partially or com[171] . But the state and the fatherland are such potent facts that they can even obliterate the individual's instinct of selfpreservation. that their personal must lie infinitely nearer their hearts than their duty as subjects. This collective lunacy. sian people are willing at any moment to suffer. How many really precious lives have not been sacrificed for these miagined necessities. On the whole.WHY their POLITICS LAGS BEHIND in weapons order to defend the republic But that the Rusagainst the allied monarchs. without its ever occurring to the victims that their first duty was to ele- vate their lives own existence. there is this drawback to might-conditions that they so easily throw logic into disorder. has. which is chiefly elicited by ques- tions of foreign policy. they never would have got hundreds of thousands gladly to allow themselves to be crushed under the Juggernautchariot of state-reasons. been one of the most active supporters of might-politics: without it. from early days. struggle and die for their oppressors is simply an evidence of collective lunacy.

he may consider permissible in his foreign policy: for here he is acting on behalf of the country and knows that he has pub- lic The many influence opinion to support him. just as the one. violence or cunning. And it is an influence that asserts of also itself not only on the passive side of the conditions. The possession power may have a confusing and demoralizing influence on one's conceptions. [172] . if the general body did not cover the indiCertain methods of providual responsibility. cedure. People who in private life are extremely peaceful. This is especially the case with that feeling of is power which associated with the conscious: ness of being in good company it may change a human being's entire mental habitus.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE pletely cripple the critical faculties. on the other hand. Parties and parliamen- be guilty of infringements which their single members would shrink tarian majorities may from. may be carried away into the most violent exmidst cesses. which a statesman would not employ for the attainment of his own advantage. when they find themselves in the of an excited crowd. the one.

That the exercise of political power contains an original duality which may Easily become an incongruity. as continues to be the struggle it it will be impossible for a man long as politics always has been. whether there exists an exposition of the psychology of leaders. but from the pro- fessional or so to speak the artistic stand-point. I cannot say.WHY may POLITICS LAGS BEHIND many. hke influence the Tarde and Le Bon. who wishes to take an active part in political affairs to renounce all personal power. appears to me that in such. the problem of power should take a central place. for it undoubtedly is. they are the material with ^^•hich he \\orks. may have been noticed. By this. have written about the psychology of the masses. I for And however that may be. if the desire rests on a corresponding ability. that for a leader the people he leads are morally his fellow-men and equals for whom he works. The problem does not appear until he has the power in his hands. The duality consists in this. Scholars. The two points of view are not necessarily [173] ir- . But it do not mean the question whether the striving power is justifiable.

It is beings of flesh and blood. may of clay. What remains to him then ? An artist is comparatively inde- pendent of people. is the artist in souls that he really ought to But by no means the case that they always are so. another to handle such a refractory and capricious material. they can plot against good name. satisfy his longing to create The sculptor can by buying a lump But what of the statesman that also The subject he aspires to create and form? needs is not on the market. it is difficult to obtain and even when he has obtained it.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE reconcilable. the very possibility of work is allied with an accidental power [174] . but they cannot deprive the joy of having produced his work. It is true they can withhold their appreciation. his him of With statesmen. there arise conflicts and dilemmas which never obtrude themselves on the artist in the narrower meaning of the one thing to struggle with lifeless and inanimate things. on the contrary they would al- ways it is be congruent when the statesman be. as human term. and on account of this. suddenly slip from his grasp. on the other hand.

who ends by coveting money own . it A displacement for its of motive takes place as does with a miser. as a consequence. Just as. that this power. which theoretically should be to him an instrument in the service of society.WHY over POLITICS LAGS BEHIND human beings. his highest personal aim. will always have in And the mind's incessant occupation with the preservation and increase of this power may have. for tinguished rulers and statesmen may in the intensity of the impression they have made. sake. that his egoism benefits art. without regard to what it can accomplish. in reality. dis: there are individuals. becomes. Insatia- power does not preclude great- ness whom this very motive power has secured a permanent place in man's memory. while that of the statesman often brings about a di- vorce between the ble desire for man and his work. be compared with the highest among artists and thinkers. Neither is the artist free from egoism but the difference is. But if this circumstance has con- tributed to disseminating the idea. From power this comes the deci- sive significance that his eyes. that the pro[175] . on the whole.

which is due to the con- fusing of personaHty and works. [176] . with as other branches of intehectual activity. as a rule.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE which they have been occupied. sometimes been important enough. Statesmen have has never even approached that perfection. here referred to. but statecraft itself has lagged behind inasmuch as it have proven itself to even disastrous. this is a mistaken conclusion. which may just as be fruitless. have. been great in individuality much more than easily in their deeds. has reached as high a point fession. in short statecraft. which lies within the range of human power. The men.

composers must comply with the rule of seniority before they be allowed to undertake higher works. of whom . for culture has need. to the monarchical principle just as well as to the oligarchical. are to be chosen by election. thinker or scientist is Further.Ill can perhaps be best explained by the Let us imagine help of a thought experiment. that. that it NOR could it have been otherwise. but that art. that the discoverers and inventors. artist. painters. or that poets. to the bureaucratic as well as to the democratic ical example. philosophauthorship is reserved to a privileged guild. is not only the life of the state that is ruled by political methods. science and technics are subject to the same conditions. Why. that no allowed to apply his unified powers to his especial aim in life but must constantly squander part of his energy on the consideration of external might- U77] .

science and technics are concerned. [178] . almost never permits a finished work. And finally that a constant cross- ing and interference of might. opposing individual wills. These activities will expand freely in accordance with their own laws. but according to the resultant in a parallelogram of powers. they cannot endure might-possession in any form. the work must proceed not in a straight line. are literary and artistic cliques formed for the mutual commendation of their members and the systematic abuse of outsiders: they agitate in public and in the press and often enough influence public opinion by their brutal concord. of disagreeing groups and capricious movements of the masses.factors. at least. For it raises its head here also now and then. not as far as art. and to favor others with partiality in the distribution of There medals. as a rule.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE conditions. The preposter- ousness of such a scheme does not need to be proved. scholarships and appointments. There are academies and authoriuse their official ties that position to exclude certain "tendencies" and persons. so that. but only compromises.

that it is ow- ing both to historical traditions and to actual conditions which still have their significance. which we should attempt to possible. concerned. it is a case of On excrescences only and not of essentials. but am inclined is think the whatever profession are. The a struggle for conditions of existence. in has been actually will might-possession elevated to a principle. politics is Perhaps one other that say that this I quite anto matter. often a pure and simple struggle for food: no wonder then that the But this question of might plays such a role. proper.WHY But of all POLITICS LAGS BEHIND the unprejudiced people are fully aware fact that this sort of thing is imand. ideal conditions for the effectivity of human work homogeneous. Naturally. in reason. at any rate. [179] remedy as far as . political struggle is circumstance ought not to obscure the knowl- edge of the fact that the existing situation is not the desirable one. but only a more or less necessary evil. the other hand. it cannot be overlooked that political mightpossession can easily be explained.

litical which always has the start of popractice. Prog- possible only by that the inherent sluggishness of might-conditions has been partly counteracted by an ele- ress has been made the fact In the foregoing. we ob: serve it also in primitive human society. and I have later drawn atten- tion to the fact that this culture-consciousness is responsible for the circumstance that sheer power no longer dares to appear in naked form.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE It is also undoubted that statecraft would have remained standing on a lower step than that it has reached in our western civilization. had been exclusively determined by mightIn such case. development would have taken place with imperceptible slowness. I have pointed vating force. out that there exists a political culture-consciousness. there clearly exists a feeling that might-conditions [i8o] . for might-conditions. seldom change of themselves we see their stability in the plant and animal kingdoms. whether natural or social. if it conditions. but must assume the garb of some sort of authority. Notwithstanding traditions and apparent necessities of practical politics.

just as well as that of art and invention.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND do not constitute the proper element. So the higher order of things. has source in an inner vision. The political ideal. This vision is the pattern and the standard. that produces this idea ? What not the is it now It is memory it of a golden age. becomes ized more clearly real- by more and more people. it has its dwelling in the its human brain. from the very beginning. a vision of : how things ought to be it is an assertion of the rights of human nature in the face of the imperfections of external facts. or at least that they need to be brought into agreement with a nobler order of things. is to be found only in ourselves. after which we judge a community. usually consists in a striving after states to which the past can show nothing similar. that underlies this political idealism: on the contrary. and as the incompatibility between conditions as they are and conditions as they should be. then we shall see that improvements and revolutions are being prepared. There is a so-called materialistic concep- [i8i] . of a lost paradise.

are in favor of property-rights and the interests of floating capital.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE tion of history factor. morals. in that it which underrates this psychic refers all social changes to dis- placement in might-conceptions and especially in the economic. partly between those of mutually distinct species. more than expressions regime. Similarly Marx considered that he had discovered the social mechanism of development in the law of class struggle. politics and law are no acy. on all points. in the struggle of the classes for economic existence and for economic supremFor him. which takes place partly between individuals of the same species. it is quite natural that they have made use of this to create and maintain an order of society and conceptions of society which. and the Darwinian teachDarwin explained the mech- anism of biological development as the struggle for existence. The most famous spokesman for this view is Karl Marx. The parallel be- tween ing is his principles striking. as it of the ruling economic has always been the propertied classes that have had the power in their hands. [182] There .

on to attack. in this connection I will only mention the Christian view of life lightened age. to psychical factors : on the one side. Criticism and self-criticism. that the great corrective. the self-criticism of the favored which had weakened their will to opis pose. Without [183] it. and on the other side. as results of changed might-conditions. it was to be attributed. the criti- cism originating among which had egged them classes the aggrieved classes. but it is not always the sole determinator. politics and law have received impulses from quarters which have nothing to do with the economic regime. do not allow themselves to be interpreted only mechanically. social might-con- . and the philosophy of the enPhenomena like the French Revolution or like the sociological movements of to-day. the economic organization of society puts an impress on its juridical and political systems. It is incontestable that morals. Might-conditions have certainly changed position but when this has been the case.WHY is POLITICS LAGS BEHIND a great deal of truth in this principle but It is true fortunately it is not the whole truth. perhaps chiefly.

a development would take place. Nowadays it is seen that both the state and the church can [184] . but it is not certain that this would be synonymous with progress. ing upward as has happened that might-conditions once considered indispensable have. and history would also lose that miniditions mum it of reason. which we can now attribute to here and there. to free itself more and more from the inherited subjection to the facts of the external world and to rise to a position of selfgovernment and to obeying only the inner voice. in the mutual position of their elements. Probably in the course of thousands of years. the voice that is within us and at the same time above us.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE would continue almost as stationary as the natural. ejus religio. bound to the earth and at the same time strivit is. by a later genThere was eration. It a time when the church controlled all temporal its means of coercion. been declared superfluous. Progress depends on the ability of our amphibious human race. and when the state exer- cised a prerogative over the faith of sub- jects: at jus regio.

in the best meaning of the term. with cer- tain supposed necessities of state. domestic or foreign. and we civilized people can with difficulty tions in public life. the bloody memories of which appear to us only as a number of narrow-minded cruelties. is an ordination rather than a subordination.WHY POLITICS LAGS BEHIND get along without this coercion. imagine analogous condibut that comes from the fact that our public life in more ways than one [185] sus- . Will it not be the same with other might-conditions. what we call social life. to which the present day majority still attributes excessive importance? future A day will perhaps show that the necessities are imaginary and only draw thoughts and forces away from the one requisite of statecraft that : of creating higher forms for human association and human cooperation. it is without coercion. An Australian negro would lack all comprehension of this form of intercourse. In the private intercourse of the upper classes we see even now such a higher form. less precision is built upon a disci- complex of self-given rules which are observed with no pline than laws are it .

will be which we must expect much more effectively prepared for in the laboratories of scientists than in cabinet councils ity that and parliaments. statecraft will discard its until it might-elements as unnecessary. And it is conceivable that as the general opinion becomes able to act with fewer and fewer self-limitations. is still under the subjection of circumto stances similar those of the Australian It will probably be different at a future negro. we of the present day But this is a perspective that looms up in the got a certain form of long as it stands we dim distance. statecraft we have now and as must acquiesce in calculating with might-con- [i86] . at length becomes transformed into a for which new category have no name.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE pects. a future. There is a possibil- technological-economic progress may in time bring about such favorable conditions of existence that egoism and altruism may become reconciled. because the ma- terial conditions shall have become less precari- ous. besides. time when the struggle for existence shall have assumed a more human form.

[187] .WHY ditions. for the preservation and adas work preted vancement of might-conditions. in other words. also. that would be to confuse form and content. to turn a by-question into a main quesnot of make means is the end. it lies in the fact that reason al- ways bends before existing might-conditions. might-condiThe tions should adapt themselves to reason. as the procurement of an tific harmony: all these points of view are But it cannot with reason be interjustifiable. might. while it task of rational politics may be presented from different sides it can be considered as a scien: problem. I dare say. as a social-technological question. POLITICS LAGS BEHIND is it Nor : these that are the real evils lies of politics the chief evil much more in the consideration of which they are the object. no matter in artistic what shape tion. but of man. should be the contrary. to . the For the end of ideal statecraft development.

.

OF HUMAN APTITUDES AND A HUMAN ART .

.

OF HUMAN APTITUDES AND A HUMAN ART

EVERY The entire

human being

is

a miniature world.

past has helped in his forma-

tion, the qualities of

innumerable generations

slumber as aptitudes, in the fructified egg-cell All of us conto which he owes his existence.
tain infinite possibilities although

few of them

have the opportunity of real expansion. Most of us live and die without suspecting that we
are

more than

the ego that

we

ourselves know,
is

that the personality which discloses itself
is

It pure chance that inonly a fragment. forms certain people that their natures can sink to depths at which they are horrified, or can

which they would have considered unattainable. Sometimes, whether one the same man is and to become a saint or a
rise to heights [191]

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
criminal,
stances.

depends only on external circum-

The

spiritual register of all of us is

certainly not so comprehensive, but as a rule we have more octaves than we are in the habit

of rendering an account of, at least more than I am not alluding those we need for daily use.
to the so-called occult powers, the surprising

transformations of nature which reveal themselves in the hypnotic state.

Such phenomena

belong to the unexplained depths of sub-consciousness and besides can be verified only in a very few people. It is of much more practical

importance to observe the latent
versally
existing,

qualities, uni-

psychology of which mysterious to us because it is connected with biological fundamental condithe

seems

less

the most typical example of such a quality, Darwin states the fact that the secondary feminine sexual characteristics are present
tions.

As

male individual, just as in every female individual, the masculine are to be found,
in every

but ready to appear under certain conditions. As Weininger has elaboin a
state,

hidden

rated further in his work,
[192]

Sex and Character,

HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART
the admixture of elements from the other sex

always present, only in a more or less degree. In a man like Goethe, it must have been unusuis

ally strong, otherwise

he could not have created

a figure like Marguerite. Besides, it can be asserted of almost all great poets that in a way they have been at one and the same time man

and woman.

But not only

that.

They not

only live their own lives but the lives of many others besides. What a multiplicity Shakespeare held, nothing human was foreign to him the doubter and the man of achievement, the
:

lover
the

and the

cynic, the hero

and the
all

traitor,

workman and
so,

the philosopher

general —he has drawn them and

the master, the

and
in

order to do

he must, in a certain sense, have been them all, have united them all in him-

self. But also those who are not poets are more or less microcosmic. Everybody con-

tains a multiplicity of germs, w^hich,

though

they may not be strong enough to bloom into productiveness, are nevertheless sufticient to

blossom into receptiveness.

This shows

itself,

among

other ways, in the fact that
[193]

we

are

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
capable of understanding and even of sympathizing with characters reciprocally most
dissimilar, even with those absolutely different

from our own types of mind.

limited natures are incapable of this.

Only excessively But for

other people, it is quite possible to understand both Romeo and Falstaff, Cordelia and Lady

Macbeth.

There

is

nothing

in the

way

of rec-

onciling admiration for Bismarck with appreciation of Gladstone or of finding pleasure in Nietzsche at the same time that one lends an

ear to Tolstoy.

a hero-worshiper without being capable of a heroic deed oneself; one can feel strangely attracted by the aberrations of the
sarily

One can be

human
is

soul,

without neces-

being
is

an

abnormal

individual.

The

point

that there

not to be found a single
elevated or base, which

human phenomenon,

does not answer to some tendency (usually emFortubryonic) of our inner secret depths.
nately, one

may

say; for were

it

not

so,

most

phenomena would awaken no echoes and the content of existence would be poorer than it is. Most personalities would then be for us a
[194]

HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART
closed book, our comprehension of politics, history, philosophy and art would be one-sided and

which depends on just such understanding- would take quite other forms: insurmountable partition-walls would be raised, and only homogeneous groups could
life,

incomplete, and social

live

and work

in fellowship.

But the potential tendencies are not limited
receiving of impressions: when they are more pronounced, they seek satisfacto the bare
tion.

But narrow reality seldom satisfaction and they must resort

offers this

to disport-

ing themselves in the kingdom of fantasy. One would be surprised, if one could know how

many
ternal

people lead a double existence, an ex-

and an imagined one: the one, narrow, bourgeois, the other, full of chimeras and aircastles, of intrigues of their

own making, and

fancied situations, of which they dream they are the heroes and where there is room for
their unsatisfied longings

Others

fill

the

and unused powers. emptiness which daily life and
or they resort to the

leaves, with the reading of books of travel
historical

descriptions

[195]

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
theater or they devour romances to obtain in the imaginary world the emotions with which
real

does not supply them in sufficient Whence comes the favor which quantities.
life

crime- and detective-stories enjoy in all lands and among all classes? It is without doubt
to be

found in a general and deep-lying imit

pulse:

hunter's primitive instinct which reappears in this w^ay, the same that expresses itself in the public's greedy
is

the

human

interest in
stinct,

murders and executions.

This

in-

ciety,

our comparatively well-ordered sodoes not get enough nourishment in
in

ordinary ways and must often therefore conThe intent itself with literary stimulants.

humane

have been forced back by civilization, but they have not been uprooted. They break their chains and disport theminclinations
selves,

when

the opportunity offers

:

one knows

what savagery excited masses can abandon themselves, in our enlightened Europe, what excesses can be committed in time of war by
to soldiers

who

call

themselves Christians.

One

may

say that these are creatures from a lower
[196]

Dr. the intoxication of power. Karl the most notorious. any worse than many And who is this man? learned. highly cultured intellect. and officials who higher Peters act culture. in the philosophical work or in the The corviolent deeds of the conquistador? rect answer is probably this. from both had not burst the barriers which w^ould have obstructed this inborn tendency. And it is quite natural to ask where is the real Dr. Our culture is trol a coat of varnish extremely likely to crack when we come out of accustomed conditions. though he did not others. that his nature nmst be looked Only that one of them would probably have remained a secret if contact with an inferior race. is are supposed to represent a In this respect. had he remained in his own country. author of a book on The World of the Will A and the Will of the World. and the freedom from conat sides.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART But what about the African horrors which from time to time have agitated pubHc opinion? They were perpetrated by officers Stratum. These words were expressed by a correspond[197] . Peters to : be found.

It in the flames was a charity . Yes. to what extent will decorum stand its test? ber the great bazaar fire in Paris. The elite did not behave any better than the rabble did at the time of the stranding of the emigration ship Sirio.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Boxer revolution who reports how a number of European merchants in Tientsin acted when the alHed troops came to ent from the the rehef of the town. as a rule. trod them under foot. filled their own pockets and ran off with their stolen booty: well-to-do people and. dying. what did the bearers of these respected names do. Rememwhen the Duchess of Alenqon perished with a number of others. knocked the women over. bent on saving themselves at any cost. maimed. festival. half-choked. And when the fire broke out. these elegantly clad gen- tlemen with nosegays in their button-holes? They stormed the exit. arranged by the best people in society there was present a choice collection of the aristocracy of money and birth. They began to plunder the temples of the Chinese and the pawnshops. let them lie there. [198] . extremely respectable citizens.

And is it as far as that is con- cerned. stabbed them to death. The em- human keyboard est impulses. of that sort exhibit shining examples of courage and presence of mind. is comprehensive. feelings of duty those of were displayed as well as brutality: there were people who they did not know at all. during the earth- quake of Messina. neither certain that they will ever [199] . where robbery and all sorts of violence went hand in hand with heroic and Almost all catastrophes self-sacrificing deeds. it braces the highest idealism as well as the low- On the Sirio two extremes met. the Bishop of San Pedro did not cease to encourage and bless the drowning. because they never have shown them before. risked their lives for others whom even while he himself was being swept away by the waves. cut them down in order to get possession of the Hfe-boats for themselves. But it would be unfair to dwell only on the one extreme.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART when the crew turned loose on the passengers with knives and axes. Likewise. and that often in people to whom one would not have attributed these qualities.

a possibility which lay hidden in them. appears when opperience portunity presents itself. as with the life slips and then hides itself back into its regular love transforms It is with these unrenowned heroes young man whom who becomes prosaic again when the passion dies down. gets a winged word: the only glimpse of genius he ever has exhibited or ever will exhibit.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE do so later. again when grooves. when New England gave them elbow- room in which to expand. One cannot until people thoroughly one has seen them torn from their usual learn to know What unsuspected inventivesurroundings. And what [200] . Or as with an into a poet. what usefulness Australia can extract from human material that is pretty valueless in Europe. They have their wonderful ex- once and no oftener. bility what a supply of capa- in community-organization the simple Puritans showed themselves to be in possession of. ness is developed by ship-wrecked people on a desert island. but every-day man when he. in a brilliant idea or finds an emergency.

The one that lies nearest is that the emotional event. This explanation will probably do in most cases. which releases the latent energy of the explosive material. warriors and behold! it could find them by the dozens. there were always more. But it is also conceivable that the process may sometimes make deeper [201] . In short. use them. would be interesting to account for what really superfluity. squander them. concussion or friction. Two surmises are possible. Intellects takes place in the human being. statesmen. It and characters shot up like a field of grain. they were there in evidenced. a factor similar to the physical: heat. the French Revolu- had need of law-givers. whom extraor- dinary circumstances cause to appear in a form in which he has never before been seen.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART tremendous reserve tion force. the nameless became perIt sonalities under the revolution's appeal. the power that has always existed in him but has heretofore been in fetters. the is only to be understood as outer provocative which reveals what "dwells" in the person concerned. which caused the change.

Judging from every- [202] . important conditions.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE it may be compared with the an where admixture changes the chemical. wrote tiresome academic lectures and bad verses and liked to abandon himself to sentimental observations in the taste of the day. w^hen he was precipitated into the difficult crisis of the Civil But the most striking of was metamorphoses probably the one seen have taken place in War. in leisure hours. as with Frederick the Great from the moment he became king and Abraham Lincoln. who. by conveying certain elements to the individual. would have predicted that he would ever play a role. as when quick-silver mixed with sulphur becomes cinnabar. effects a re-creation in his very nature. all to Robespierre. that he would ever be anything more than the little lawyer. one can present the hypothesis that a new situation. as It is to be observed in not a few men it that they is "grow" with their called in ordinary speech. who saw him before 1789. No one. In other incursions so that words. nature of the body.

his nature transformation. the sentimental dilettante de- veloped into an uncompromising politician. the former could. with the manners of an old maid. in His chatterer his speeches. between the given individual and the supervening circumstances. rise to a mighty pathos. which first allows the connection to take place in the [203] . that inner greatness is not necessarily inborn. rity narrow-minded integbecame a somber idealism. But. as the huge revolution carried appeared to undergo a him with it. gradually. of course. Robespierre's career quite contrary to arouses an idea that is what we are in the habit of assuming. namely.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART thing. the pedant. became a dreaded figure who dwelt apart in his isolated originality. he was quite without originality at first. but late in life as a result of can sometimes appear a psycho-chemical process called forth by circumstances. The thing is imagined only as possible when. there exists beforehand an affinity. not meant that any sort of mediocrity can be re- shaped into greatness. By which it is.

[204] . this means whether one seeks the explanation in the physical or in the chemical analogy. one finally comes back to a common point of departure. to the potential aptitudes.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE instance. that. Expressed differently.

to stamp the way a whole people and period. Europe's poets [205] . partly in pity "a and philosophers" became. in that they carry with them the most comprehensive possibilities for influenc- ing a man's entire being. after the appearance of the iron man. They are in short the prerequisite for the exercise of suggestion.II potential THESE greatest aptitudes are a of the importance from cultural point of view. The Germans who nation of before Bismarck had been called partly in admiration. thinking The same Frenchmen who had just been enof thusiastic for the rights of men and universal brothership. One has often wondered over the suggestive power by which certain epoch-making men have been of able. as it seemed. under Napoleon became a nation which seemed only to dream of martial gloire. practical politicians of the most extreme type.

that the German nature less than a contains a practical sense no contemplative talent. The Arabs order to find the road to [206] . the been prepared in sisted in his Reformation had his human minds: work con- having given the liberating order to of release fettered in needed a Mahomet powers." as the word is Probably it is more proper to usually defined." Perhaps speak of it as the explanation is simply this. really the act of "instilling. and that whichever tendency is to show itself as the dominant one.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE greatest military power and England's most dangerous competitor in the market of the Such revulsions of feeling would almost appear to be miracles. that Frenchmen are accessible both to high-minded ideas and to the attraction of external prestige. the act of "eliciting. When already Luther nailed his theses to the church door of Wittenberg. This impulse is like the illuminating spark or the acting ferment: the effect may be surprising but in order for it to be atpelling force. depends on a strong imfinally. were suggestion world. tained. the material must be at hand.

which be- fore him had lacked means of expression. stuff for a cultural had not had in and conquering It not even Mahomet could have torn them from their shepherds' lives. Without Rousseau. descriptive art and lyrical poetry and painting would not have accustomed us to see so much in a landscape and to understand to it so deeply as we do. but the inclination bring nature into harmony with human ideas has been present from time immemorial. just on that ac[207] . Now Beethoven could no more infuse a new soul than any one else: on the other hand. by a presentiment as it were. but if they them the people. has been said of Beethoven that he gave us a new soul. And Hamlet has produced such mighty aftereffects only because Shakespeare. created a figure in which the human beings of a later period have recognized themselves and which has helped them to understand themselves and.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART historic splendor. of Rousseau that he was the originator of the sentiment for nature. of Shakespeare that in Hamlet he created the modern human type. his music awakened spiritual moods.

What poetry for example has in effected in the direction of refining and compli- cating erotic point out. by swooning. The and cultivated man's view of his numerous things in manner are. but I am inclined to think that the stock both of sentimentality and of realism is the same now as it was a hundred years ago. It is superfluous to in this case as in many: the it is reading public unconsciously adapts itself to Our great-grandmothers literary demands. in return real life patterns itself. of behaving certain situations a greater degree than he acknowledges to himself. because fashionable [208] . in many respects. must be acknowledged that if poetry takes its models from real life. they so much more feeling than we? So Had it is maintained. has caused selves still many to Hamletize themit more. our great-grandfathers by shedding tears on occasions which we of it showed to-day take with considerable calmness. a result of literary reminiscences. of course. relations. after poetic types. Only that then the sentimental' strings vibrated oftener and more loudly. For.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE count.

The . the aggregate of which constitutes the national [209] milieu. We much of national characlie teristics. different in Human But they are not so reciprocally nature as they seem to us when we hear so examine dissimilar periods or dissimilar nations. Atlantic.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART literature was so untiring in setting them in motion. both in apin who spend manner pearance and of thinking. we see children of northerners who have settled in Italy become southerners in mind and body. European families that cross the become Americanized in the next generation at the least. people from the Continent a number of years in England get the British stamp. but we cannot think that these particularly deep when we constantly see im- migrants appropriating them with comparative ease. beings in themselves are much more multifarious in nature than we are in the habit of thinking. And much I am of the opinion that we can conclude from in this that the difference does not lie so inherited peculiarities as that it is a product of cooperating conditions.

a state is a comparatively evanescent occurrence. nation. those with stubborn limitations and on the other hand. For the natural basis in considerably more extensive than their national substratum. these two extremes. personalities of the commanding But all those who stand in between type. Only two of people are less receptive: on the one side. a them is A community. that is. whereas the formation of the individual is prepared throughout myriads of years. the same individuals would feel and think and act differently. arc malleable in such a high degree that it suggests a thought-experiment: how much more could be made [210] of their wealth of . whose existence is dated only by centuries or at the most by a few millenia. throughout innumerable generations and by the incalculable propensities. But placed in another its environment. inter-crossings of qualities and sorts This is the explanation of our tremendous impressionability. the overwhelming majority.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE milieu with tremendous suggestive power is what shapes and reshapes human beings into a definite form.

ject if of a they should once become the subsystematic human art. but the most convenient material. that would have nothing in view but the proper application of human powers and would proceed with the same real lack of prejudice as that with which material technics that understands sible how to extract the greatest pos- advantage from the materials and powers a matter of fact there is of nature. AMiat they wish to not perfect human beings. the church and the state. of social technics. the most willing tools. is to advance this and not the human Statecraft which [211] makes for the com- .HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART aptitudes. But whether their influence be inhibitive or productive. the most useful members in an estabfashion is lished order of things: the chief point with them being. They do not look upon a human being with an unprejudiced eye and they do not try to influence him exclusively for his own sake. they never practice a real and unalloyed human art. As no lack of systeit matic effort to reshape the human mind: is kneaded by the school.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE prehension of practically all social conditions. usually admired in a great politician "human art:" his proficiency in handling his contemporaries in such a way call that which is that they serve his own. Just as one would not call it "the art of painting" at advertising his in when a painter is clever own pictures or successful winning the press. but it Least of all should we is far from being so. human art lies in the human purely humanic statecraft would be one which would set itself the sole task of ele- A vating the effectivity of human beings and would attempt to solve the problem by preparing for them the milieu which best suited the purpose —a social order arranged of in such a way as to produce a maximum human values. The art of painting consists in the ability to paint and the center of gravity of the being. his party's or his government's ends. [212] . or in disposing public opinion in favor of an academy. should be the human art par excellence. a clique or a certain style of painting.

if I did not share the eighteenth-century belief nowadays so — that social systems are capable of despised being reconstructed from the beginning and strictly reasonable basis. The prevailing doctrine is that must be looked upon approximately as an organism and that. — The enlight- ened age. with its "natural rights. at least in actual politics and in legitimate science. which expresses itself in historic continuity. in fact. I an idea that should consider a pretty fruitless chimera.Ill A on a SOCIETY this is built on humanic principles. as such. it is subject to society the law of development." proclaimed it in theory and the French Revolution attempted to prove it in practice. That [213] this teaching is has cir- won such wide consideration due to the . did But it has substantiate it on several points. long since been discarded as a by-gone point of view.

Thus it is not without it connection with the strongly defined national feelings of the latter day and their mainte- nance of the traditional peculiarities. partly carried on the crests of dissimilar. This supposed consistency would is that be a decisive argument if its biological parallel held water. But both the character of society as an organic-like body. natural-scientific view of the world. they should do so with the least possible deviation from the former trend of affairs.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE cumstance that has partly been elicited by. many progressive intellects in that the analogy it on account of suggests between the social and biological processes. development in the natural-scientific meaning of the word and the its necessity of a continuity in the social process [214] . which of course wish that if changes in the existing order must take place. justification of is popular Also. But what weighs more is the fact that it has attracted so it. but mighty tidal waves. seems to social principle them the only thoroughly consistent with the monistic. to it plain that it would commend itself conservative inclinations.

Poland and marked a leap. into existence but cannot be It arises in the course of time. as far back as the early part of the last century by the so-called historic school of law. this presenta- tion is correct. through custom and tradition. a change without intermediary and besides there was certainly no homogeneity in national spirit and notions of life in the nations concerned. a few words about this This idea was supported continuity.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART are refuted by the facts themselves in so manycases that a question mark must be put after the whole doctrine. Nevertheless the new code was usuable everywhere and in [215] . Italy Code Napoleon into the West Germany. First social and foremost. as a rule. it has its source in the national spirit and keeps in step with this as the spirit changes under different conditions of life. The introduction of the Netherlands. which formulated its view in the doctrine that a sys- tem of law comes constructed. the formation of a system of law. proceeds in a continuous line. On the whole. But the rule is not without exceptions.

this. He was of the opinion that they must grow: sudden changes in them will not effect a change in the development of which takes place very slowly." for the most part after English models. All of the others have been originally "constructed. Herbert Spencer afterwards expressed the same thing in regard to stateconstitutions that the historic school had said of systems of law. and they have shown themselves capable of being put into action without having lived through the stages which the English constitution had exMost countries have gone from perienced. of which can be omitted. and the break with the past has not only been of formal significance. the British has had a continuous the only one that growth. none society. it In contradiction of can be stated that among is the European constitutions. but has [216] . absolutism direct into modern representative government. by means of numerous intermediate links. that they cannot be constructed.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE those places where it was afterwards abro- gated the action was contrary to the will of the people. namely.

Man is not only a historic creature but he is also a creature of reason and the same receptivity which allows him to be formed by tradition makes him also open to new ideas when they are forced upon him with sufficient energy. As far as Japan is concerned.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART everywhere hastened the rate of progress of the whole of social life. they have used scarcely a generatook Europe hundreds of years to do: the reconstruction from the feudal system into a centralized constitution to accomplish it what tional government. To say nothing of the subversion that took place. not revolution" one of those oft-repeated phrases which sound like the speech of wisdom but are is [217] . but there is no inner necessity of going gradually to work. "Evolution. That It can be a dangerous the undertaking to disturb inherited prejudices is and long-established special interests an- other question. which most Western countries are still awaiting. when the Mikado. that theocratic ruler. proclaimed the separation of church and state and the neutrality of government in religious questions: a regime.

When a new system has been found to be useful to society. "Such people know only too well that the whole of nature and the whole of culture depends on successive organic development. because the matter "is not yet mature. wishes to introaccessible duce electric-lighting. [218] The even- . easily water-power being and cheap.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE in reality not very profound. one should rather execute it with one blow than go circumlocutorily through intermediate stages. among but no real scientists. now Suppose a little town which has until got along with oil lamps. there Bismarck once stated to Lothar Bucher that were to be found plenty of chemists anarchists." usually of about the same alloy. and an official its comes along and says that temporarily they must erect gas-works. as historically lighting by gas is the intermediate step. which have already lost their right to exist." As far as culture is concerned the correctness of the statement must be denied. is The political logic that opposed is to direct transition to up- to-date conditions.

In regard to means of all transportation only. in science and in politics is collected. [219] The organ- . And finally in the we short space of the last few centuries. certain divisions of this capital. the difiference between our days and the days of the Vienna Congress. And a few thousand years that all that culture-capital possess in art. sur- passes same the contributions of the past in the departments. is greater than the distance between these and the classic age. which in become increased by an scope and in value. Such increasing speed cannot be explained as organic development: social culture is tion.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART ness in tempo which is understood by "successive" does not reveal itself in the progress must remember that for hunof culture. scientific insight and technical resources. with a mysterious dawn and in the course of poverty. in thought. We dreds of thousands of years. no organism but an organizaThese two things have the same relation to each other as active to passive. humanity lived in the most obscure and anonymous culturethen the historic day breaks. addition.

Airships make submarine boats to travel sea. Even [220] the statesmen who otherwise do homage to the organic theory. constructed artificial ones. .HUMAN QUINTESSENCE ism adapts itself to existing conditions. when it concerns our physical nature. it creates new conditions for them. he has the remedied the defects by the help of organizaIn addition to natural life-tools. and which no one has expected of its natural developBut if we cannot rely on development. Neither does one do so in matters of detail. he has tion. him able to fly. railways under the surface of the in and auto- mobiles to travel over hundreds of kilometers an hour's time. performances is for which his organism unfitted. All of them. optical instruments strengthen his power of sight. ment. Even there where human being seems bound to the organic by his own physical arrangement. Motors remedy his failing muscle-power. it is difficult to perceive in its should put confidence beneficial influence on the transforma- why one tion of society. but organization takes them into its service and if it cannot use them as they are.

— — organic development can really only be defended when the question is to hinder deepseated changes in the distribution of and in other spheres of interest. safety and popular enlightenment be regulated by techThe assertion in regard to nical means.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART often act in legislative and administrative affairs as if they thought that the order of what it is in a certain way society were a machinery which can be corrected and — — changed. so can most social conditions communication. And it yet they themselves depend on a providence. power However also its the principle of development has disinterested believers just as much as It is true any not religion." Development is to cause morals to become more and more puri[221] . only with a dift'erent label: they call "development. to be religious: they take great pains they have ceased to acknowledge a personal God and a word like "Providence" appears to them quite out-ofdate. trade. They are cjuite aware of the fact that just as mortality can be lessened by the laying of water pipes.

whether it expresses itself in formation or destruction. but the assumption that development necessarily contains a principle of Development can certainly bring improvement. on the other hand. cannot be said to the human pursue any sort of aim. tem more ture. but it can just as easily bring retrogression and it perfection is quite arbitrary. universal culbeings still have will take time and patience. this glory it human ahead of them: but in the long run the principle of develop- ment will bring it. a common rule of PanNature. Eternal peace. Development. is not identical with progress as is so often said of it. which wishes to direct things in a course serviceable to the end in view. Certainly of creation. is a l)eing. all just. Progress rests on a subjective conception. like all other forms product of development.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE knowledge more widespread. governments more broad-minded and the social sysfied. is an objective process. on a human valuation. which. [222] But the difference is . The eagerness for perfec- tion is the only justifiable point in this happy development-creed.

mercy. this time. the human being like has in all essentials re- mained unto himself during the whole hisIt can be proven that. is progress and not develop- ment. during toric period. but at any rate it is no development in evolution's theoretic sense. The natural developin ment of that it life-forms is so tremendously slow can play no part whatever our shift- ing social conditions. neither has there been any noteworthy refor- mation ancient in regard to mental that generations.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART that he has reached a stage of development. The bred y^schylus. In every-day speech. we can call it so. Looked upon as a product of development. because he has become conscious of his own nature and Is where he no longer at its can find ways and means of still realizing its The result of this possibilities and demands. stand behind it modern nations wherever was [223] . Plato and Alexander did not in intellect: powers. he has not undergone any change in physical construction and. in all probability. striving toward the materializing of the hu- man potentialities.

ent The cause of the pres- day's having advanced certain subjects further than they did. It cannot be real assumed that during historic times.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE a question only of personal talent. is not to be sought in the organic growth of intelligence. cannot fail to be appreciated. the reason that our physicial sciences and the material culture that goes with them. Could this relatively infinitesimal number of years have been sufficient to produce an organic enAll scientific expe- nobling of man's nature? [224] rience goes to prove that an infinitely longer . but in the progress of organization which is characterized by the exact method and systematic cooperation. any more than in intellectual respects. have never been surpassed. progress in this domain. An abyss seems to separate the Europe of to-day from the period of torture and slavery and yet it is a matter of not much more than a hundred years. but. the Greeks executed grand works that. of their kind. on the other hand. any development has taken place in ethical. can boast of productions of which the Hellenes hardly dreamed.

even those very far- But we act toward each other immorally than they did or. more properly speaking. The inborn propensities toward good and removed. the number of nmrderers and homicides judged in 1880 was 3. that the Italians have be- come morally better men in these twenty-seven The wild animal in them is not dead.373. and in 1907 it was reduced to 1. evil are certainly the same with us less as with our forefathers. it went down to 2. We to are also.121 in 1890. we have learned to establish relations that force us to do so in our own feel well- understood tain interest. to a cer- extent. In Italy. years. No one will conclude from this. [225] . led think and less immorally than earlier generations.HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART space of time would be needed for such a modification. quote an example that leaves no doubt as to the real situation. because the system of checks that surround us has the effect of diverting our minds the lessened pos: sibility of inhuman impulses being involuntarily satisfied with impunity prevents their I will rising to the surface of consciousness.183.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE but less latitude has been allowed to social order is closing it is it. That the strides tion. [226] The wireless tele- . institutions should have precedence and note well not only the The hindrance of the depreventive ones. The : round it more and more a triumph for the policy of prevention. on the contrary. of which the past did not dare to dream. expected only of a social technology that does not stand too latter much behind the material. consists in the elic- of should If value-creating powers. the we we would become as old as Methuselah without Progress can be noticing any improvement. is has taken such tremendous all to its scientific due above founda- Practical results. first think that. depend on natural development. would do well to reflect on this. have been obtained on a purely theoretical basis. Those who think that human creatures must transform themselves and that then perhaps they will be ready for more perfect instiI tutions. — — structive instincts constitutes only one depart- ment of the human the more important iting art: the other and by far one.

that they be inIt has shown itself so in the mavestigated. that if theory there would be nothing to prevent the For realizing of an ideal society to-morrow. then in others. That it is outside [227] .HUMAN APTITUDES AND ART graph is a consequence of the Hertzian wave- theory and the performances of the originated in dynamo Faraday's and later physicists' investigations of the electric streams produced by movement. what the race will be capable of doing in thousands and thousands of years lies already now within human potentiality. condition for turning existing powers to service is. Let it free itself from all preconceived ideas and probably lead to discoveries and inventions which may compare with the it will And furthermore I dare to assert we should suddenly come into possession of the social science after which we are now groping and if we should have the resolute will to apply it as human art. first The terial social. domain and it cannot be otherwise in the in its But our sociology is not scientific the same sense as our natural science is: systems are throughout obscured by dogmatism.

but whose matter and forces can be or regrouped. which being given once all. reformed and transposed so that our conditions of life become utterly changed. Practically speaking.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE of our present range does not come from the fact that we lack aptitudes which we can count on posterity's having. [228J . cannot be increased by a single atom by even the very slightest quantity of energy. in the In this respect. social technic position is same material technic toward human beings as toward the substance of the for surrounding world. aptitudes do not change but the manner of procedure in their utilization is perfectible in a is high degree.

OF GREAT MEN: AN ESSAY IN VALUATION .

.

as what is said here of the great exceptions." Another one says: "In the great personthere remnant.OF GREAT MEN: AN ESSAY IN VALUATION ONE in ality." always remains a mysterious which puts all psychological for- No remark could be truer than these. mulae to shame. all. we imagine to be easy to understand. but neither could any be more superfluous. "In the genius and the hero there is an obscure eleauthor writes: ment which escapes every effort to seize it. is ultimately applicable to one and tery. what spark ani- . what it is that unifies his [231] life. Every-day people are also a mysonly in a common form and one which. on that account. But up to this time nobody has been able to tell what the individual really is.

if we take qualities as the point of we can discover.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE mates him. no real difference between every-day people and great men. what force moves him. common humanity. the same as those which have secured to all [232] . Mahomet and Beethoven. there is no We are limited to the sur- face and must try its the help of deeper by manifestations upwards and outis to guess what lies wards. this That which called explanation in branch never reaches any further down than to a substantiation and comparison of qualities. they are. access. Now parture. Insomuch the clerk at his desk and the green-grocer at the market are misolved problems just as much as Caesar. Scientific psychology if is quite aware of the fact that. in their roots. in the main points. their superiority over others are. notwithstanding dethe enormous variations of talent. strictly speaking. into the we mean by this a penetration But to this depths of human nature. but only dissimilarity in gradations and deThe qualities which give such men gree. no human creature can be explained.

individual offshoots they bloom with a rare intensity. common of Grillparzer. [233] From the . So the great above the average. in putting into typical. in reality expresses only thoughts which. a re-creation of it." which the public believe themselves obliged to see a marvel of profundity. poem: the psychical acquisition of a work of art is.OF GREAT for the MEN But in these human being as a species his privileged position in the planetary life. The receptivity which is open to appreciation is man of the Ninth Symphony is more or less related to the productive power which created the tone way. express themselves here in a clearer mentality or a mightier will or a more they refined and complex one that rises feeling. if one has not sounded the depths of the obscure. once wrote: "Truly one cannot understand the renowned. in a certain The famous monologue "To be in or not to be. would have arisen in every reflecting creature's mind but which Shakespeare has succeeded terms. who himself was one the great ones. but he is not separated from it by a yawning abyss. even without Hamlet.

at least. young peasant follows girl. of the highest productiveness of which the human being is capable.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE quarrels of the wine-excited cabmen. in embryo. a Dido. be likely neglect the nuances and keep to the coarsely-cut cateIt is the same as with the melodrama. there is spun an invisible but continuous thread straight to the disputes of the sons of the gods. whose effect the very fact on the general public depends on that it operates with contrasts in [234] . be wise to remember that primitive might instincts still smolder in the most advanced but neither should the fact be over- spirits. causes The to inclination in antithe- to generahze and the pleasure found us to ses." of the her We present day do not express ourselves any longer in such well-chosen mythological terms. looked that even the least-cultured bear within them germs. who half against impatient lover away from the swarm of dancers there lies a Juliet. a Medea. but even if the form is old-fashioned. It is forgotten only too often. and her in the will. the content of the It words has preserved its efficacy. gories.

with figures that are angehcally good or devihsh in their mahciousness. white and black. that if there were an abyss between geniuses and ordinary mortals. with perfect virtues or pronounced vices. while. those that are not of the chosen could never have an intellectual share in the [235] performance . as if they were races separated from each other by interminable spaces. The Hterary ehte smile at this but must be said to do homage to the same tendency when it is not concerned with the theater. but the winding ways of intel- something much more secret about them. It is a pretentious and overstrained worship of greatness which discriminates between the celebrated and the nameless. as a matter of fact. and the word genius is therefore one that most easily produces the idea of disligence have Yet we ought to be able to say to ourselves. between chieftains and the common herd. In the domain of character the gradual rise from weakness to mediocrity and thence to strength and further to heroism is plain to the eye.OF GREAT MEN. they form a continuous series of transitions. then connected distances.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE of genius. there are many steps to the perfected form. People can be more or less great. gives evidence of the fact that this comprehensive soul also had his limitations. and just as even a quite ordinary face can. others have been permeated through and through wnth genius. but his play. at some moment or other of their lives. but such an inspiration. is true of Goethe. Most well-equipped creatures probably have a great idea. The truth is that there are numerous intermediary links. Just exactly as. In certain people. once and On the other hand. assume an expression of transfigured beauty. but never This to the extent that it could not fail them. some oftener and more seldom. Der Bilrger-General. at certain moments. in physical respects. the genius appears only as an isolated flash. are by no Now we know very well that they means excluded from this and we must conclude from it that a bridge does exist. It was so with Rouget de Lisle the night he created the text La Marseillaise —that and music of no more. whom the Revolution like- wise inspired. appearing by [236] .

In give loving couples who remodel each other. they are represented in contrast to craftsmen. definitions are mobile and uncertain. dilettantis and the is re- ceptive general public. point all Let To choose an example: the artistic genius. one must first of all be an artist. each in accordance with the ideal which his or her practical — who reduced as for that psychologist just — of us are matter. their one discovers artistic elements In imaginative children life who to in games dead objects. But where If the cri- terion really to be found? one looks about everywhere. In the in life to to himself the inner habitus of his [237] fellow- . a conception that is is not easy It true artists are spoken of as a species of their own. necessary that the inspiration should express itself not by chance but more spontaneously and somewhat boundary continuously. is me but even this to establish. line definite However no can be drawn for the On this application of the expression genius.OF GREAT fits MEN For this. daily picturing is and personality amorous longings all require. be such. is not genius. it is and starts.

just as there are many whose work disorder never reaches up to the What is wrong here? [238] level of its creator.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE creatures tions. It sounds like a it paradox but to interpret cnm grano is only necessary salis. For w^hat is art if it is not an animation of the inanimate. Is the artist then only to be found in artistic productions? On this point. opinis ion is known —that divided. Each and every one of these goes to work artistically. gestures and tones. fall There are many art-subjects that practiced artists short of their rights in treatment. Lessing's assertion if well- Raphael. Some or . the idealization of the actual. even he had been born without hands. the revelation of the essential by the help of symbols. to according to external manifesta- forming for himself a uniform picture from fragmentary characteristics: a suggestive little act. then one dis- it is covers the truth that contained in this pun- gent form. the joining of scattered constituents into a unity. a characteristic physiognomy. chance expressions. would nevertheless have been the greatest genius among painters.

just as indispensable as the smallest wheel in a complicated A Raphael without hands would have preserved his har[239] . It may be that the error lies in a mere trifle. one. on seems that genius usually depends not only aptitudes in themselves. but this checks the connection between the inner view and the technical expression of The great tragedy of the incomplete man that his vision is it. but likewise on a certain combination of qualities. while the means of expressing it escapes him. Like another Tantalus he sees the tree with the golden fruit above him. the deepest longings. so that the functions do not operate as they should.OF GREAT MEN Other in the nervous system probably. is sublime. of which every single ones. but his arm is too short by exactly that hand's breadth. — the is most unyielding consciousness of purpose It not sufficient to constitute a genius. nature of things that even a whole series of unusual aptitudes the most For it is in the — excellent mental powers. is even the comparatively inferior machine. only a hand's breadth more and he can seize it.

his peculiar sense form and color. the larynx. the limbs. our position on this planet would have been absolutely different from our present one. would have taken : another direction. so to ers. the genius among the creatures of the earth. but he would have still He would his without this tool he simply cannot be a painter. he has seen : speak. means of communication by language would not have developed our intelligence. the hand is but a tool which reproduces what have been have would conceptions as exalted. And just as [240] it is with the col- . his blest eyes. is due to a happy combination a higher : differentiation of the brain. continued just lacked the completing link necessary for actual It is true enough that for the painter genius. if we had had any. history. much less a genius among paintThat the human being has become. an artist-soul. Suppose that one of these requisites had been lacking.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE monious of spirit. for example that the larynx were not so well-formed as it is the faculty of speech would then not have been at our disposal.

Let us imagine a Darwin or a Bismarck. the other is without political ambition. multifarious reading [241] and eccentric in- . I wonder what would have become of these two? Darwin would perhaps have had a glimpse of the great ideas.OF GREAT MEN lective genius of the human race. even one of comparatively secondary arises significance. of a single line can injure the beauty of the most perfect picture. so it is with the genius of the individual: remove one tendency or another. have probably remained on his estate. with the exception that the one lacks the scientist's patience. In the same way. But if they had not been present. each of them equipped with the power we know them to have had. the subtraction of a tiny characteristic. but would never have collected the material and the proofs which made it possible And Bismarck would for them to prevail. which cripples and a disproportion the whole combination. dividing his time between the activities of a landed proprietor. We are not in the habit of counting these qualities among the highest.

he is free from scruples and prejudices. to charm. his methods and expedients. [242] . what numberless powers go to waste because the center is lacking. Read the court proceedings against one of these colossal international swindlers. sliifts nationality as he changes his religion. he has a psychologic sense. Yes. who has been caught having visited the capitals and fashionable watering places with his exploits and after tricks during a lengthy period.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE ventions. a superior mound of disjecta memspirit. man is a genius gone in his Such an adventurer is. a powerful temperament. the When. flatter or threaten. to play on all strings. one sometimes cannot escape reading extensive reports. but all in all. He is experienced in the art of intrigue. as he is in all practical tricks. the feeling that the astray. admirably-equipped attractive exterior individual. without center. which makes him able to handle his neighbors with virtuosity. according to his needs. way. an Besides an and perfect manners. in one gets a glimpse of the nature of his mind. a bra without form.

weapons seem foreordained to triumph in the and is struggle for existence.OF GREAT MEN not so particular about a marriage more Does not a man in possession of such or less. The of a fact is —as a feuilletonist once remarked is man of this type: there a fault of con- struction in his personality. He has all the capabilities necessary to attain great aims. diplomats and parliamentarians? Is he not kneaded of the same stuff as the great Catharine. to rule over his fellowmen? Are not his gifts just of the sort that have been instrumental in securing the ad- vancement of celebrated monarchs. that principle result. squanders his rare talents on insignificant affairs and finally ends in jail instead of in the seat of a Cabinet member or in a Presi- dent's chair or at the Councilors' green table. but which groups powers about a center and causes them to cooperate in the direction of an important the aims themselves. the many-sided Talleyrand? But alas! this excel- lent material for a politician fritters his gifts away. this impulse in his is lacking. Such a grand swindler is way a genius without con- [243] .

while the tiger is our enemy. It will not occur to anybody to deny his physical perfection and. The grand swindler noxious animal. rank him lower than the full-blooded horse. in about the same way is as a bull-fighter is a hero.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE tent. his elastic walk. whether this task is worthy or unworthy from a human or social point of view. to use is is it is socially a to deceive and fits extort. whose heroism I purposeless. as a matis a genius. he not apply the measuring rod of his In the capacity of swindler. to the Go to a zoological tiger: see how garden and look at a royal majestically he carries himself. But why measure him by the politician's stand- ard. observe his powerful muscles. He fits his metier as a glove [244] a hand. Every one who is excellently organized for his task. but he so made that he does it in a superior manner. as the . has the right name. because the latter is useful to us. hear already the objection: "It is quite true that this adventurer lacks an essential qualification for becoming a political genius. whose business his fellow-creatures. in this respect. why equals ? ter of fact.

that mankind needs also a certain supply of impressions that give [245] life beauty and . is attained. it has gradually come to the is understanding that the directly serviceable not the only thing it needs: that besides this. Theoretically there is nothing fits cork the flask: ergo. an arm to de- fend or attack.OF GREAT MEN a genius in his This reasoning in reahty canspecial Hne. authority and After reaching a more insure advanced stage. a technical apparatus. to lighten cooperation. there is a truth that should be sought for its own sake. he is in the way of extending the conception genius in to all those whom there is such a pro- nounced such a perfect harmony between aptitude and vocation that mastership affinity. it that Society has always needed. a system of dogmatic rules and ethical regulations. a guiding hand. fill who And it these branches are those that correspond to the highest needs that society has or thinks has. or thought needed. But custom and the uses of speech limit this to those position in certain a prominent acknowledged branches." not be refuted. a thinking brain.

could not others realize? be found. for which we do not now account? Nor have all the grades that are thoroughly [246] . geniuses are divided into classes other than the military. both explicable and justifiable. Those who do not benot counted long under this classification. the practice of art. relation to God. in So far has civilization accordance with these ad- vanced ideas. But in this connection a question arises: how are we to demarcate values? Do they come under established heads: the ordering of public life. and. the practical and the religious. how excellently organ- In other words: the name and rank of geniuses is generally connected with the idea It is of creating and multiplying values. likewise. the political. that such work should have a position of its own.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE a higher elevation. are as geniuses. reached. into the scientific and the artistic. the inventor's activity. no matter ized they may be. martial capability. abstract thinking and exact science all —do these exhaust value-advancing possibilities that man can In addition to these.

but scarcely the highest that can be and then. It is vahd at all times and not certain that a primitive society might not produce a man with a NewBut it does not become develtonian brain. no physics nor astronomy. How then shall we explain the influence which they [247] . For their talents do not find expression in any production which ranks them in any one of the traditional classes. significance. but these sciences existed none the less: potentially they existed as far back as that prehistoric be inconceivable that time in when our It diluvial forefathers took refuge caves. no mathematics. is much higher. of internal Now harmony. we meet people who give a strong and involuntary impression of reached. it is true. of indwelling powers. cannot something similar may be the case on our stratum of culture. the resources on which Newton drew are not accessible to him. which. and he goes to his grave just as unaware of his own nature and For them there are gifts as his kinsmen are.OF GREAT MEN established with us. oped. but whom we do not exactly know where to place. been in all places.

But neither is this method of estimation thoroughly emancipated from the bondage of vocation. inent and not virtuosity. genius cannot attain acknowledgment without the help of a this certain expertness in or that direction. the materialization of which will perhaps not bring with them new "vocations" at all. in this.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE nevertheless have over us Possibly they are hidden geniuses. The and often estimates promto their personality men according more than according to their deeds and accomplishments. too. If genius is to assert itself. premature citizens of a future world. that is to say a value that is independent of the presentations that are now demanded. As things now are. but of which no one living can form an idea. it [248] . which will realize potentialities that slumber in all of us. but to which we must attribute an independent value. And yet the chief point is individuality public feels this. potentialities. in a domain to which neither ? they nor we can give a name. There is injustice and imperfection is that revelation of the essential so limited by the existence of the casual.

will sound And yet the like a poor joke to most people. [249] . on the other hand. It will be readily acknowledged that people can be quite without genius yet well supplied with talent. thing is possible. to the man himself at any rate.OF GREAT MEN must be in possession of a talent. indeed it may be a reality that. the assertion that a less talent- genius can easily be imagined. seems tragic enough.

[250] A . nature that has propensities in the direction of heroic deeds will. a No matter how important human being is he cannot force his way if he lives at the wrong time and in the wrong place. that real talent always makes its way? Schoolmaster-talk and banal-wisdom. that its complete expansion depends more or circumstances. The highest intellectual powers are of little use in a half-barbaric society. where they can neither assert themselves nor even be devel- oped for that matter. with the great intelligence as with the great character. When will people cease to repeat that platitude. a certain coincidence It is with of circumstances is necessary. but for genius to be demonstrable in deeds.II To be a genius requires a certain combination of qualities. genius as with a hero. less upon fa- external And these are vorable in the fewest cases.

whom it thinkers whose were never preserved in any work. know well enough. I wonder there have been how many men who were greater than their lot? was never granted to ideas Dictators to rule. guiltless of his country's blood. nor color. that he is not at all a sharp-edged sword ? The sword is fit to be wielded in cotton. whom no verse." lies under the modest mound. Thomas Gray in his Elegy de- scribes how he wanders and in the country church- yard imagines that the dust of an "inglorious Milton" or a ''Cromwell. have certainly more And why than is not? Even I the kinsmen believed. nor form ever revealed to contemporaries or to posterity. but there have certainly been sev[251] .OF GREAT MEN ordinary times. be doomed to inactivity. nor tone. It may even happen that the possession of unin usual quahties may hinder the advancement of a great man when he is placed in surroundings which require normal individuals and not exOf what assistance is it then to him ceptions. figures that are considered unique. that there has been only one Napoleon the Great. artists.

it was realized in Alcibiades in and later was to be found it Mirabeau and Lassalle. and yet he belongs to a type. it human is fully realize their own possibilities.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE eral Lieutenants Bonaparte. Indeed. though a rare one. though perhaps they. Only that they remained unknown. In these three did not arrive at maturity. too. [252] the in- agreement between external conditions and . had it in them to attain the highest. Just as there has been only one Caius Julius Csesar. it is true. is every time great events plow up the see we what a flood of powers and forces lie to be found. they place unused. combination seldom appears. the only elect. But circumstances were not favorable spiritual to them as to their Roman kinsman. but only a few of them In society. and he alone became emthe peror. As a rule. before him. In the hazthe ard of time. because the chance for success did not appear and they had to go under in silence and darkness. favorable and circumstances. soil. same as in nature's luxurious supply-chamber: it swarms with valuable germs.

over this marvelous coincidence talk about providential per- and schoolmasters Was it idence. He directed Alfred expresses the surmise that if Fate had Krupp to a political career.OF GREAT MEN dividual qualities. Bismarck and Moltke were historian when the time came to found the national unity? tenburg. that leaders like at hand. at any rate: they succeeded. they say in not a dispensation of ProvGermany. The less and military writer. he results would have attained compared to which could be the Bismarckian. which is just as important for the advancement of greatness as the talent itself. each in his in dis- . right And even when it man appears in the does happen that the right place. in this con- Now we know [253] these men way. York von Warviews the circumstance with prejudice and is of the opinion that the founders of the kingdom may have had their peers. still greater intellectual potentialities than Moltke were to be found and he names Goeben and Blumenthal nection. He insinu- ates that in the army which triumphed over Austria and France. then the mob wonders sonalities.

an accommodating interpretation of chance and the history of culture.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE tinguishing themselves. properly is viewed the saga of the fortunate. for a large part. a rule. Heroworship is. the appointed one. It gives us information about the intelligences and the characters. But who tells us of all those nameless ones their who took the secret of powers with them those that to their graves? The as so-called providential personalities are. win the great prize. of those helpless illness in who were not held down narrow circumstances. whose activities found opportunities in a land and in a period which had need of their powers. of those who got their chance in those years when their talents were [254] . though they did not reach fame's summit. nor accident swept away too whom no youthful folly ruined for life. Nothing contributes so tremendously to prestige as having been successful and the one who advances to the first place is considered exactly on that account. whom no early. It is the account of the geniuses and heroes who did not go to the bottom. as well as of politics.

that turned Luther from jurisprudence to theology and opened the way for him to become the It was Bismarck's fortune great reformer.OF GREAT MEN Still in bloom. That a human being's advancement is conditioned by circumstances over which he has no control. he never could have cooperated. appears most distinctly in the polit- domain and especially in revolutionary It was not Washington who introtimes. to which Bonaparte owed his speedy ad- macy with one vancement: Barras undertook to provide her dowry and it consisted in the chief command of the army of Italy and hereby the point of departure for a world-wide career was given. It was Josephine's inti- of the powerful leaders of the day. the sudden death of his friend Alexis. and not his merit that Frederick William IV. was succeeded by a king who gave him latitude with to whom do as he pleased. It was a pure chance. of those whom circumstances placed in a career which allowed them to be themselves to the full. duced the American liberty movement. not Robespierre who created the French Revoluical .

in large part. The significance of his life-work will. The career of any statesman or general will give evidence of the fact that those whom by the we call men of action come to the front help of a certain turn of events that is independent of their will and. beholden only to his sovereign talent. presence. when we investigate matwe will always be able to verify its The artist or the thinker. there are who ha^'c not been [256J acknowledged except . his work may those easily be wasted. not Gambetta who brought on the war of 1870. For those who distinguish themselves chance does in other branches. can feel rather independent. as a rule. this element of not express itself so freely. ters closely. but it is never entirely lacking and. incalculable. nor does it play such a fateful role for them.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE tlon. depend on the reciprocal effect of period and personality: if these two factors are irreconcilable. whether gle against them or let be that he strughimself be borne on or it carried away by them. yet he will always be the child of his time and will not be able to free himself from its currents. It is true.

Saint-Saens remarks that it had such rich possibilities of advance- ment only because it was produced at the proper moment. but on the contrary force them into new Certainly we see this and apparently it is geniuses alone who cause such changes. that they do not accept their contemporaries as they are.OF GREAT MEN by posterity. and the rule is. And if one turns to the history of science and technics how many evidences of the favor of circumstances or period The discoverer and there are on every page. never accomplished except when the soil has been prepared in men's minds. that if a man cannot work for his contemporaries. inventor have been strikingly compared to the player in a lottery where the last number drawn is ordained to be the winning one. In regard to the musical revolution which is connected with Richard Wagner's name. but these are exceptions. [257] The . But perhaps objection will be made: do we not see that the greatest geniuses express themselves just in this. but the point is this that these courses arc courses. his name will not be remembered by posterity.

the more probable it is that draw the prize. the greatest heirs : Caesar who inherited the [258] Roman republic. the happy winner. a . Elizabeth and Louis : type their fame is One can count Queen XIV among the utilizernot due so much to inherent greatness as to the fact that they were sur- rounded by eminent men whose powers they knew how to use so well that they themselves came to be considered the central point in a But in spite circle of important men of effort.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE more blanks cessors' he will come out on his predenumbers. have done so either as heirs of or as util- izers of the work of others. Or if one prefers a comparison from Goethe : One can elaborate the picthe happy heir. of everything such exploiters are not looked upon as stars of the first rank. Finally it cannot be that have avoided: the discovery or the invention takes is the place of a necessity and the originator one who is so fortunate as to come in the ful- ness of time. ture and say that those who have won reputation. either predecessors or contemporaries. This dignity a is reserved for the great.

is also in other domains: the pioneer fahs. but is then taken up by people who reap the advantage of his dearly- bought wisdom. they lead to a brilliant conclusion what already begun and then the world work. The settler sows and his The whole world knows how children reap. it goes with the man who undertakes to start a hitherto untried industry: it is generally unsuccessful at first. a Luther who inherited a century-old religious fermentation. a very thankless position. did not become the hero of the Trojan [-^59] . The pioneers point the direction but never reach the goal. when the effects of a whole period them. life tile The Greek who lost his by being the first to spring ashore on hossoil. he does not triumph. lie waiting for him is who can seize They collect the scattered. These elect come at a convenient moment. They glorious are looked upon as pioneers but calls it their own they should rather be called perfecters. and it becomes a paying busiAnd so it ness for them in the course of time. To be a pioneer is.OF GREAT MEN Napoleon who inherited the French Revolution. as a rule.

They could not execute the work. mastership. a perfecter of a school of of material poetry already existing. became the of who did not The story hero. Achilles. a perfecter of others. did so. representatives of completion. is constantly repeating itself. All the epoch-makers are Pippin both men of ac- complishment. Philip of Macedon. validity. who is eclipsed by the one who completes the work. AMiat an effect of {260] . of Protesilaus relation is general The between : John the Baptist and Christ is also significant the history of the forerunner. the French king accomplished the appellaof them made work that deserving tion of ''the great. but he that stood on their shoulders.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE war. sacrifice himself. Shakespeare was one. but he found in the adaptations which he reformed and stamped with his own Bismarck was also a perfecter." but they missed this honor because they were only forerunners and it was reserved for their sons who overshadowed them. the realizer of the idea of unity which had lived in the people for a long time and for which its best men had suffered and striven.

But the great public knows . And now Marconi. which make wireless connection He made use of a whole series of foreign preparatory workers men like Heinrich Hertz. on this basis. could become the perfecter of his predecessors the principle. Sir Oliver Lodge. all the way back to an- and they appear later in the works of Goethe. Clerk Maxwell. Righi. One can follow their traces cient Greece.OF GREAT MEN overpowering novelty Darwin made and yet his leading thoughts were far from new. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. all : of these have had a share [261] in the attainment of the great end. Lamarck. both a sharper formulation and an empiric proof. in other words. Branly. while the truth is he is neither the discoverer of its prerequisite the electric waves. does he not to the appear public as the real creator of wireless telegraphy. Darwin had command of this material and. But the hypotheses of these scientists did not become known because they lacked the necessary materials of experience and experiment. was able to give the explanation. nor the first inventor of apparatuses possible. of which had had glimpses.

to seize luck in its flight. while he was the perfecter. the persistency. And only why? Because the others were only the pioneers. at any rate. that history knocks at one's door: one must also be able to receive the inheritance. in a higher degree than others. knew how to put them to use as no other could. the boldness. the practical comprehension. Even though Mar- coni did pluck a ripe fruit. ance lies not enough that an inheritwaiting. is to understand that the hour of visitation come. he. added his own contri- bution and showed the result to the world in a triumphant achievement. on his side. that things take a fortunate It is turn. which were requisite in order for him to reach it — a these he had. we do not mean that everyone who has predecessors necessarily becomes a perfecter. Now of course.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Marconi. not least by being able to bring himself in harmony with the demands of the situation with: [262] . Even though circumstances did to accommodate themselves Bismarck in marvelously fortunate way. in that he connected the scattered elements he found.

OF GREAT MEN
out this revivifying power of adaptability, with all his talent and notwithstanding the fullness
of time, he

would never have developed from

the Prussian squire to the founder of German The sort of favorable circumstances of unity.

which we are here speaking, contribute so actively to the advancement of certain men
only because they are not content with being

Indeed one can go a step passive receivers. further and admit that the happy chance which so often reveals itself in the career of
the famous, must often be interpreted other-

wise than as the quite undeserved accident it seems to be. There are those that have luck

with them in such a striking degree that seems as if it flies to meet them, or rather as
they were drawn to
it

it

if

as iron

is

attracted to

the magnet. And rivals envy them and think that what happened to these favorites of for-

tune

—the

minor occurrence which

led to the

great discovery, the unforeseen chance, which decided a battle or created a political reputation

—they

think

such

a

dispensation

could

easily

have

fallen to the lot of
[263]

an ordinary man.

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
But
this

perhaps
It

clusion.

may

not such a foregone conbe that hick sometimes deis

pends on a specially developed power of knowing how to find it, on an obscure instinct which
has
expedient combinations and strives toward them with the certainty of a The thought has been adsleep-walker.
flashes

of

vanced several times and cannot be dismissed
acquainted only with the surface of the ocean of human nature
;

as

unreasonable.

We

are

we have

weak and imperfect idea of the powers lying in its deeps, what Socrates called "daimonion," which was later given the name of intuition, what we nowadays include under
only a
the term "subconsciousness"

—of

all

this

have only a vague and imperfect idea. If could explore this hidden region we should
perhaps find that several apparent strokes of luck can be traced to the individual's own nature.

we we

As an

example. Napoleon's career, his
his

dazzling

success,

precipitous

downfall,

might, at least in part, be explained in this

way, that he was originally equipped with an unusual power of the kind referred to, but that
[264]

OF GREAT MEN
became later temporarily obscured or permanently weakened which indeed can also hapit

pen to other powers.

But hereby the
are reached.

limits

of

acknowledgment
is

Let us admit that there
ability
is

a place
:

where luck and

meet

in a secret affinity

nevertheless this

very

little

compared

to that

domain where chance seems
tentacles

sole ruler.

Let
its

us admit that the soul can stretch forth

toward the future and

in this
it.

to a certain extent, can control

It

way, cannot

reshape the past, it cannot move the present, it cannot shake oiT the iron ring of completed

and existing
tion

facts. Napoleon's gift of divinahave might helped him forward in his career, but he had no share in deciding the ex-

ternal conditions of his career
tion

—the

annexathe

of

Corsica,

his

military education,

French Revolution, to name only a few of the
chief ones.

In a way, one can be the smith who forges one's own fortune, but always in a given workshop. One cannot choose his

parents nor his position in society nor the land and period in which he is born, nor the cur[265]

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
rents which bear his age and himself with it. There are no perfecters unless there have been

forerunners, no heirs, unless there are estates The more we account for the multo inherit.
tiplicity

of external

conditions,

which must

conspire together to bring about an advancement, the more clearly w^e see how many im-

portant talents are wasted, because they miss the convenient moment, the suitable circumstances, the favorable conditions of
this
life.

And

conclusion carries with

it

the admission

that the

number

of the called far surpasses that

of the chosen, that only a very few of the great

human

possibilities

come

into their full rights.

[266]

Ill

ITvestigate

would be an insurmountable task to an historical reputation and

intry-

to analyze accurately the elements that compose it; to decide, on the one hand, how much

can be attributed to the

man

himself and his
is

achievements and, on the other, what
to the

due

work

of those

who have gone

before, to

the assistance of his contemporaries and to

fortunate

circumstances.

purely personal estimation cult by the factor that I will

The correct, is made more

just,
diffi-

call the reflex

of

For history exercises a retroactive history. influence, in that it is often in the reflection of and under the
visual angle of posterior results,

that the people of the past rise before our eyes in more or less relief. In China, the merits of
its

posterity can ennoble a defunct race

and

the course of history sometimes shows a corre-

sponding promotion.

The Roman kings were
[267]

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
very humble provincial potentates, certain of them in addition are no more than mythical
fisfures,

the

we remember them on account of importance which the Roman state atbut

under the republic and the empire. George Washington with all his great and good qualities was no overpowering personof the United ality, but the marvelous growth States has enlarged his halo and has caused
tained

him

to appear in dimensions

which exceed the

real ones.

On

the other hand, an estimation

may

be misplaced, in the opposite way, by a can name excapricious trick of fate.

We

tremely distinguished
ciation
is

men from whom
not
withheld,

certainly nevertheless do not get their full rights, simply because their names are connected with others

apprebut who

and greater ones. AMiat did it not cost that mighty and comprehensive intellect, Alfred Russel Wallace, that Darwin became his rival in the theory of the origin of species and I

wonder
because

if

to posterity has not been inclined

underrate

Pompey

as statesman

and warrior
contemporary

it fell

to his lot to be the
[268]

OF GREAT MEN
of Julius Caesar.
tion

When we

stand on an eleva-

and look

at a

range of the Alps, our view
very topequally high may does not attract our inif it

will unconsciously fasten itself to the

most summit.
rise
terest.

One almost
this

near by but
If
it

rose out of a prairie or

lay be-

tween lower mountains without competition, tourists would flock to it as to a great sight;
but in the environment in which
the giant towers over
it it

is

placed,

and

it,

on that account,

its actual height. In a similar the estimation of way, personalities may take

seems

less

than

on these, so to speak, optical changes of proportion, nor on the other externals which influence our judgplace.
I

But

will not dwell

ments.

The

subject

must be

isolated so that

only the kernel remains.

All the

confusing by-circumstances w^hich tioned, have to do with fame only, and this
irrelevant
to

more as the I have menis

the

real

whose
whole,
ness.

chief
is

question

is

problem of valuation, this: what, on the

to be

understood by

human
of this

great-

The

pithiest definition I
[269]

know

is

Ost-

HUMAN QUINTESSENCE
wald's:

"A

apparatus
ances."
that

great man," he writes, "is an that can render great performsentence sounds so reasonable
will certainly subscribe to
it.

The

most people

Whenever

the valuation problem in general is mentioned and it is asked: "Who is the
greater, the greatest
is

the one

who

the reply that he has performed the greater, the

man?"

greatest deeds, will scarcely meet any objection. But it is just as certain that when it is

a question of judging concrete cases, definite personalities, this criterion will be set aside
outright.
It is

now many
I

tention

was drawn
following.

years since my atto this and the occasion

was the

was

in the

United States

Union, which at the time harbored two especially famous men: General Philip Sheridan and Professor Alexander
in the capital of the

Graham

Bell.

But while the

first

enjoyed an

enormous popularity and the inhabitants pointed him out to foreigners with pride, the
other led a fairly unnoticed existence, and it was only by chance that I learned that he lived

amongst

us.

Now

of
[2/0]

course,

the

cavalry

OF GREAT
leader of the Civil

MEN
worthy of
all

War was

honor, but nevertheless the inventor of the telephone had accomplished a life-work of much

more deep-lying

significance,

and from

this

point of view, the difference in the popular

homage was

striking.

Seen from the stand-

point of reason,

it appeared to depend on a reversed valuation; but at the same time, I was

did not really offend my feeling that the victor of Chattanooga and Cedar Creek was preferred to the man who had

conscious of the fact that

it

saw, in it, a strange contradiction, but could not get to the bottom of it at the time and I did not understand until

conquered distance.

I

question of valuation is not always decided by the measurement and comparison of performances.
later

that

the

If

it

were

true, that the individual's greatin proportion to the

ness

is

always

range of his
in-

acts, then

undoubtedly the revolutionizing
race.

ventors would stand as the highest pinnacles of
the

human

Indeed

it

dazzles

one to

think of the results that the art of printing, the steam-engine, the railroad have brought about.
[271]

in in the general opinion. art in respectful indifference. enough to insure him who accomplished it. To effect this. which we pass upon which the highest politics. They are cursorily mentioned in school-books. far-reaching an achievement not may be. memorials have been raised to them here and there. The explanation is that they are looked upon as men. the act and its must his be in accordance with the personality. whose works were of more significance than themselves. and thought are placed.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Johannes Gutenberg. this organic connection either absent or can- [272] . that account? By no means. George Stephenson. each of these has been of more vital significance in the course of things and has helped more to give the world a different appearance than any statesman or conqueror But are they considered greater men on has. a place among the greatest. his consequences dimensions of be over- shadowed by The man own work if is will this proportion. they do not reach to the pedestals. it must present itself as a revela- No matter how it is tion of his nature. James Watf.

not so on account of what they have accomphshed. whether useful or bringing misfortune. there who seem great to us. in contrast to Napoleon. But he is much of a giant notwithstanding and no one will maintain that Louis XI. is It looked upon as of secondary importance. as on account of what they have been in themseh'es. was the greater ruler. suffered shipwreck. for example. strengthened and fortified the [273] . the founding of a dynasty which should rule all Europe. but his own personaHty dominant to such a degree that the question of the work he has accomphshed and its results. because he. Roman civiliza- The final outcome of Napoleon's policy was defeat on every point: his chief plan.OF GREAT not be discovered. and he left France exhausted. are people MEN much On the other hand. is no detriment to Caesar's fame. that we can see in his life-work a link in the long-drawn- out process of deterioration of tion. A man's activity may have been epoch-making. more diminished in territory and in population than its it was at the time when he just as had assumed direction.

If any period has shown Mutsuhito. On the other hand. its military triumphs. a TiglathPileser.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE only positive results are to be taken into consideration. Just look at William [274] to II . a sovereign who must be counted the most important that French monarchy. that —so little with his most people are not even familiar name. in international growing position of power is politics: such a sum of progress. a royal image in stone from Egy^pt or Babylon. And it is on this that everything depends: no one becomes the hero who does not show himself to them as a human being. In short we cannot get a glimpse of his facial expression. this alone is enough satisfy the demand. And why? Because we have no opportunity of forming an idea of the man. is the Emperor of Japan. compressed into a single generation. human mated physiognomy. allel. He is as foreign to us as a Rameses. The inner development of the kingdom under his its rule. Nevertheless here in Europe almost without parwe are not particularly interested in Mutsuhito in fact. sometimes when one is confronted by an aniof beings.

In this connection. one cannot point out a single one of his deeds that can really be called great and his oral performances often enough invite criticism. And which he interpreted as accumulated power acting on its surroundings by its mere presence. for more than twenty years. Emerson once propounded the question. has in- cessantly kept his contemporaries on the qui vive. For the ex-president's enormous prestige cannot be explained by the process of objective In the White House. perhaps refer to his compatriot Mr. With all the good-will in the world. he names IMirabeau. But none the less even his opponents will ac- knowledge that everA'thing he undertakes is stamped by such a strong individuality. that this alone makes him a marvelous phenomenon. master the greater problems at issue and as [275] .OF GREAT MEN how he. why was that the personal importance of many men was valued more highly than their acts it seem he thought that he found the solution of this problem in the charto authorize. Roosevelt. he did not valuation. and if he lived still would acter of these men.

ob- But he flings vious truths and nothing more. It was with correct instinct that the Americans "magnetic statesman." the English could have also given the to appellation to Disraeli and Frenchmen called Blaine the Gambetta : it fits more or less all born leaders. any- He offers his public high-principled opinions. The personal magnetism which obscures judgment and will-power and causes people to fol[276] . he is evidently charged with a vitality which cannot fail to exert an influence on those about him. them out with an unusual agitatorial power and with an art of staging himself worthy of admiration. when read in print. was the personality more than the words which exThe same words uttered ercised the charm. Besides this it is a fact often substantiated that the oratorical perform- ances of famous speakers.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE an author and speaker he does not rise place above the level of every-day ideas. are a disappointment to one who remembers the impression they made when they were It de- livered to an audience as living words. by another would not have produced the same effect.

which glistened like a diamond and diffused a sort Liszt was one of of Dionysian intoxication. But who knew him agree that it was not the multifarious play of color of all these talents. The secret. individuality of which one catches a glimpse behind their work. Rous- seau. others influence through a their medium. through own productions. For example. ahiiost al- man through its thick ways has share in the advancement of the great politician. those who exert a direct influence.OF GREAT low a MEN and thin. that the sometimes be asserted of them. hold who often complained of his inability to But it can his own in daily intercourse. Liszt was an incomparable virtuoso. reformer or as far as that acterize is army it leader. to which he owed the power of witchery. an all intellectual writer. they say. is of greater effect than the work itself. a distin- guished tone-poet. which no one who came in contact with him could resist. in his charming nature. Goethe said outright that an [277] . too. But Franz concerned or may also char- an artist any one else. lay in his type of mind. that is.

he himself can be also used The Goethe-esque spirit to uphold this view. examples might be multiplied. the political acts and social questions forces lose on which they have spent their Almost everytheir actuality. it is the same with most very prominent men. His verses are no longer quoted. is the that this. Their productions are laid on the shelf. but in his character (by which he means personahty) and fact. in only element that becomes a part As a proof of this. their philosophical systems are superseded by new theories. mentions Corneille and La Fontaine. outside of And the How many England read Byron nowadays? And yet he is known by all. [278] . but in a certain sense. reaches further than the Goethe-esque production: thousands of its particles fly about in our intellectual atmosphere and are conveyed. like fructifying pollen to people who have not opened a single one of his books. And in reality. but his character constitutes a permanent ingredient of our ideational life. he of popular culture.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE author's significance is to be sought. not in his artistic capabilities.

But Bismarck will undoubtedly be remembered as will the unique man he was. on that account. But above the surface of the water. as the implacable realist with the poetical vein. have known many who have preferred Gladstone's policy to Bismarck's and thought that I the methods of the British statesman would prove more the great viable than the tendencies which But I have represented. years. in twenty who will worry about Gladstone's and and methods? Bismarck's tendencies No other than historians. German Besides. certain summits can long be seen the great person- — alities. with the caustic critical tion.OF GREAT MEN thing that is accomphshed becomes graduall^^ buried under the advancing waves of time. the The memory of personality outlives interest for the work and finally becomes the chief. appear to posterity as the greater of the two. powers and the creative desire for acthe clear understanding and the ef[279] . the ideas of the day have taken an entirely new trend. indeed the only standard of values. never heard any one prophesy that Gladstone would.

I wonder how many have heard of Dr. factor of his country? his Was Was he will he a bene- a scourge of day? These questions become of importance. human species in Benefactor or scourge. who discovered the anaesthetic power of sulphuric ether and was the first one to make painless operations possible. They will be overshadowed by the fact that he enriched us with secondary a splendid example of the that he gave us himself. The lives his discovery has saved arc innumerable. the valuation of personalities has not undergone any change.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE fervescent temperament. but has not devoted any special article to the one of whom we are speaking. the [280] sum . it is not that sort of Notthing that finally determines the issue. Charles Jackson of Boston. I open the en- cyclopaedia and seek in vain: the work con- tains articles about it two generals Jackson. and those who are called the benefactors of mankind are by no means given the most prominent places in our Pantheon. withstanding all the talk about humanitarianism that we hear in our day.

Henri Dunant got the Peace-prize and. when he died recently. Yes. is reserved for others than those who have won triumph over sickness and death. there are references to Robert Koch. The highest praise that is given to personality. but the discoverer has sunk into oblivion. as this reckless destroyer of other people's life and happiness. On the other hand." said the great when the latter reported to Emperor him the vic- tims of the war." and that he was in earnest he showed with a vengeance.OF GREAT MEN of physical pain and mental sufferings it has saved the race incalculable. "such a man as I cares not a rap for a million human beings. a beautiful obituary. and therefore it is extolled. "Such a to Metter- man nich. to Pasteur: both these and other pioneers of the same type have been honored in many ways. the [281] . But what benefactor has obtained such blind affection for his person. such unlimited ad- miration from posterity. as I. but. but the hom- age has concerned their work far more than themselves: it is with them as with the inventors whom I have recently mentioned.

a warrior in the grand style and he would probably be seen to overshadow all the Coryphei of Peace. Famous warriors have always had a particular place in the popular consciousness and the in a body. but we must not flatter ourselves with the belief that. and his deeds to weigh heavier in popularity's scales than the combined honors with which all the winners of the Nobel prize have covered themselves. another Beranger or Victor will man Hugo or sing in never-to-be-forgotten Nowadays Peace has become a shibboleth. is whom Heine verses.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE originator of the Red Cross. to this very day. and much is spoken and written about every quarter. it. We must not swear any oaths we may live to see history repeat it- Let Europe see once more a conqueror. It is pret this valuation. to inter- crowned which Pacifism has not most natural been able to dim. about self. a readjustment of values has been and for it in consummated. on that account. which seems so dispropor[282] . whose grave not the thousands will visit in reverence. greatest among them with a halo are.

And no great sport demands Quite such a combination of unusual powers as that that distinguishes a warrior. race-course nor the stock-exchange nor roulette can be compared to it as far as exis the citement concerned. war became tionate. there is another to be considered: the passion forms. in addition to this. Without doubt this ele- ment has helped to create the traditional war- rior-worship. what imagination and calcula[-^83] . the gambling of the gods. what forethought and foresight. the zeal for sport.OF GREAT MEN from those days when the armed struggle for existence was the normal state and. aside from the military-professional training. as the result of this. what psychological insight. But now war. as Lord Rosebery calls it. the often-exaggerated admiration for the one who wins in a competition. are all occurrences which we know from daily experience. is the grandest and most exNeither citing of all sport and chance-taking. but. as a relic the greatest touchstone of a society's or individual's capability. for hazard still unimpaired in all and betting their The love of play.

then we can understand that a man who : has once emerged victorious from a war.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE tion are required in order to lead to victory. In addition to is this. the devastations of slaughter or the threatening danger of mutilation or death. if we re- member the intoxication of triumph. And it can just as easily be understood that that the man people have always had a feeling whose bead and nerves could defy and sub[284] . the intense consciousness of bethe central point in the fate of people who ing are confined within the limited space of a battle-field and whose destiny is to be decided in a single historical hour. an army and under circumlet stances in which most people would them- be overpowered by their impressions. for the general. carry selves it And this. under the uproar of the struggle. the wailing of the wounded. it seemed finally to have become stimulant without which he could hardly live. Further. there his enormous responsibility. longs to come once more under its potent spell even for such an intellectual and harmonious nature as a Caesar's. the size of the stake.

yet not counted elder. a his honor. Scipio the was among the infallible. for homage does not concern wholesale murder and destruction. but the great persontheir Enthusiasm for personality is the real kernel of warrior-worship. but even he did defeat Hannibal. must be of a more figure of bronze like the statues that are raised to mold than ordinary mortals. surpassed [285] warrior-thinker the world has . rank of famous generals not determined by professional standards only. and the respective ality. but just as much is according to strength of individuality.OF GREAT MEN due situations of that perfect sort. tial to There are people who are not parwar in itself but who nourish an in- voluntary admiration for certain leaders. that he was the greatest seen and that he. in this respect. and they can admire them without scruple. also. in the judgment of history he does not reach to the heights of the conquered Carthaginian. if among the greatest. lington went from triumph Welis to triumph. It has been said of Moltke that no one understood the technique of mass-management as he did.

Schlieffen attempted. but he lacked also the sea of flames in Mos- cow. "certainly lacked the imagination- compelling. the downfall at Waterloo. as background for a battle-picture.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE Napoleon himself. the horrors at Beresina." right. *The career of the aged warrior. Beresina. a remark which inadvertently casts a gleam of light over the true conditions. the Pyramids. the crossing of the Alps. to administer justice between these two. Leipzig and \\^'iterloo must also be included among [286] those episodes about . which characterized the young Corsican's career. the flight from Quite Leipzig. The chief-of-staff Count are not convincing. he happened to fall. in a speech that he made to give several years ago. with the exception that certainly Moscow. the legendary-heroic elements. and after what he said it would seem doubtful to whom the prize should But on this occasion." he re- make marked. such as the bridge at Lodi. the banners from Areola. But the efforts that have been made to compare him with the latter or him the precedence as some have tried.

that have so often become the object of posterity's admiration and in this res[)ect. was an extremely important personage. I think it would be sufficient to teach them the difference between persons and affairs. personality was so dominating. without them? a to con- have us a Napoleon always impassions whether but in success or defeat. Moltke also. who have chastised people the most severely. a new method of teaching history has been demanded for the guidance of the young. on the other hand. at the same time. In the Emperor. cherish a repugnance [287] . set the im- Would one wish to to be No. they belong nected whole we would not wish different. much too much of a professional for his reputation to be able to stand crushing defeats. I have already mentioned that it is quite possible to value a warrior's greatness and. that professional criticism slid from him as water drops from a marble that is statue. Moralizers have more than once complained it just those men. as man.OF GREAT MEN which legends are spun and which agination in motion.

is is only the means to the end. Honor be to benefactors. On the contrary : I see in this a sound and correct judgment. and that they. hold yearly banquets I cannot discover any thoughtlessness. honor be to those who have helped to improve human conditions. any defective in the appreciation of the power of judgment. just as certainly must pure life-forwarding activity. which feels that the greatest of all values must be sought in the human being as such. without regard to the service he has done or the harm he has caused. no matter [288] how effec- . but this improveservice possible to ment nevertheless which eventually type.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE toward war as a phenomenon. great personality in itself. have shown us a human summit. who in different capitals of the world. who in their own existences. the elevation of the human is And just as certainly as the end su- perior to the means. Just as. have rendered the most excellent perform. I think that one can be a faithful adherent of the Peace movement without nec- essarily being enthusiastic over those profes- sional peace-lovers. on the other hand.

will have more chance of making an impression than a scientist or a philosopher. but rather that it moves within limits that are not is applied to extensive enough. a ruler. a partiality that. al- What may be urged against the prevalent. they will be most susceptible to tangible. may be. a tribune. an will. men with nature of the question that. It usually prefers leaders and political is ever.OF GREAT live it MEN life itself. howIndeed it lies in the easy to explain. sensational revelations. the popular personality-worship is not that it unworthy ones or to too many. Therefore army leader. a reformer as a rule. dramatic. stand in rank behind behind that sovereign existence which has ready realized the highest possibilities. a composer. or an artist and these in their turn. In order to estimate of intellectual greatness. be more able to force himself upon men's minds than a poet. The general public finds Bismarck more explicable than Goethe. and Goethe is more accessible than Kant. a certain in- amount mental effort and often also formation which every man does not possess. [289] . made as most people are.

is that which appeals most forcibly to the average human being.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE are demanded. is only with the prerequisite that there ive affinity present between the producer and On the contrary. as well as in character. that personality can be seen in intelligence. but which are by no means all. the expressions the receiver. that the heroic spirit can appear in a work of art also. of a strong will are instantly comprehensible to every one: the spiritual manifestation that is called character. The radiations from an emobut elect- tional life are apprehended more directly. So personality is seen most conspicuously in character and character is made synonymous with external activity. That thinking can be just as good as acting. acknowledged or even suspected by [290] . that these two are respectively amalgatheir separation : mable and that is in reality exclusively rational all these are truths which ought to be obvious.

I will point out the supcr- INficiaHty of the basis of classification which groups great men according to their vocations and accomplishments. which have only an external example. That. as talks in who feels member of himself above a guild. usually masters his profession but he does not allow himself to be mastered by case with the pure prof essionalists painter who nique. another to forms and color. or the officer who about "what he owes his uniform" and remembering the garment Greatness forgets what he owes to himself.IV this connection. it : as is the with the loses himself exclusively in tech- a learned man. The great man. it is true. consists in something different from and more than the specific aptitudes. or the scientist all. one person is very receptive to tones. that the production of the one meaning. for is musical while the creative power of the other [291] .

be absolutely different from another painter while his relationship to a composer is un- For example. which however does not necessarily show any ference in the more deep-lying dissimilarity. and that part of the brain where ideas are formed. it is mistakable. simplicity. in this respect. the ear or the eye. harmony which make Michael them brothers. the often mentioned parallel between Raphael and Mozart occurs to the mind involuntarily. his special type of mind. nor the means by which he works them into expression. clearness. but the firm kernel about which the essential processes are assembled : his dom- inant feelings. while Angelo and [292] . A painter can. In short. In this case. And even type of mind has nothing to do with a particular art. is not the nature of the impressions he assimilates.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE takes the plastic or pictorial form: this It is ity what does mean and what is really the cause of it? supposed to arise from an inborn peculiardue to the connection between a sense organ. from a dif- psycho-physical equipment. For that which gives the artist his decisive characteristic.

and it becomes explicable that Bocklin has been compared to Homer. the agreement does not cease here: still and titanic it can be stretched further to the more distant domains of poetry and of science. that like it can permeate to even a research work Spinoza's Ethic. musical. we see that the form in which content is clothed — the still more pictorial. passion And power. The are obliterated. association has been noted between the and the scientific effort to separate the permanent unit from a phenome\\'hen the physinon's confusing multiplicity. which in the emotional exposition of its five books has actually been compared wdth the artistic five acts of a drama. Further.OF GREAT Beethoven are MEN by their pro- spiritual fellows fundity. artistic. for the stage alone. poetical or philosophical — is in the lines boundary end a secondary matter. cist or the chemist classifies. If we take type mind as a characteristic. that a parallel betw^een Bach and Kant has even been drawn. under a single I293] . that in a It is discovered that is such an element as the dramatic it not reserved also can sound forth symphony.

the first time he became aware of it the trivial : experience became for him the starting point of a philosophy.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE main law. this power of anticipative synis conspicuous in those who tower above others intellectually. Many mighty ones had looked upon the misery of mankind about them. by describing a typical human fate. itself Innumerable fall to are those who have seen an apple separated from the [294] when branch but who the earth . it transformed him it into Buddha. a slight occasion. but which we cannot discern among the fragmentary characteristics and kaleidoscopic pictures of daily life then they are both animated by the same spirit. points out a coherence which has general validity. On the whole. Prince Gotama on the contrary took it to heart. may be enough to awaken in them the idea of the great harmony of things. phenomena which before him had been explained by different special laws. thesis but the spectacle passed out of their sight and left only dull impressions on their minds. when the poet. And they often : have this in common also that a little hint. of a religion.

Of course usual to dis- tinguish between these two. And so it usually is with the great reformer: it is likely to be a single occurrence which draws his attention to a general evil. but the boundary line cannot be maintained. while others. Why should it have been just this one? Because he was the one who could see the essential behind the accidental. goes to the bottom of eradicate best. he puzzled over its cause and discovered the Here we see the universal law of gravitation. at have done no more than defend themits against manifestations. he traces it. \\'hen Copernicus slung the earth out into space. rested by the accustomed phenomenon.OF GREAT MEN took it it as a matter of course. his revo- lutionary thought was an [295] exploit. selves scattered and individual The reformer a is at once a man it is of idea and man of action. just as much . great discoverer solve a problem w4iich did not even appear to others in the form of a question. it it and then tries to attack and root and branch. and did not offer But Newton's mind was ara thought.

but forge for themselves a special lot. Scienliberty of thought which breaks with established principles. will not simply adapt themselves to social and political conditions.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE tific as Columbus's discovery of America. Constantly it not constructing. in technical invention. are closely allied with the revolutionary self-assertion of imperial natures which are not content with the conditions that are offered. in the plans and calculations of statesmen and warriors. but force these to sub- mit to themselves. Jomini and Moltke have pointed out the similarity between the course of the battle and the drama. but also in abstract spirits. in the speculation of stock-exchange magnates. likewise artistic sover- eignty which will obey only the laws of its own genius. that gift which is attributed to dreamers and emois tional creatures. thought. all a power which one finds in leading constantly itself combining. only asserts in artistic production. their needs. their aims. York von Wartenburg has drawn a comparison between [296] the qualities . especially On fantasy. the other hand.

" he said. chords and harmonies. such a one as Wagner. have lived the deepest inner feelings. at the same time. a subduer. a hypnotizer. leon's poetic power and juxtaposes him and Dante. I love it because I can entice from it tones. who were exclusively : centered on themselves. but others.OF GREAT MEN which make the great poet and those that make Taine maintains Napothe great strategist. They were heroes in artistic form. were this also [297] a heroic soul speaks ." suspect that the great historical conquerors have not only been men of action with their faces turned outward Expressions like this make one as they are pictured in the general consciousness. related to those who have conquered nations and kingdoms. artists life. a life of ideas and On the other hand. "but it is as an artist that I love it. The Emperor himself used another metaphor: "I love power. but that they. there have been with an inborn desire to conquer: such a one as Balzac who wished "to conquer the world with the pen as Napoleon had conquered Richard it with the sword". I love it as a musician loves his violin.

but are not it. of a man's nature. thinkers. synonymous with They can explain his work to us.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE to US from Corneille's tragedies. statesmen. by whose medium they influence But the influence may be homogene- ous. scientists. His work and of a his acts are only representations which can only us the be brought nearer to help of symby bols. Our receptivity for such symbols dif- more deep-lying essence. fers in degree. another for that that can be felt as artistic mastership. riors: what do these in signify applied to great classifying appellations men? Only the garis ment which their personality clothed. although the intermediate links may be different specific and personality has not its roots in These are manifestations aptitudes. from Beewar- thoven's tone-poems. others. but they do not exhaust the being that created it. the special gifts. : in accordance with our own type of mind one has an unusual taste for the greatness which appears in manifestations of strength of character. Artists. a third for is that which expressed in intellectual superi- [298] .

but Alexander also. that in the white light. from red to violet. humanity in quintessence. And ated so what is personality? It is potenti- humanity. became the object of a people's cult. they are all All greatness. Great is the man who is equipped with a personality of unusual intensity. The patternable great man would united all purely human qualities be he who in perfect harmony and velopment. sometimes in the founder of a faith. But these classifications may be com- pared with the colors in a spectrum: in the whole scale. the feeling or of the will. such a ship. sometimes in a ruler. It in the mightiest phase of de- sometimes happens that the and genius and the hero are.OF GREAT MEN ority. Why? Because each of them appears as the repre[299] . can finally be comprehended in the concept personality. of the intellect. every color seems to separate yet they all itself from the others and merged constitute one unit. in equally visible triumphant degree embodied in one and the same form. it can amount to wor- Not only Buddha. man is and the admiration for universal.

an extremity. . in him the vital power is spicuous desire for life. show us an extension of human possibilities carried mutually inconsistent it appears to us. The more perfect an organism is its the more con- But desire for human being. both these and those as extremes. The one who no longer cares about this. for there too. the boundary he is posts of the feasible. is the same as the desire to know himself. to and curiosity about life can never get enough of such phenomena. can fullness of life be found no less than in joy. in a already broken. ascetics and marBut they are worshiped tyrs on the other. life. [300]. be- How supreme form of humanity. each group in its own class. which life Thirst for reveal how far a human being can move own is. The viable will seek it even there where it causes him pain. to what heights able to elevate his existence. conquerors on the one side. indeed occasionally just because they have attempted the superhuman and have gone to the bottom in the effort.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE sentative of a exactly cause they.

it beings more than the huwill be great man cially being men espe- who set sentiments in motion. but very few can secure this for themselves. [301] They. . accounts of extraordinary happenings as noth- and marvelous ing occupies personalities. seek a substitute for their their own insufficiency surroundings.OF GREAT MEN is Consciousness of any kind whatever the aim of and content of life all life. And human itself. works of descriptions travel. wish for themselves a richer life than that which has been their lot. thought and action. themselves. selves out Most people must help themless more or with make-shifts. human higher stage of development. From books. things and events in emotions of got and from of outside art. feel- connected with the freest expansion of ing. and the most supreme beings are those who are capable of securing for themselves such an invigorated Almost all who have reached a existence. simply by force of their own in- creased value. The highest form consists in the most intense consciousness.

the greatest men has sprung the same root. Personality-worship seeks refuge in and looks up to those who. But relation to the great. in a way. a veiled longing: the incomplete seeking completion and. value and rank. who represent the human idea better from than others. finding it. by this. not [302] . to realize the life-expansion and life-elevation which is instinctively highest good. in certain respects. one means relation to God. When the qualified yearns for the absolute then this striving. are more human beings than others. God-worship turns to an infinitely higher being imbued with all perfection.HUMAN QUINTESSENCE above all. felt themselves comprehended as the Human beings have always drawn to such men with a leaning that mythology might have imagined the marble block or the torso to have felt toward the perfect statue. is called religiousness and. nevertheless. It depends on a it is secret relationship. in ordinary speech. seem in their acts and in their being. in a sort of spiritual intercourse with those who can uphold the idea of human power. but one which we have.

OF GREAT MEN been able to imagine idealized in in any other than an human form. kind and neither of them able to THE END [303] . They are both reis Hgious reach beyond the human.

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'31 .This book is DUE on the last date stamped below OCT 5 1944 HOV 1 5 la-w Sec 17 •?• Form L-9-15m-7.

AA 000 184 902 5 UNIVERSITY LOS of CALIFORNIA ANGfciLtiS LIBRARY .

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