Page:Hospitals, medical science and public health.djvu/36

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
32
HOSPITALS, MEDICAL SCIENCE,

prone to forget the superstructure, for which ethical and imaginative insight also must be enlarged and illuminated. For if in logic we distinguish these endowments, if indeed in practice some may be nursed to the starvation of others, yet in the fulness of life they make each other, interpenetrate each other, and are bonded together. If then, limited by our prejudices or wearied by the quarrels of sects, we divide them in the mimic life of education, if we constrain our schools and universities to force intellect to the impoverishment of ethical and imaginative faculties, or even to nurse them in separate compartments, evil rather than good will ensue.

"My brain I'll prove the female to my soul,
  My soul the father."

In the everyday world we observe, even in persons of moderate parts, that character, consisting in a high idea of duty, in an intuitive perception of the essential and a sense of relative values, in a generous sympathy with various human experience, may ripen into a kind of intellectual power. And, if we ask how this may be, the answer is not very remote. The zone of intensest life is not in the individual alone, nor again in the universe alone, but in the weaving edge between the two. The tissue, as on the personal side it is wrought, we have to guard from decay; but the weavers' vision and hand, by an intuitive gift of insight and touch beyond common reckoning, are swiftly developing the pattern and designing the web. As Professor James says, "ideal impulses possess us in a most unaccountable way, and work gets done." Thus after his fashion every man of action, even the man of science, is an artist; it is by imaginative vision that he gives birth to new ideas, which he then compares and approves by intellectual judgment. We know in part and we prophesy in part. This zone or phantom verge of intensest vital activity, this halo of creative life between the individual and his milieu, in ethics is faith and hope; in work is purpose and enthusiasm; in art is creation; in medicine is that spirit of research which is confined to no laboratory, but sees in every patient a new problem for interpretation and succour.

Your beliefs then are integral constituents of your lives, and are your driving power. For with duty, or values, or even with ends, the equal eye of science has no concern. And if any one of you thinks he has no belief, he lies in grievous