Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/18

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THE PATH OF VISION

a hurry. We have no time for ethics.

This is the gospel of trade, which we hold sacred. Barter is one of its cardinal tenets. We are no longer such fools as to throw our bread on the water or to squander our goodness on the wind. Visionaries, to be sure, we are not. Now, it is this attitude, this commercial consciousness, which we have faithfully upheld in precept and practice, that is creating in us a subconscious reaction. This is the source, I maintain, of all our restlessness, our dissatisfaction, our gropings and longings for that something which materialism does not give. The principle of barter leaves us in the end disconsolate, devoid of sympathy, and deploring the lack of sympathy in others.

We are, in a word, drifting away from the path of vision. We no longer find joy, as did the ancients, in pure thought. Pragmatism and utilitarianism are our gods. We would make religion sweep our streets, deodorize our slums. We lament the waste of water in a cataract, the loss of energy

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