Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/35

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THE HIGHEST IDEAL

present state of the Ego and the World.

It is among the poor and obscure, however, that the ideal often finds its sincerest expression; for those who make it their business often speculate in certain tangible concrete forms of it—reform formulas—that are neither useful in a general way nor attractive. The poor man, on the other hand, concerns not himself with reforms; nor does he entertain such visions of a regenerated world as might obstruct the way to his immediate needs. His ideal, it is true, may consist in having a home instead of a slum-hole; in sending his children to school instead of the factory; in being free to work whenever and wherever he please, instead of being a slave to capital or to labor. It is nevertheless an ideal, which, although obviously material, has in it a spirituality that can revolutionnize the world. He sincerely desires to improve his own condition and to give the world better and healthier children. And this desire, though it be only partly realized in a lifetime, is the heritage of the ideal, which

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