Page:Above the battle.djvu/121

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The Idols

bring against one who has given his life to the worship of thought. But it is true that Intellectualism has often appeared to me as a mere caricature of Thought—Thought mutilated, deformed, and petrified, powerless, not only to dominate the drama of life, but even to understand it. And the events of to-day have proved me more in the right than I wished to be. The intellectual lives too much in the realm of shadows, of ideas. Ideas have no existence in themselves, but only through the hopes or experiences which can fill them. They are either summaries, or hypotheses; frames for what has been or will be; convenient or necessary formulæ. One cannot live and act without them, but the evil is that people make them into oppressive realities. No one contributes more to this than the intellectual, whose trade it is to handle them, who, biassed by his profession, is always tempted to subordinate reality to them. Let there supervene a collective passion which completes his blindness, and it will be cast in the form of the idea which can best serve its purpose: it transfers its life-blood to that idea, and the idea magnifies and glorifies it in turn. Nothing is more long-lived in a man than a phantom which his own mind has