Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/36

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he bequeaths to them.

But the world seldom recognizes the spirituality in the material ideals of the poor. They are ridiculed by those who preach, but do not practice, the higher ethics. They are flouted, called base, worldly, sordid, by those professional idealists of religion and literature and art. And yet, a loaf of bread can regenerate a soul; a loaf of bread can precipitate a revolution. And by the law of reaction, materialism does become sordid, and the vaunted spirituality of its critics loses its vitality and attraction. Hence the epochal outbreaks of doubt, skepticism, heresy, revolt. For the man who is struggling for wealth and power or fame and glory, is no better and no worse, without a lofty ideal, than the man who is struggling for bread. The latter, in fact, is more deserving of respect, is more entitled to the consideration of the world. And the sooner he gets it, the better for the world. For the spirituality of his material ideals, now that he too has become a self-conscious Ego, is fast resolv-