Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/239

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reached its maximum or vanishing point, so that the contradiction and the flux themselves disappear by diremption. Such feeling denotes inward disorganisation and a hopeless conflict of reflex actions tending toward dissolution. The second limit is reached in contemplation, when anything is loved, understood, or enjoyed. Synthetic power is then at its height; the mind can survey its experience and correlate all the motions it suggests. Power in the mind is exactly proportionate to representative scope, and representative scope to rational activity. A steady vision of all things in their true order and worth results from perfection of function and is its index; it secures the greatest distinctness in thought together with the greatest decision, wisdom, and ease in action, as the lightning is brilliant and quick. It also secures, so far as human energies avail, its own perpetuity, since what is perfectly adjusted within and without lasts long and goes far.

To confuse means with ends and mistake disorder for vitality is not unnatural to minds that hear the hum of mighty workings but can imagine neither the cause nor the fruits of that portentous commotion. All functions, in such chaotic lives, seem instrumental functions. It is then supposed that what serves no further purpose can have no value, and that he who suffers no offuscation can have no feeling and no life. To attain an ideal seems to destroy its worth. Moral life, at that low level, is a