Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/275

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human nature has been moulded by the same natural forces among which its ideal has to be fulfilled, and, apart from a certain margin of wild hopes and extravagances, the things man’s heart desires are attainable under his natural conditions and would not be attainable elsewhere. The conflict of desires and interests in the world is not radical any more than man’s dissatisfaction with his own nature can be; for every particular ideal, being an expression of human nature in operation, must in the end involve the primary human faculties and cannot be essentially incompatible with any other ideal which involves them too.

To adjust all demands to one ideal and adjust that ideal to its natural conditions—in other words, to live the Life of Reason—is something perfectly possible; for those demands, being akin to one another in spite of themselves, can be better furthered by co-operation than by blind conflict, while the ideal, far from demanding any profound revolution in nature, merely expresses her actual tendency and forecasts what her perfect functioning would be.

Reason as such represents or rather constitutes a single formal interest, the interest in harmony. When two interests are simultaneous and fall within one act of apprehension the desirability of harmonising them is involved in the very effort to realise them together. If attention and imagination are steady