Web and Book image
copyright, Kellscraft Studio, 1999                                             
(Return to Web Text-ures)                                                                                                  
Click Here to return to
Content Page

Click Here to return to
the previous section



WILL all this to which we shall belong, in a world ever seeking itself, continue a prey to new, unceasing and perhaps painful experiments? Since the part that we were was unhappy, why should the part that we shall be enjoy a better fortune? Who can assure us that those unending combinations and endeavours will not be more sorrowful, more awkward and more baneful than those which we are leaving; and how shall we explain that these have come about after so many millions of others which should have opened the eyes of the genius of infinity? It is idle to persuade ourselves, as Hindu wisdom would, that our sorrows are but illusions and appearances: it is none the less true that they make us very really unhappy. Has the universe elsewhere a more complete consciousness, a more just and serene principle of thought than on this earth and in the worlds which we perceived? And, if it be true that it has somewhere attained that better thought, why does the thought that presides over the destinies of our earth not profit by it? Could no communication be possible between worlds which must have been born of the same idea and are steeped in it? What would be the mystery of that isolation? Are we to believe that the earth marks the most advanced stage and the most favoured experiment? What, then, can the thought of the universe have done and against what darkness must it have struggled, to have come no farther than this? But, on the other hand, can it have been stayed by that darkness or by those obstacles which, being unable to arise from any elsewhere, can but have sprung from itself? Who then could have set those insoluble problems to infinity and from what more remote and profound region than itself would they have issued? Some one, after all, must know what they ask; and, as behind infinity there can be none that is not infinity itself, it is impossible to imagine a malignant will in a will that leaves no point around it but what it fills entirely. Or are the experiments begun in the stars continued mechanically, by virtue of the force acquired, without regard to their uselessness and to their pitiful consequences, according to the custom of nature, which knows nothing of our parsimony and squanders the suns in space as it does the seed on earth, knowing that nothing can be lost? Or, again, is the whole question of our peace and happiness, like that of the fate of the worlds, reduced to knowing whether or not the infinity of endeavours and combinations be equal to that of eternity? Or, lastly, to come to the greatest probability, is it we who deceive ourselves, who know nothing, who see nothing and who consider imperfect that which is perhaps faultless, we, who are but an infinitesimal fragment of tile intelligence which we judge with the aid of the little shreds of thought which it has vouchsafed to lend us?

Click here to continue to the next chapter.