Unformatted text preview: ts defects, pushes the
"conquerors" to their real place as enemies of the race. CHAPTER X. 81 When the object that confronts us is so superior, so vast, that we sink into insignificance, then admiration
takes on a tinge of fear in the state or feeling of awe. All men feel awe in the presence of strength and
mystery, so that the concept of God is that most wrapped up with this emotion, and the ceremonies with which
kings and institutions have been surrounded strike awe by their magnificence and mystery into the hearts of
the governed. We contemplate natural objects, such as mountains, mighty rivers and the oceans, with awe
because we feel so little and puny in comparison, and we do not "enjoy" contemplating them because we hate
to feel little. Or else we grow familiar with them, and the awe disappears. The popular and the familiar are
never awe-full, and even death loses in dignity when one has dissected a few bodies. So objects viewed by
night or in gloom inspire awe, though seen by day they are stripped of mystery and interest. To the adolescent
boy, woman is a creature to be regarded with awe,--beautiful, strangely powerful and mysterious. To the
grown-up man, enriched and disillusioned by a few experiences, woman, though still loved, is no longer
Though the reverent spirit is admirable and poetic, it is not by itself socially valuable. It has been played upon
by every false prophet, every enslaving institution. It prevents free inquiry; it says to science, "Do not inquire
here. They who believe do not investigate. This is too holy a place for you." We who believe in science deny
that anything can be so holy that it can be cheapened by light, and we believe that face to face with the
essential mysteries of life itself even the most assiduous and matter-of-fact must feel awe. Man, the little, has
probed into the secrets of the universe of which he is a part. What he has learned, what he can learn, make him
bow his head with a reverence no worshiper of dogmatic mysteries can ever feel. CHAPTER X.
COURAGE, RESIGNATION, SUBLIM...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11