My Apprenticeship

My Apprenticeship

My Apprenticeship

My Apprenticeship

Excerpt

Beneath the surface of our daily life, in the personal history of many of us, there runs a continuous controversy between an Ego that affirms and an Ego that denies. On the course of this controversy depends the attainment of inner harmony and consistent conduct in private and public affairs. In some minds this self-examination relates to free will and determinism and leads to alternate periods of restlessness and apathy; sometimes it surges round to the "to be" or "not to be" of a future life, driving the individual backwards and forwards, from church to lecture-hall, and from unbelief back again to belief; sometimes it fastens on problems of sex or of parenthood, with consequences happy or tragic. Or the problem to be solved may be one of professional ethics; the degree of honesty imperative in business transactions; the measure of truth-telling and self- subordination obligatory on a politician in trouble about his soul; or the relative claim of private clients and public authorities, which the professional man may have to settle for himself at the risk of loss of livelihood. With some individuals this half-submerged but often continuous controversy changes in subject-matter as years go on; with others all controversy dies down and the individual becomes purely practical and opportunist, and scoffs at those who trouble over ultimate questions of right and wrong. But where the individual has had the exceptional luck of being able to choose his work, or where he has been settled in work which he would otherwise have chosen, there may be . . .

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