The Enduring Quest, a Search for a Philosophy of Life

The Enduring Quest, a Search for a Philosophy of Life

The Enduring Quest, a Search for a Philosophy of Life

The Enduring Quest, a Search for a Philosophy of Life

Excerpt

Here are two kinds of challenge that life makes to us, the challenge of needs, and the challenge of the "unknowns." In countless ways we respond to the first. The challenge is definite and unmistakable. For the most part we have little choice in the matter. The needs--whether for food, shelter, or for other things--are there to be met. So, marshalling such intelligence as we possess, we set ourselves to meet them.

This is the practical life. It is specific in its demands and clear-cut in its results. When we have achieved the things we need, we can plainly recognize them. There they are before our eyes. We have been obviously successful. If we are more than commonly successful, we exhibit the accumulation of our things as our wealth.

It is folly, of course, to scorn the practical life. One may indeed at times lay too great store by the mere things that one gathers together for prideful display. But on the whole, the more intelligent one is in responding to the urgency of needs, the better. There would seem to be no sense in being so impractical that one starves or freezes to death. Man's history, indeed, records the gradual increase in the power to respond to this first of life's challenges.

But there is also the second. It has by no means the clear-cut objectivity of the first. And when we attempt . . .

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