III
THE NEED OF THE SPIRIT

I

THE spiritual fires of white civilization seem to have burnt low since the war. In many countries they seem to have flickered out, leaving nothing but the dead ash of a hard materialism, or the red embers of selfish passion--nowhere very visible the white light of the sacrificial flame.

Many simple souls were startled by the rapid decline in ordinary morality which happened in war time, still more by the manifest lowering of spiritual ideals after the armistice among those who had seemed exalted to wonderful heights of self-sacrifice and spiritual purpose. They could not understand--it was hard to understand --how men who had been so obedient to discipline in the face of death, so reckless of their own lives and self-interest for their country's sake, should come home with sordid, squalid instincts, hating work, desiring nothing but material pleasure, striking, sometimes rioting, in senseless conflicts between Capital and Labor, rebelling against authority, demanding the fleshpots of life with hungry appetite. Still less could they understand--those aloof, observing souls--how the war, which seemed to lift up human nature by the enormous enthusiasm of patriotism, could be followed by so many revelations of widespread immorality, general laxity of relationship between men and women, and distressing signs of a coarseness and cruelty of mind--

-83-

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Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • I- Leaders of the Old Tradition 1
  • II- Ideals of the Humanists 50
  • III- The Need of the Spirit 83
  • IV- The New Germany 127
  • V- The Price of Victory in France 175
  • VII- The Warning of Austria 244
  • IX- The United States and World Peace 339
  • X- The Chance of Youth 370
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