« ForrigeFortsæt »
The wind is still, high is the moon to-night,
Black fissures into which the sheer cliff drops;
Of snow-slides on the glistening mountain tops.
A movement on the butte, which rises black
Leaves rustle as though whirled by evening breeze;
A shadow in the grey-dark shadows flits
Up the short hillside through the mottled bars
Then clear into the Western night he hurls
His singing cry, sudden and sharp and high; Through the dark silence to the moon it whirls, The wail of winds lost in a winter sky;
Stacatto, like the shrieks of one in pain,
And thinner now and higher, less and less, Singing of stars, of hills, and silent plain,
The songs of the eternal loneliness.
Wells C. Root.
ON THE INTEGRITY OF THE MIND.
F the treasures of this world which by seeking we may find, there is but one which is fit to be numbered among those laid up where thieves do not break in. It is the integrity of the mind. Emerson has said it alone is sacred. Of morals and morality the leaders of men have at varying times and places had various things to say with varied reasons for saying them. As to the heart of man, it is an undiscovered country best described in fiction. Truth itself seems eternal only in its mutations, and, like beauty, cannot well be charted by one man for another man because so rarely, if ever, do its searchers gaze with the same eyes from the same geometric spot. But the integrity of the mind, although fit to stand among the immortal concepts, is something very definite, very positive, so that a man in the attempt to realize in his own mind the virtue of integrity may by taking thought get this advantage on his quest, to wit, he shall know what he is looking for.
That which has come to be the basic idea in the common use of the word integrity is honesty. Integrity of mind means honesty in one's mental processes. This does not necessarily mean logic. Logic suggests that there is only one conclusion to be drawn from a given relation of premises. And on it the meticulous larger half of science is rightly built. But as the honest mind rejects a sophistry so it not only may but must reject a, reputed fact or an apparent quod erat demonstrandum when the fact has not convinced the mind of its reality or when the technically correct syllogism does not overpoweringly impress the mind with the inevitableness of its rightness. This does not of course mean that the honesty of the mind will not for purposes of general information entertain a statement of fact without fully testing it, as for instance when one reads of adventures to the southern isles or the findings of chemists as to radium. But the honest mind will always be ready and capable of distinguishing for itself and others between the fact which it has for itself
tested, and the fact which it has merely assumed or allowed on suffrance. The honest mind will revolt at proclaiming either as a fact or as an honest opinion what it holds merely by hearsay or prejudice. Thus, holding a genial suspicion of the intelligence of a Democratic president, the honest mind will be slow to voice as reasons for this suspicion facts which may, upon further examination, appear to be simply still other suspicions. In other words, the honest mind will always be ready to admit just how far its thinking has gone, and will not be ashamed of agnosticism in regard to matters beyond that point. We make a rather artificial distinction between the "intellectual" and the "emotional”—for instance, we speak of the heart in conflict with the head. Of course this is nonsense. But even accepting the implications of the distinction, honesty is as necessary in the one as in the other class of mental reactions. We are as often dishonest in our imaginative poetry as in our matter-of-fact prose. We deceive ourselves as often in regard to friendship, love, religion, as in regard to politics and philosophy. As much as the mass of men deceive others in regard to these matters, it is probable that they deceive themselves quite as consistently and far more disastrously.
Dauntless honesty is the first element in the integrity of the mind, but there is a second and perhaps a more inclusive and more glorious interpretation of the phrase. Integrity means one-ness, wholeness. A house divided against itself cannot stand. A mind divided against itself will be pushed about the points of the compass by every wind of doctrine which may fall upon it. The escape from a divided mind is not bigotry; it is selfknowledge. Once granted an honesty of mind, the escape from a disintegration of the mind is to be found in the agony of finding out what one really thinks on all the issues which present themselves in the way of life. Thus, for instance, in regard to a theory of government. A radical doctrine is offered us, and quite nonchalantly we table it, or, to be more exact, waste-paper-basket it. This is defensible only if there exists in the mind from the beginning no slightest murmur of doubt but that the orthodox theory is correct, and only if the mind is to exercise no political power whatsoever. It is indefensible if the little doubting exists, and if political power-however small-is to be wielded. Un
fortunately the little doubting cannot be taken by the throat and strangled. Its continuance is as certain as the rest of the nondoubting part of the mind, and the only way to effect the oneness, the integrity of the mind, is to effect a reconciliation between the doubt and the belief. Of course the process never ends; and the fact that it does not end is an intimation of immortality. But the integrity of the mind is not dependent on the final reconciliation of all doubts. It may be said to have been achieved when consideration and deliberation become habit, when every little doubt realizes, as it were, that it will have its chance to contribute what it can to the sum total of the mind's opinion, and that under no circumstances will it be waste-paper-basketed.
Cowardice and self-interest, twin brothers traveling ever side by side, are the two elemental enemies of the integrity of the mind. They do not allow the mind to be at one because in the first place they will not allow it to be honest. We think we are Republicans because we believe in the rightness of the Republican platform, when actually, our pocketbooks are dictating our opinion. We think we are Christians when in reality conventional society is dictating certain modes of thought and ethical standards. Being thus dishonest, we begin shifting our motives; we make charity do duty for blackmail, and patriotism excuse intolerance. And when we confuse our motives to ourselves, intellectual anarchy sets in. A despot in the form of a bigoted opinion may keep order for a season, but with the awakening comes the realization that we have lost the integrity, the oneness of the mind.
Henry R. Luce.
-Values, say our leading economists, are all relative, while on the other hand there are those who aver that
RELATIVELY nothing is so relative as one's relations.
which is a flowery way of saying, it all depends... Jimmie pushed open the swinging doors onto Sixth Avenue and paused on the sidewalk outside, reflectively wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. After which he very naturally wiped his hand on his corduroy pants, and a faint yellow streak of suds attested to the joys of the "one dark beer" just consumed. His battered felt hat was set jauntily over his right eyebrow, and there was a satisfied look in his brown eyes. His hands deep in the pockets of his open jacket, he strolled up under the shadow of the El. The sun had not set and the blue sky overhead was good. He smiled scornfully at the passers-by, some of whom, their necks drawn deep in their collars, were hurrying down town, hugging the buildings on the west side of the street for protection against the chill March wind blowing off the river. "Turtles !" he muttered, and spat disdainfully on the curb. His fellow-pedestrians eyed him questioningly as he strolled by, so unconcerned, and his friend, the cop at 6th and 50th, ventured to inquire whether he thought it was spring, anyhow, going around like a blooming Palm Beacher?
"What's it to yuh?" replied Jimmie, undisturbed, and crossed nonchalantly in front of a rattling taxi. The driver shoved on both brakes and skidded, then paused in his flight to indulge in some good, typical New Yorkese, but it all slid off Jimmie like "sky-juice off a goose.'
At 3 Sixth Avenue he stepped into a door half open and bounded up the three flights of stairs. He knocked on the door of the third floor back and Liz answered the knock. "Hello, Jim," she greeted him, "my, ain't it cold!"