The super-businessmen have to a large extent failed to see that the need for morality in the people they practically govern is greater than ever, because social relations are infinitely more delicate and complex in adjustment than heretofore.
Religion is the reaching out of one's whole being - mind, body, spirit, emotions, intuitions, affections, will - for completion, for inner unity, for true relation with those about us, for right relation to the universe in which we live. Religion is life, a certain kind of life, life as it should and could be, a life of harmony within and true adjustment without - life, therefore, in harmony with the life of God himself.
To face the inevitable is to confront something sacred. As long as anything is uncertain, the roads are open in more than one direction, and right and wrong may have many aspects. But let the issue be determined, let the die be cast, and acceptance and adjustment become our immediate duty. Until God’s will be known, we may work and wrestle and pry to carry our point, to save the day, to win the prize, spurred only the more by the uncertainty; of the result. But let the result be known, however dark and disappointing, and we should view it in the light of God’s plan to make us His evident children, and ask what we are to learn, what next we are to do.
When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten; when the belt fits, the belly is forgotten; when the heart is right, “for” and “against” are forgotten. There is no change in what is inside, no following what is outside, when the adjustment to events is comfortable. One begins with what is comfortable and never experiences what is uncomfortable, when one knows the comfort of forgetting what is comfortable.
The spirit of policy and that of bureaucracy are diametrically opposed… The essence of bureaucracy is its quest for safety; its success is calculability. Profound policy thrives on perpetual creation, on a constant redefinition of goals. Good administration thrives on routine, the definition of relationships which can survive mediocrity. Policy involves an adjustment of risks; administration, an avoidance of deviation.
Chief among our gains must be reckoned this possibility of choice, the recognition of many possible ways of life, where other civilizations have recognized only one. Where other civilizations give a satisfactory outlet to only one temperamental type, be he mystic or soldier, businessman or artist, a civilization in which there are many standards offers a possibility of satisfactory adjustment to individuals of many different temperamental types, of diverse gifts and varying interests.
I find in the universe so many forms of order, organization, system, law, and adjustment of means to ends, that I believe in a cosmic intelligence and I conceive God as the life, mind, order, and law of the world.
Now this problem of the adjustment of man to his natural resources, and the problem of how such things as industrialization and urbanization can be accepted without destroying the traditional values of a civilization and corrupting the inner vitality of its life — these things are not only the problems of America; they are the problems of men everywhere.
Awareness of the divine begins with wonder. It is the result of what man does with his higher incomprehension. The greatest hindrance to such awareness is our adjustment to conventional notions, to mental clichés. Wonder or radical amazement, the state of maladjustment to words and notions, is therefore a prerequisite for an authentic awareness of that which is.
Our culture's adjustment to the epistemology of television is by now all but complete; we have so thoroughly accepted its definitions of truth, knowledge and reality that irrelevance seems to us to be filled with import, and incoherence seems eminently sane. And if some of our institutions seem not to fit the template of the times, why it is they and not the template, that seem to us disordered and strange.
Harmony thus appears as a temporary adjustment, established among all forces acting upon a given spot — a provisory adaptation; and that adjustment will only last under one condition: that of being continually modified; of representing every moment the resultant of all conflicting actions. Let but one of those forces be hampered in its action for some time and harmony disappears. Force will accumulate its effect; it must come to light, it must exercise its action, and if other forces hinder its manifestation it will not be annihilated by that, but will end by upsetting the present adjustment, by destroying harmony, in order to find a new form of equilibrium and to work to form a new adaptation. Such is the eruption of a volcano, whose imprisoned force ends by breaking the petrified lavas which hindered them to pour forth the gases, the molten lavas, and the incandescent ashes. Such, also, are the revolutions of mankind.
Let us consider contemporary science, noting just how it defines man and what it contributes both to his well-being and to his detriment. The current scientific conceptions of man exhibit him as a sort of `electron-proton complex'; `a combination of physico-chemical elements'; `an animal closely related to the ape or monkey'; `a reflex mechanism'; or `variety of stimulus-response relationship'; `a special adjustment mechanism'; a psychoanalytical libido; a predominantly subconscious or unconscious organism controlled mainly by alimentary and economic forces; or just a homo faber, manufacturing various tools and instruments. No doubt man is all of this. But does this exhaust his essential nature? Does it touch his most fundamental properties, which make him a unique creature? Most of the definitions masquerading as scientific rarely, if ever, even raise such questions. Some, indeed, go so far as to deprive man even of mind, or thought, of consciousness, of conscience, and of volition, reducing him to a purely behaviouristic mechanism of unconditioned and conditioned reflexes. Such are the current concepts of our leading physicists, biologists, and psychologists.