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His first sharp struggle is to put aside all that up to this point has been for him life, consciousness, reality, and walk forth alone, naked, no longer identifying himself with any form. He has to learn the law of life, by which alone the inner divinity can manifest, the law which is the antithesis of his past. The law of form is taking; the law of life is giving. Life grows by pouring itself out through form, fed by the inexhaustible source of life at the heart of the universe; the more the life pours itself out the greater the inflow from within. It seems at first to the young Christ as though all his life were leaving him, as though his hands were left empty after outpouring their gifts on a thankless world; only when the lower nature has been definitely sacrificed is the eternal life experienced, and that which seemed the death of being is found to be a birth into a fuller life.
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In truth, the new deity is not in the least unaccountable. He is only too easy to account for. Both his moral and his physical genesis lie at the door of the European governments. To almost all of them, we may in turn say: “Tu l'as voulu, Georges Dandin.” In their different degrees they are, nearly all of them, alike; for long years they have plowed and sown and harrowed the soil; and lo! the crop is here. If any government thought that it could indefinitely go on turning men and women into administration material, fastening its grip closer and closer on their property, their lives, and their beliefs, until the chief purpose of human existence became—half-unconsciously, perhaps—in the eyes of these governmentalists, to supply a state revenue out of blood and sweat, while, fed and nourished by this state revenue, the grandeur of the governments was ever growing and growing, with officials magnified into creatures of a semidivine order, and a splendid and highly exciting game carried on by means of all this annexed property, and all these annexed lives, against other governments, equally engaged in playing the same splendid and exciting game-if they thought that this life of the gods ruling at their ease in the empyrean would flow on forever in a happy and unbroken stream, that nations, made of living men and women, might be turned wholesale into low forms of government property, without some strange phenomena, without some startling products and reactions breaking through the calm of the surface, we can only say of them, that, true as ever to the bureaucratic tradition, they were not in contact with the realities of flesh and blood—that they were, in an old phrase of Mr. Gladstone, “living up in a balloon.” Two things were sure to arise, and they have arisen. In the moral world some men would begin to look at these gigantic structures of power, to ask questions about them, to finger them, and to probe deep to see on what moral foundations they rested; while in the world of daily life some men, less patient than their fellows, would be maddened by the close painful grinding of the wheels of the great machines, left wholly to the control of officials, and would become the right stuff for the wildest counsels to work in. Let us first take the moral genesis of the dynamiter.