【毫作】They had pressed forward thus far without any doubt that their venture would lead to a fortifying of the struggling human spirit by intercourse with a vaster but essentially kindred spiritual reality. Over a period of many generations many great saints and thousands of devoted followers, spurred by this hope, had passed through the testing fires of discipline, had ventured into strange and icy spheres of spiritual experience, had gathered signs and intimations of a glory still to be revealed, had borne witness to their fellow men. And now at last the heirs to all this great treasure and greater promise, having gathered all their strength for the final assault on the locked door of mystery, had prized it open only to glimpse an incomprehensible horror, and to fall back in dismay.【神力】Within a few generations this policy of fostering intelligence and integrity began to have surprising results. Society began to be stratified in ranks of ability. People tended to confine their mating within their own rank of capacity. Consequently the first signs of a new caste system appeared. Serious problems were thus raised, and two world-wide political parties, opposed to one another with increasing emphasis, advocated opposite policies. One party, the Aristocrats, favoured the acceptance of the caste tendency, and even the deliberate breeding of specialized human types for specialized functions, including a caste of world-organizers or rulers. The other party, the Democrats, insisted that, though inevitably there must be great differences between men in respect of mental and spiritual developments, and some differences were no doubt desirable, it was important to prevent such divergences from broadening into unbridgeable gulfs. The distinctive attribute of man, they said, was not specialism but versatility, not social organization of types alien to each other, but free community among mutually understanding and respecting persons. For man, the way of aristocracy was the way of insectification and of death.【受这】i. The Japanese Revolution
【持在】【和雷】【害保】【催发】【身形】It was not possible to me, a creature of an earlier age and a less developed culture, to understand save in the most superficial way the immense expansion of experience which the forwards had achieved, and the terrible choice which was now to be forced upon the human race. But the effect on the life of the race was far-reaching. Although the statement of the forwards was at first treated as merely remote sensationalism, their presence in every village, bearing witness to its truth and constantly directing men’s attention to its dreadful significance for the human race, gradually turned incredulity into heavy-hearted acceptance.【何仙】Though volcanic power was inexhaustible, certain essential raw materials were not. Coal and oil had long ago been superseded as sources of power, but as raw materials for many synthetic products they were valuable, and becoming ever more difficult to procure. The world’s phosphate deposits, so necessary for agriculture, were being steadily reduced. Guano, long ago abandoned, was once more assiduously collected. Potash deposits had been heavily worked and were seriously depleted. An earlier age had known that an unlimited supply of potash could, when necessary, be obtained from sea water, but there had been no need to work out a technique for isolating it. Now, when potash was scarce, there was no longer the inventive capacity to tackle so difficult a task. Nitrogen had for long been derived from the air for use in fertilizers and high explosives. In this case, however, the technique was well established, and so there was no immediate danger of its loss. Iron, though one of the commonest of all elements, was becoming steadily more difficult to reach. All ordinarily accessible deposits were seriously depleted, and the skill for much deeper mining was by now lacking.【命之】I was able to realize that there was a gradual shift, so to speak, of the centre of gravity of culture. Metaphysics was absorbing more and more of human attention. The natural sciences tended to fall into a second place. Spiritual discipline was undertaken by every member of the race. The numbers of the forwards greatly increased, and their influence became more far-reaching.
【们见】【力之】【别的】【杀死】【边缘】【尊们】【有什】【咋舌】【鲲鹏】【几圆】Chapter 1 Man’s Two Futures【还是】【这是】【能只】【记提】【一股】iv. Final Degeneracy
【达曼】【除匿】【着好】【千计】【这里】There were other hopeful movements of regeneration. Obscurely I can remember a great and promising renaissance in North America. Adversity had purged Americans of their romantic commercialism. No longer could the millionaire, the demi-god of money power, command admiration and flattering imitation from the humble masses. Millionaires no longer existed. And the population was becoming conscious that personal money power had been the main cause of the perversion of the old civilization. For a while the Americans refused to admit to themselves that their ‘hundred per cent Americanism’ had been a failure; but suddenly the mental barrier against this realization collapsed. Within a couple of years the whole mental climate of the American people was changed. Up and down the continent men began to re-examine the principles on which American civilization had been based, and to sort out the essential values from the false accretions. Their cherished formulation of the Rights of Man was now supplemented by an emphatic statement of man’s duties. Their insistence on freedom was balanced by a new stress on discipline in service of the community. At the same time, in the school of adversity the former tendency to extravagance in ideas, either in the direction of hard-baked materialism or towards sentimental new-fangled religion, was largely overcome. The Society of Friends, who had always been a powerful sect in North America, now came into their own. They had been prominent long ago during the earliest phase of colonization from England, and had stood not only for gentleness and reasonableness towards the natives but also for individual courage, devotion, and initiative in all practical affairs. At their best they had always combined hard-headed business capacity with mystical quietism. At their worst, undoubtedly, this combination resulted in self-deception of a particularly odious kind. A ruthless though ‘paternal’ tyranny over employees was practised on weekdays, and on Sundays compensation and self-indulgence was found in a dream-world of religious quietism. But changed times had now brought about a revival and a purging. The undoctrinal mysticism of the Young Friends and their practical devotion to good works became a notable example to a people who were by now keenly aware of the need for this very combination.【眼神】【抗衡】【在一】【霎时】【有另】But the experience, far from being beatific, had been terrible. They had recoiled in horror from the unspeakable facts. Servants of the light, children of the light, they had discovered that the light itself in their own eyes was but a subjective figment, like the retinal lights that a man sees in the dark, or when his eyes are closed. For a moment they had succeeded in opening their eyes, but only to discover a deeper and more formidable darkness. Or was it something worse than darkness?【斗至】【行激】【我来】【契机】【象哪】All this I could realize, though vaguely and externally. What passed my comprehension was the changing detail of social and cultural life. It was natural in the circumstances that living should be greatly simplified. Luxuries were less and less in demand. The arts were shorn of their luxurious detail. On the other hand art of a stripped and purposeful kind played an increasing though an altered part in life. In words, in music, in colour and plastic form, men created a ceaseless flood of symbolic aids to the spirit, mostly in styles which I could not at all appreciate. Surprisingly, also, though living under the threat of annihilation, men were addicted to erecting great and durable temples, upon which they lavished all the skill and care which was ceasing to find an outlet in ordinary life. Sub-atomic technique, by its wealth of new materials, had made possible a far more daring, soaring, and colourful architecture than is known to us. Along with the new materials came new architectural canons, strange to me. The architecture of mundane life was simple and impermanent. The temples alone were built to last; yet they were often demolished to make room for finer structures.【终天】【为佛】【都在】【冥族】【洞天】The social order of the new world was very different from any earlier form. It might be described as at once ‘super-modern’ and yet in a way medieval. At bottom it depended on the special characters of the new source of mechanical power. Two contrary but harmonized tendencies were at work. On the one hand mechanization was being steadily pushed forward; on the other there was a surprising recovery of manual skill and versatility in the life of the ordinary human being. On the one hand came the fulfilment of social unity and harmony, on the other the development of the individual’s self-sufficiency and all-roundness.【才停】【禁器】【眼见】【家在】【以法】And now, in this final balance of the strife between light and darkness, the newly won Aladdin’s lamp, science, had given men such power for good and evil that they inevitably must either win speedily through to true community or set foot upon a steepening slope leading to annihilation. In the immediate contacts of man with man, and in the affairs of cities, provinces, slates and social classes, and further (newest and most dangerous necessity) in the ordering of the planet as a whole, there must now begin some glimmer of a new spirit; or else, failing in the great test, man must slide into a new and irrevocable savagery. And in a world close-knit by science savagery brings death.【统一】【始植】【紫圣】【一个】【抓紧】The two empires had tried to stem the downfall of world population by forbidding birth-control and persecuting the childless. These methods had little effect, for under the empires life was not worth living.