A steady recognition that the evils which prevent the fullness of moral development are precisely the elements which are also the source of the power that gives existence to whatever moral accomplishments we see about us may eventually lead us to a tolerance we grant to the internal-combustion engine: it is noisy and smelly, and occasionally, it refuses to start, but it is what gets us to wherever we get.We must somehow learn to understand and so to tolerate- not destroy- the free society.
We do not accept a religion because it offers us certain rewards. The only thing that a religion can offer us is to be just what it, in itself, is: a greater meaning in ourselves, in our lives, and in our grasp of the nature of things...a religion exists for us only if, like a piece of poetry, it carries us away. It is not in any sense a 'hypothesis.
So far as we know, the tiny fragments of the universe embodied in man are the only centers of thought and responsibility in the visible world. If that be so, the appearance of the human mind has been so far the ultimate stage in the awakening of the world; and all that has gone before, the striving of myriad centers that have taken the risks of living and believing, seem to have all been pursuing, along rival lines, the aim now achieved by us up to this point. They are all akin to us, for all these centers - those which led up to our own existence and the far more numerous others which produced different lines of which many are extinct - may be seen engaged in the same endeavor towards ultimate liberation. We may envisage then a cosmic field which called forth all these centers by offering them a short-lived, limited, hazardous opportunity for making some progress of their own towards an unthinkable consummation. And that is also, I believe, how a Christian is placed when worshiping God.
It was the merit of Gestalt psychology to make us aware of the remarkable performance involved in perceiving shapes. Take, for example, a ball or an egg: we can see their shapes at a glance. Yet suppose that instead of the impression made on our eye by an aggregate of white points forming the surface of an egg, we were presented with another, logically equivalent, presentation of these points as given by a list of their spatial co-ordinate values. It would take years of labour to discover the shape inherent in this aggregate of figures - provided it could be guessed at all. The perception of the egg from the list of co-ordinate values would, in fact, be a feat rather similar in nature and measure of intellectual achievement to the discovery of the Copernican system.
To try to reform all the power structures at once would leave us with no power structure to use in our project. In any case, we will be able to see that absolute moral renewal could be attempted only by an absolute power and that a tyrannous force such as this must destroy the whole moral life of man, not renew it.