4H PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
seems a perfectly obvious thing : he is triumphantly glad as he makes the gift.
There have been those who have found the good of life essentially in self-assertion, and others in self-abasement. The most dramatic and brilliant apostle of the ethics of self-assertion was Friedrich Nietzsche, who found in the assertive, masterful and imperious will the supreme good of life. The will to power, the will to conquer, the will to subdue these gave life its true virility, its only permanently creative zest. The consummation of the whole process of biological evolution was the superman who could impose his own will upon a world whose finest and fiercest product he was. Darwin had seen a little of the meaning of the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest. Nietzsche believed that he had visualized the whole process and was able to express its deep and ultimate meaning.
Over against the philosophy of self-assertion stood a very ancient and venerable system of ethical beliefs which centred in the ideas of self-control and self-denial as the ultimate good of life to be achieved. For centuries deeply meditative thinkers of India had been insisting that the repudiation of the world, and not the acceptance of it, was the ultimate good. A thrusting out of the will to conquer was the very essence of the life of the seer and the saint. The sense of that Ultimate Reality in which all the sharp and bitter assertiveness of the individual spirit would be transcended, of that glorious and serene Nirvana in which the destructive and disintegrating bitterness of the individual will would be for ever lost, was subtly distilled in the very deepest places of the consciousness of this reflective people. The passive here at last came to its own; the active found its ultimate repudiation.
Now, it seems clear that we cannot surrender to