Man looked into the mysteries of the atom when he was too selfish to use it rightly, too ignorant of the higher laws to use it wisely--that is, when he was unworthy and unready. He is in such danger today that many regret he ever did so. But he could not help it, could not have done otherwise. The mind wants to know; this is its essential nature: it was inevitable that what began as simple childish curiosity should end as rigorous scientific investigation. Nothing could stop this process in the past. This was the warning of Greek, European, and American history. It is now the warning of Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Indian history, where seemingly static civilizations become more dynamic.
-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 80