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Spiritual beliefs which were merely the result of wishful thinking, which were not based on impersonal and factual analysis of the human situation, were sharply challenged by the war and its aftermath. Those who held them had either to let them go and reconcile themselves to the real perspective or suffer vainly and uselessly for them. They had indeed to face the stark reality without any comfortable illusions. The medieval sleep which kept the eyelids of certain people conveniently half-closed to what was happening all around them was painfully ended. The era of destructive violence and brutal terrorism through which they have been passing marks the failure of orthodox religions and the futility of clinging to materialist ways of living in this twentieth century of light. The old ways are being left behind but the new way has not yet been found. There are those who have been looking for a new hope for mankind to arise out of the universal carnage and in contrast to its terrible background. The hope itself has varied with the temperament which entertained it. With some it is a new economic order, with others it is a religious revival, and so on. Meanwhile, the work of destruction continues apace. Although the world's tempo has been immensely quickened, the crisis in human thought and the distress in human life did not come upon us suddenly. There were forebodings, warnings, precursors, and indications.

-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 251

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