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VIII: Curiosity

In treating the pursuit of knowledge as a mystery for which a moral discipline must form a preparation primitive religion effectively refutes that shallow interpretation of its rites which, because an appeal to a god is not always in evidence, deems them self-sufficient and arrogant in their underlying spirit. On the contrary, the novice at initiation, the member of the secret society, the theocratic ruler, and the craftsman must one and all purchase their enlightenment at the cost of a rigorous training, while the door of the sanctuary remains closed to unqualified persons.

AT the root of those intellectual virtues which make up the truth-seeking and truth-enjoying part of human nature at its best lies a certain itch for knowing. This in itself, however, is no virtue, but an ambiguous tendency needing careful direction if it is to yield a benefit clear of all drawback. Thus the Latin word from which curiosity is derived is apt to carry with it an implication of excess. Nay, the rhetorician Quintilian who delights in distinguishing fine shades of meaning defines curiositas as supervacua operositas—the uncalled-for industry of a busybody; and goes on, somewhat cryptically, to declare that the difference between the diligent and the curious man is on a par with the difference between religion and superstition. It would seem, then, that in the opinion of the ancient world a line was to be drawn between religious zeal and a perversion of it which would doubtless include a perverse taste for prying into mysteries. On the other hand, the modern attitude towards the mysterious is somewhat harder to determine. Thus science may on the whole be said to regard the inexplicable as a monster to be slain after the manner of St. George; and it can actually claim to have administered the deathblow to many a hoary and foul chimaera. Philosophy, again, is inclined to recognize but one supreme mystery consisting in the allness or altogetherness of the universe. As for religion, it might be supposed that a certain mysticism constituted its very essence. It is doubtful, however, whether every contemporary theologian would yield a full assent to such a view, as, for instance, the author of the remark that mysticism begins in mist and ends in schism; and in any case one may be sure that, if accepted at all, the principle would be interpreted and applied in all sorts of conflicting ways.

Speaking generally, however, of the intellectual world of to-day, there can be no doubt that the prevailing tendency is to refuse to tolerate any unknowable, and to treat the merely unknown, not as something to be revered from a distance, but rather as something to be approached and overcome. Even if the robust optimism of the Victorian age is to-day a little out of fashion, our generation would still be prepared to declare with Robert Browning, ‘Whatever there is to know, that we shall know some day.’ Now of course this is essentially an aspiration on our part, even if some of us prefer to state it in the form of an axiom. We cannot both know and not know, at any rate in the same sense. Reckoning it, then, simply as an article of faith, we have at the same time to allow that, of all our present creeds, none is more firmly or widely embraced than this belief in the attainment of knowledge as an unconditional good in prospect.

But it has not always been so. Time was when heaven seemed to frown on the overbold inquirer. It amounted to wanton insolence for men to desire to be as gods knowing good and evil. How far, then, can we as students of human history explain this violent contrast of opinions? Not that it is possible on historical grounds to decide the question of value. We can, however, hope to obtain a better idea of the advantages and the risks attendant on the pursuit of truth by consulting the experience of the ages, formed as it has been under all sorts of changing conditions. Primitive man had plenty of cause to realize that ‘a little learning is a dangerous thing’. After all, to blaze a trail through virgin country is a treacherous business as compared with comfortable travel in the wake of the surveyor and the engineer. Whether, then, it is for the Fall of Man or rather for the Ascent of Man that curiosity is to be held responsible in the long run, we must for anthropological purposes take for granted its inherent ambivalence, its power to heal or to hurt. In other words, we may expect to find evidence not only of the use, but likewise of the abuse, of the inquisitive temper as it has influenced the development of primitive religion.

In a previous lecture it was argued that hope rather than fear is the chief driving force behind all human religion. Small wonder, then, if man, more manipulative by natural endowment than any monkey, and hence inclined to paw everything that he comes across, should imaginatively claim the entire universe as his plaything. Even if he stings his fingers all too frequently as a consequence, he steadfastly refuses to take this as a hint to mind his own business. In short, he conceives the human sphere as ideally conterminous with the divine; for whatever baffles his natural powers in the first instance he deems eventually subject to his mastery, thanks to supernatural means that he hopes somehow to bring within his reach. What presumption in a low-born, if a decidedly high-brained, creature! Yet too large a measure of humility in his emotional composition might have left him for ever embogged in the primeval slime of animal instinct. We may perhaps console ourselves with the reflection that, if a certain immodesty is a condition of emergence, the upstart is wont to mend his manners when once he has made good.

Now it is a commonplace of anthropology to contrast the religious man who has learnt to say ‘Thy will be done’ with the magician who says ‘My will be done’, and if signs and wonders happen to follow claims all the credit for them. Further, Sir James Frazer makes magic older than religion, and believes that it was only when the magician’s pretentions had proved to be hollow that men at length bowed down before gods, that is, beings whom they had come to conceive as altogether superior in power to themselves. This indeed I regard as a rather questionable piece of history; for I do not believe that primitive man was so clear-headed or so critically disposed as to abandon magic because he judged it an imposture or simply a practical failure; more especially seeing that plenty of people who have enjoyed a civilized education are unable or unwilling to break with magic now. On the contrary, I suspect that there was no sensible breach of continuity between the more or less godless kind of wonder-working rite, which in point of time may well have been prior, and the kind in which the intermediation of gods is explicitly invoked; for which reason I would prefer to extend the term religion to cover both stages of what I take to have been one organic development. This change in the angle of vision, however, scarcely affects the question how far men originally confronted the unknown in a spirit of arrogance, which was only by degrees chastened into one of abasement as the conviction grew that to tempt Providence is to ask for trouble.

My own view about the matter is that any arrogance discoverable in the most primitive type of rite—which we may class as magico-religious, so as to leave the problem of magic versus religion out of account—is mostly on the surface. The real difference between this and the more developed method of dealing with the occult is that the former is dramatic rather than oral in its leading forms of expression. So long as a meaning is conveyed by dumb-show rather than by word of mouth, there is likely to be a certain air of self-sufficiency about the whole performance, as if what had to be done was done duly and in effect; whereas there is bound to be some suggestion of deferred action in a verbal formula, even if its tone be that of command rather than of petition. Externally viewed, then, the dramatic kind of rite might well seem to involve less chance of disappointment, and to a corresponding extent less need of some supplementary agency that would serve to help the action out. If, however, we try as best we can to enter into the feelings of those concerned, it becomes by no means so certain that their mood is dictatorial, or is even comparable to the quiet assurance of the man who is master of his trade. Thus the parallel which Sir James Frazer would draw between sympathetic magic (as he calls it) and the physical science of to-day seems to me to be on psychological grounds unsound. The savage, I believe, is perfectly aware of the difference between killing his enemy by striking him and killing him by striking at him through his image. That a man should die of a well-directed blow is a matter of course—something that happens in the ordinary course of events. But manslaughter by proxy is an outrage on common experience and common sense. It is monstrous that a display of sham-fighting should prove as deadly as real warfare. Nay, this is likewise how the victim feels about it. Though ready to stand up to a visible foe, he quails before such an attack in the dark. With Ajax he is fain to cry:

If we must perish we thy will obey,

But let us perish in the light of day!

In a word, the symbolic rite as such has to do with the uncanny. That it works is not questioned; but how it works passes the understanding of the plain man.

Does the expert see any further into the mystery? Does he, for instance, consider himself to be merely experimenting with principles borne out by daily use and wont, such as that like is apt to beget like, and the part to reproduce the whole? I venture to doubt whether he pursues any such line of thought even a little way. On the contrary, no one is more ready than he himself to believe that he is in touch with another world, having arbitrary ways of its own to which he is yet somehow privy by reason of his special craft. Such surely is the purport of his claim, whatever we may think of its validity. Nor should we confine our attention to that dubious type of trafficker with the occult who works more or less alone, namely, the sorcerer, or professor of magic, in that unfavourable sense of the word which is likewise, I think, the most appropriate. Let us study rather the case of one who takes a leading part in a mimetic rite of a communal and hence respectable kind, as for instance a totemic ceremony. Such a man is a mystagogue and he knows it. He is assisting at a miracle. The means taken and the end sought are to outward appearance unconformable. Hence, in the absence of any physical nexus capable of uniting them, a hidden link must be supplied from the side of the sacred; and the sacred is always the spiritual.

To put the same thing in a more concrete way, it is not profane but sacred lore that can alone yield assurance of success in any mystic operation; and sacred lore is knowledge pre-conditioned by a spiritual discipline. Of course the hierophant requires a technique; but this is not on a par with the technique of the ordinary craftsman, except in so far as the latter does his best to promote his craft to the status of a genuine mystery. Religious knowledge implies a religious education. The price of mana is taboo—a certain withdrawal into self and away from the outer world and its concerns. In Australia, for instance, no participation in sacred rites is possible except for the initiated, and initiation often has many grades which promise greater enlightenment in strict proportion to the increased severity of the preliminary preparation. That the flesh is duly mortified in the course of such an ascending process may be gathered from the fact that among the Arunta a hole bored through the tongue is the mark of a full doctorate. Il faut souffrir pour être saint. Nor does the body bear all the brunt of such a training, while the mind is neglected or at best allowed only to profit indirectly. There is evidence in plenty to show that instruction is freely imparted to the novice by oral means eked out with pantomime. Even the completed doctor does not set out to practise at once, but for about a year’s space is wont to devote himself to meditation, so that the spiritual effects of all that he has been through may be completely assimilated. Nor even now has he done with his self-repressions—his taboos. Various abstinences accompany his entire career, and condition his efficiency so absolutely that, if ever his self-control breaks down—as when a certain medicine-man succumbed to European strong drink—he has the decency to retire from the profession. Because this man had proved unworthy, the inspiration had departed; sanctity would not cohabit with sin. His mana was gone, or in other words his assurance had left him.

Thus it is a shallow view that would impute to the primitive wonder-worker a brazen cocksureness derived chiefly from the ease with which he can impose upon his fellows. Rather in the typical instance—and the student of mankind must be prepared to contemplate our race at its best and not merely at its worst—his confidence is that of the athlete at the top of his training, who is poised but tense—all nerves, but with his nerves in control. The need of screwing himself to the required pitch of dynamic energy is all the greater because he will in all likelihood be one who is constitutionally liable to violent oscillations of feeling. For primitive society sees to it that the graduates in such a school come of carefully selected stock. After all, every youthful male is put through his paces at the ordinary initiation; so that any special aptitude for experiences of the mystic type is soon detected. Hence only those naturally qualified—the kind of folk, for instance, who can see ghosts—proceed by way of an intensified training to the higher degrees in divinity. Now it is easy to depreciate this type of mind, more especially as it occurs under conditions of savagery, by the free use of terms such as ‘hysterical’, ‘dissociated’, ‘introverted’, and so on; but it should at least be in fairness noted that such adjectives would equally well apply to the majority of civilized folk who show themselves unusually susceptible not only to religion but to the higher culture in any of its leading forms. There is at least a grain of truth in the French saying tout savant est un peu cadavre. To be a little dead to the passing impressions of the sense-world is the prime condition of possessing a soul of one’s own.

Further, the exterior aid needed to promote such withdrawal into self is leisure, not to say solitude. When we consider how savages are for the most part accustomed to huddle together like sheep, so that all privacy as we understand it is utterly impossible, it is somewhat amazing that in the mechanism of social institutions elaborate provision should be made for those in need of a time of spiritual retreat. We are not indeed to suppose that the meditations induced by such retirement into the wilderness are of the articulate order; being presumably rather in the nature of vague stirrings felt somewhere below the threshold of manifest consciousness. Even so, the net result is that, in a metaphor familiar to native Australia, a ‘new birth’ is experienced. There occurs a conversion into a more potent because a more self-knowing kind of man, who to satisfy his new-found needs is emboldened to call a new world into existence; which world is, however, in its essence not material but moral. So much, then, for the education of the will to know, as the ruder savagery provides it for the elect.

What, however, of those whom a jealous policy of guarding the mysteries keeps out in the cold? Let us admit that a principle may be sound, although particular applications of it are open to criticism. Thus on the one hand it is reasonable to hold that revelations are not for the unprepared, that knowledge worthy of the name is the fruit of a long and painful initiation. So far, then, the old-world ritual warning, Procul o procul este, profani! ‘let the unsanctified keep their distance’, is necessary and just. On the other hand it is equally clear that enlightenment should be made a matter of desert, not of privilege; whereas it is unfortunately true that human society has ever been remiss, as compared with Nature, in discriminating between fit and unfit. No doubt Australia shows itself none too merciful towards the unworthy, as when the youth who behaves irreverently during the course of the initiation rites is promptly speared by the elders in charge. Here is examinatorial purgation with a vengeance. Yet who in these days would venture to endorse the aboriginal attitude in regard to the higher education of women? If elsewhere the female sex is found to indulge in mysteries of its own, and can retaliate by threatening male intruders with the fate of Pentheus, there is no hint of any such equivalence of rights in this most backward province of the human world. Here, evidently labouring under the impression that ‘Curiosity, thy name is Woman’, the men take the most drastic measures in order that their secrets may be shrouded from feminine eyes. When a lady is required by custom to cover her head with an opossum rug during the progress of a ceremony, her opportunities of observation are curtailed. Even so an old gin has been known to boast to a white man that she had managed to ferret out far more about the tribal arcana than any member of her sex was supposed to know; though no doubt it would have been suicide to confess as much to her husband. Indeed, there can be little doubt that it is the deliberate intention of the wiseacres who control affairs to ensure what Mill would call the ‘subjection’ of women by keeping them ignorant and in like measure superstitious. Thus the novices who have just passed through the first stage of their initiation, so that henceforth they rank as men instead of boys, are encouraged to celebrate their acquisition of the manly virtues by engaging in a ceremony which bears the straightforward name of ‘frightening the women’. The fun—not to say the moral obligation—consists in whirling bull-roarers in the dark round about the women’s camp; and, whatever the poor creatures may really think about it, they are at least officially supposed to regard it as the authentic voice of Hobgoblin, and by their consequent terrors to be duly reduced to a state of passive obedience. It should be observed, however, that this religious disfranchisement of a whole sex represents the only kind of class-legislation that occurs at this low level of society. For menfolk there is complete equality of opportunity, and no modern democracy could offer more in the way of an educational ladder, whereby every born climber is bound to find his way to the top.

At this point, did time allow, we ought to go on to examine the age-long and world-wide history of secret societies—a complex and obscure subject. This constitutes the first or, if we treat tribal initiations under a distinct head, the second chapter of the history of human education. Indeed, any member of an American university, I imagine, has a better chance of realizing this connexion between education and secret rites than one who like myself bears neither upon his mind nor on his person the sacred brand of the catechumen. Or, again, it is well known to the classical scholar that Plato’s Republic, which still holds its own as the world’s foremost treatise on education, draws freely on the mysteries of ancient Greece not only for its imagery but even for its leading idea, namely, that all advance in true knowledge is a conversion, a Pilgrim’s Progress from darkness towards the light, a catharsis aiming at the liberation of the spirit through the mortification of the flesh. Historically, then, there is strict continuity between the clear-sighted ideals of those who direct and actually pursue the higher studies of to-day and the dim and groping sentiments that prompted primitive religion to shield the narrow path to truth and reality from the intrusion of unqualified persons. It is against reason and instinct alike that the Sacred Way should be open to profane traffic.

Now the origins to which secret societies may be referred are diverse, the term being loosely used to cover institutions of very various types which agree only in a stubborn unwillingness to make their proceedings public. Initiation ceremonies, however, almost certainly rank among the more important of the contributory influences; and, since the sexes are always initiated apart, one may conjecture that they are especially connected with associations that maintain a rigid sex-exclusiveness as contrasted with those which, as happens quite frequently, seek their recruits indifferently among men and women. Indeed, whereas at the most primitive levels of tribal life sex together with age provides the only ground of social differentiation, clanship otherwise conferring equal rights on all, a new criterion of status has come into force by the time that the secret society emerges into prominence. This is the principle of aristocracy. Such a change may be caused from within or from without. It may be due to the growth of wealth and the rise of powerful clans or families at the expense of the rest; while in other cases conquest or even peaceful penetration on the part of a higher culture is able to bring it about. Such a governing class, whatever the source of its power, must maintain it by impressing the imagination of the rest. Kingship, nay, the modern state itself, has evolved out of the incoherent mobbishness of mere tribalism by the sheer force of a doctrine of divine right. Thus a primitive aristocracy is always a theocracy. Statecraft and priestcraft reinforce each other, and both together owe their imputed majesty to a calculated remoteness. Esotericism, in a word, is the invariable accompaniment and condition of the centralization of authority. Even under a clan-system the dominance of the male over the female or of the old man over the young is secured in this way. Later on there arises a class-system when, as Herbert Spencer would say, not only a nucleus but a nucleolus, a still more concentrated principle of directive energy, has been separated out of the social tissue; whereupon the extent of the gap between lowest and highest, between the most passive and the most active elements in the body politic, is correspondingly increased. As heaven is divided from earth, so is the divine king from his people. Nor must it be thought that such royalty entails no obligation to live up to the part. The vice-regent of the gods is subject to those laws that demand physical and moral fitness in the initiated man, nay, must make and keep himself supremely fit inasmuch as his grade of initiation is the highest of all. Such a book as The Golden Bough is full of information about the austerities incumbent on the person or body of persons in charge of the primitive state, in which sanctity and sovereignty go strictly together. One hears less, however, about the intellectual side of the ruler’s life. Yet it would be easy to cite examples of hard-working students of high degree. They range from the Maori chief, who must have unfalteringly by heart his incantations and genealogies and itineraries, to the Babylonian monarch who in his capacity of priest must have mastered the intricacies of astrology and the other established systems of divination, couched though they be in terms half-Sumerian, half-Semitic, and all more or less gibberish. Nor let it be forgotten that such sacred lore includes a knowledge not only of religious forms, but also of legal and judicial procedure, of which the whole operative value is held to lie in its being administered exactly. Thus in a way the social instinct of the ages before civilization anticipates Plato’s dream of the philosopher-king, who has been converted into a minister of divine truth by means of an intensive education which is likewise essentially a purgation.

But if philosophy in its political and moral aspects has thus been ever closely associated with divinity, what of science? Are not the natural sciences to be regarded primarily as the outcome of various practical techniques, such as the smelting of metals, the planting of crops, the healing of wounds, and so on? No doubt they are; but this is not to say that magico-religious influences have had nothing to do with the development of the useful arts in question. In these latter days, however, we are all too ready to oppose science to superstition, as if whatever notions we now class under the latter head had never had any historical connexion with the exploitation of the physical world, nay, with the very conception of Nature as a superhuman dispenser of benefits. It must indeed be admitted that scientific study has rid us of many a false belief by insisting on fidelity to fact. On the other hand, philosophers have always regarded the dogmatic materialist as a half-educated person. Let it be added, however, that their attitude towards the physicist has of late become more sympathetic; for the latter, thanks to his quantum theory and his doctrine of relativity, has become as it were despite himself a transcendentalist. Indeed, nowadays he is ready to make common cause with art and religion in the attempt to get into touch with a reality that, even in its physical aspect, allows necessity no certain advantage over freedom.

To return to the savage, who has of course no conscious interest in such problems, he nevertheless has little use for what might be termed the subhuman categories, but on the contrary sees the miraculous and superhuman everywhere. As Lévy-Bruhl puts it, he is a mystic—that is, an indeterminist and an irra-tionalist, as we should express it in the language of modern thought—in all that regards the conduct of his life; so that in no sphere of it, not even the most familiar and workaday, is his preoccupation with the suprasensible for one moment relaxed. Hence his industrial pursuits are invariably akin to rituals. Their leading motive is to control the luck by a scrupulous attention to form. Occupational groups, therefore, tend to reproduce all the typical features of the secret society. Moreover, in proportion as a given craft is hereditary, the privacy that veils its methods is apt to be enhanced by association with the ancestral cult of some particular family or clan. Thus the mummeries and mystifications in which this primitive freemasonry is wont to revel—the cryptic signs, the enigmatic words, the ban of silence, and so forth—represent a stage of society when the language of the feelings is restricted to a crude symbolism, the outward expression of specialized knowledge and skill in alliance with a spirit of brotherhood and mutual aid. Before one rejoices that natural science has been purged of superstition, it may be therefore expedient to look into the process whereby technical industry—the parent source of natural science in so many of its forms—has been purged of morality, and turned into a wealth-seeking instead of a welfare-seeking process. Already in the days of ancient Greece the forger of the divine iron, Weyland Smith, had degenerated into the banausos, the vile mechanic who toils by the fire while gentlemen are disporting themselves afield. Correspondingly there cannot but be something vile and banausic about any purely mechanistic interpretation of the universe, the pragmatic effect of which can only be to promote an industrialism equally soulless. Thus in proclaiming themselves to be mysteries, the trade unions of the primitive world at least invested their various callings with dignity. However subconsciously, they stood for a kind of knowledge and truth; and this, being associated with religion, could not but maintain its affinities with morality, as also with fine art. To a like extent, therefore, it was safe against dehumanization—the fate attending all theory or practice that subordinates the humanities to physics, motives to bare causes.

It remains to speak of the charlatan—the man who pretends to know, when he does not know. Naturally such a type of knave is not peculiar to civilization. Mr. Roth informs us, for example, how among the aborigines of Queensland unlicensed practitioners of medicine would sometimes impose on the public to the scandal of the regular profession. Indeed it is often maintained by shallow persons that all savages are thorough humbugs, though more especially their chiefs and medicine-men. Much the same, however, is said about the leaders of modern society by those who, as Aristotle expresses it, get their view of the play from the cheap seats. In particular, some slip into the fallacy of deeming all religion more or less fraudulent because it employs a symbolism which, if taken literally, would be contrary to common sense. But this is to confuse the imaginative with the imaginary, the ideal with the merely unreal. Prefiguration is the only possible language of hope and faith; so that every true visionary, civilized or savage, takes liberties with the actual in order to provide the soul of his dream with some sort of picturable body. Now it may be that a power of intense and sustained vision—in a word, genius—is as rare in religion as in science, fine art, or any other branch of human activity. Be this as it may, genius is born rather than made; so that the object of any system of education must be chiefly to conserve and propagate its effects. This it does by training a body of experts—men who in default of genius at least have manifest talent; and their corporate efforts build up a tradition such as ensures the perpetuation of the creative influence. How many lost arts, as Dr. Rivers has shown, have savages had to deplore, owing simply to the precariousness of the means of transmission at a stage of society when continuous participation in a ritual is the only way of keeping truth alive? Let us not, then, undervalue the function under primitive conditions of those quasi-professional fraternities which are the direct forerunners of our colleges and guilds. Their members must not be set down as utter hypocrites if they make up for a certain lack of inspiration by a meticulous solicitude for external forms; not even if this inevitably carries with it a leaning towards shams. They are the torch-bearers who pass along from hand to hand the sacred fire kindled at divine altars. Without such organs of transmission the higher education is impossible.

The charlatan, then, must be sought outside the ranks of the recognized groups that serve as ministers of the social tradition. Thus at the level of savagery the typical imposter is the dabbler in black magic, because he is an individualist. I allow that it is often a little hard to find any one precisely answering to this description, at any rate in a healthy community which stands no nonsense with those who practise on the credulous for purely private ends. Nevertheless, the wizard is not entirely a myth, but forms one of those sporadic types which at every stage of society provide a criminal element. Casually recruited and continually harried as it is, such an underworld can have no cohesion. Thus although some writers have tried to prove that the alleged covens and sabbaths of medieval witchcraft stood for secret organizations that preserved essential features of pagan cult, it is hard to believe that any genuine creed could survive under such hole-and-corner conditions. On the contrary, one may declare on the strength of a far wider induction than is supplied by Europe alone that the black or anti-social branch of occultism, to which the name of magic should be confined, has at no time any settled doctrine or meaning behind it; but is a jumble of mock rites, cribbed from the established religion of the day, and altogether caricatured and perverted in the process. The sorcerer, then, is a charlatan because he has served no apprenticeship in knowledge; the quality of the knowledge being always relative to the moral condition of the recipient soul. His dupes, too, are such base folk as have never known serious study or training in any form. Wherefore they remain at the mercy of appearances. They are incurious of truth, curious of gossip and idle tales. Hence when a false fear shakes them to pieces, they have no firm and tested belief on which to rally the disintegrated forces of the mind.

In conclusion, let us ask whether these historical considerations throw any light on the ideal relation of religion to science. Now it would seem that religion has done good service to the will to know by sanctifying the process of education, associating it with solemn and impressive forms, and likewise imparting a sense of brotherhood in those who participate in its mysteries. On the other hand, it might plausibly be maintained that education as promoted by religion has all along taken the humanities very seriously, and cosmology somewhat lightly. But, if in truth it shuns the domination of the lower or physical categories, this attitude is surely to be justified on the ground that the training of human character is of more vital importance than the improvement of our control over matter. So far, then, religion has reason to insist that natural science is inferior to moral philosophy in educative value. But science in its turn has a right to protest against the kind of supernaturalism that ignores the laws of evidence in its insistence on signs and wonders. Seeing how the sorcerer makes play with the monstrous for his pernicious ends, it is clear that it is part of the mission of science to liberate man from unworthy fears such as the terrorist is ever prone to exploit. In any case, truth of fact, though only one kind of truth, must be held by science and by religion in equal respect. It is only, however, when the pursuit of such truth inspires a life otherwise full of beauty and moral goodness that science rises to the level of a religion; and it is certain that such a pathway to religion proves the most accessible and attractive to many of the noblest spirits of our time.