JESTING PILATE

peoples brought up in a different way, only think- ers of the highest genius can conceive of a thunder- storm as a purely impersonal happening. There is no well-established science of religion. The stupid Westerner has almost no educational advantages, when it comes to religious matters, over his savage and Oriental brothers. His natural instinct is to regard God as a person, and he has received no training that might cause him to modify his first spontaneous opinion as it has modified his natural, untutored opinion about thunderstorms. Among primitive peoples there arise occasionally men of scientific genius who know, intuitively, the truth about thunderstorms. Where God is concerned, we are all more or less primitives; only the great- est religious geniuses have any knowledge (and it is knowledge of a personal, intuitive, hardly com- municable kind) of the truth about God. It is significant that Buddha, whom one feels to have been the most intellectually powerful of all the great religious leaders, should have rejected com- pletely the idea of a personal God and gone beyond it. Two thousand five hundred years hence the majority of human beings may have arrived at the

_ position reached by Gautama two thousand five

hundred years ago. We like to speak of ourselves as “modems”; but in point of fact the vast majority of us are the most barbarously primitive of

ancients.

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