No truth is so sublime but it may be trivial tomorrow in the light of new thoughts.
People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. —Emerson
Progress is from the Latin "pro," meaning forward, and "gradi," to step. Retrogress is from "retro" and "gradi," meaning to step backward, and transgress is to step across.
"The way of the transgressor is hard."
This is true of all who abandon progress and undertake to swing across the tides and currents of fresh thought, preferring old beliefs and prejudices.
No matter how closely they are allied with religious creeds and organizations, they may be "transgressors," and, if such, must inevitably suffer for what, perhaps, they mistakenly imagine to be wise "conservatism."
Conservatism of error is never wise, and such suffering can in no sense be called "divinely appointed."
The only remedy is to recognize the harmonies of progressive thought, and accept the truth that "in good we are moved and have our being."
The modern transgressor usually prides himself upon his loyalty to thought that has really been outgrown by awakened minds. He enjoys the posing as a "conservative," and very likely at the same time insists that he is "liberal." The doctors and clergymen find their largest clientage among this class, for they are often chronic invalids, and their families are usually ailing and delicate.
Mental science finds no difficulty in the diagnosis of such cases.
The modern transgressor takes more counsel of his fears than of his confidence. He dwells upon his weakness rather than his strength. In politics and finance he is sure to consider every possibility of disaster and defeat that he can conjure up. These he exaggerates and magnifies to the greatest degree. The elements of success he considers last. He denies all recognition of his highest intelligence—the intuitional faculties. He prides himself on being "practical," and considers himself entitled to great credit for his "common sense."
And so with bat-like blindness he knocks himself against first one difficulty and then another, often losing everything except his egotism.
At last he leaves the body, wearied with what he imagines to be the necessary "conflict of life," and when his friends are saying he has "closed his eyes in death," those eyes are being opened for the first time to the meaning of real life, to which they have been always persistently and obstinately blind.
There is a curious fiction in the line of that old hymn:
"When mine eyelids close in death."
As a matter of fact the eyes of the dead persistently open wide, and it is difficult to close them. It is as if nature herself intended to show that instead of the "sleep of death," of which we hear so much, the change that has come is one of real awakening to a life of progress.