A chronic lack of pleasure, of any enjoyable, rewarding or stimulating experiences, produces a slow, gradual, day-by-day erosion of man's emotional vitality, which he may ignore or repress, but which is recorded by the relentless computer of his subconscious mechanism that registers an ebbing flow, then a trickle, then a few last drops of fuel--until the day when his inner motor stops and he wonders desperately why he has no desire to go on, unable to find any definable cause of his hopeless, chronic sense of exhaustion.
Let us never weary of repeating, that to think first of the disinherited and sorrowful classes; to relieve, ventilate, enlighten, and love them; to enlarge their horizon to a magnificent extent; to lavish upon them education in every shape; to set them an example of labor, and never of indolence; to lessen the weight of the individual burden by increasing the notion of the universal aim; to limit poverty without limiting wealth; to create vast fields of public and popular activity; to have, like Briareus, a hundred hands to stretch out on all sides to the crushed and the weak; to employ the collective power in the grand task of opening workshops for every arm, schools for every aptitude, and laboratories for every intellect; to increase wages, diminish toil, and balance the debit and credit--that is to say, proportion enjoyment to effort, and supply to demand; in a word, to evolve from the social machine, on behalf of those who suffer and those who are ignorant, more light and more comfort, is (and sympathetic souls must not forget it) the first of brotherly obligations, and (let egotistic hearts learn the fact) the first of political necessities.
Mysticism has been in the past and probably ever will be one of the great powers of the world and it is bad scholarship to pretend the contrary. You may argue against it but you should no more treat it with disrespect than a perfectly cultivated writer would treat (say) the Catholic Church or the Church of Luther no matter how much he disliked them.
What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.
Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without our noticing, eats away at our souls, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.