Without renouncing the support of physics, it is possible for the physiology of the senses, not only to pursue its own course of development, but also to afford to physical science itself powerful assistance.
Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul; it is to live in a nutshell and to count yourself the king of infinite space; it isTo see a world in a grain of sand,And a Heaven in a wild flower,Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,And eternity in an hour;it is to know not as yet that you are under sentence of life, nor petition that it be commuted into death.
Why covet a knowledge of new facts? Day and night, house and garden, a few books, a few actions, serve us as well as would all trades and all spectacles. We are far from having exhausted the significance of the few symbols we use. We can come to use them yet with a terrible simplicity.
[...] but just as formerly these pursuits and ideas had seemed petty and insignificant in comparison with the darkness that overshadowed all existence, so now they seemed as petty and insignificant in comparison with the brilliant sunshine in which the future was bathed. He went on with his work but now he felt that the centre of gravity of his attention had shifted, making him look at his work quite differently and with greater clarity. Formerly this work had been an escape from life: he used to feel that without it life would be too gloomy. Now he needed it so that life might not be too uniformly bright.