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It is different, however, when power meets with weakness, the need arising from which it is exactly suited to supply. Under such circumstances, when antagonistic motives, selfish or otherwise, do not exist, there is & desire on the part of the possessor of power to supply the need. A physician or surgeon may have little compassion in his nature, but it is a real pleasure to him, nevertheless, to exercise his art in the cure of human ailments, and this he will constantly do when neither honour, profit, or gratitude can result.
The same is true of the specialist in any branch of knowledge, who, when selfish motives do not withhold him, takes pleasure in applying his skill or knowledge just in proportion to the perfection of its applicability. Even a selfish person will give food to an animal from which he expects no gratitude, simply for the pleasure of supplying its hunger. It is the desire of fulness to supply need, or to make that which is imperfect perfect. Hence power is naturally attracted to weakness, necessity, and imperfection, in the supply of which it is most perfectly manifested.
Similarly, weakness and necessity are attracted to power exactly suited to supply that necessity, and the very knowledge that such power is at hand is a relief to the mind of the person in necessity, because it is felt that, where selfish motives do not interfere, that power will be exercised for the relief of his necessity.
Thus the sexes, being constituted to have a mutual need of each other, are mutually attracted to each other, and the attraction of mother to child, and of many to children generally, or to animals, is evidently founded on a similar principle. Even if two persons are thrown together, each with some power, or knowledge, or capacity which the other has not, and yet needs, it is gladly exercised on behalf of the other, and each becomes a necessity to the other, either for the supply of the need, or for the exercise of the power which demands manifestation. Power where there was no weakness, and knowledge without ignorance or need, would be useless, and no inclination would exist to manifest them, for they are complements one of another, and each makes the other perfect.
In addition to these desires, there is a desire in man for sympathy and companionship, and a similar desire is also seen in some of the higher animals. It is not good for man to be alone,' and so necessary is sympathy and companionship for his happiness, that even the satisfaction of natural affections are of less absolute importance, while it greatly enhances the happiness springing from them, as in cases where mutual sympathy is added to the psychical attraction which may exist between the sexes; while, on the other hand, complete isolation produces the greatest misery, and often ends in madness.
With the animals this desire is probably limited to that for companionship, but with man it is the desire also for sympathy in his various interests, and thus sympathy in literature and art, common aims and interests in science, politics, or the acquirement of wealth, comradeship in war or adventure, draw individuals towards each other, often producing the strongest friendship between them. The power of this sympathy and companionship, and its necessity for happiness, is seen when it is rudely broken, as in the case of the death of a friend, or a husband, or wife, who has been the constant companion and sharer of a person's hopes and fears, interests, pleasures, and misfortunes. It seems as if it were the death of a portion of that person's own being.
The happiness arising from sympathy seems to be due to the satisfaction of the desire for the expression and manifestation of thought and feeling, and to the sense of confidence and strength which sympathy with those thoughts and feelings produces, so that its loss is like the loss of some important bodily sense or organ, which is at once the deprivation of a means of expression and of a source of strength and security.
But besides the happiness which is dependent on natural affection and sympathy, the happiness of good men is yet more dependent on moral love and sympathy. Moral love is righteousness, for • love is the fulfilling of the law. It is the desire for the happiness and good of others, leading many to sacrifice their own good in order to satisfy that desire. It is the love of justice, mercy, and truth, and the hatred of their opposites, or the love of righteousness and the hatred of iniquity.
In considering, however, the principles of moral love as exemplified in man, we must carefully distinguish between them and the principles of those natural affections which in the human race, and even in the higher animals, produce sometimes similar effects.
Let the principle of pity or compassion be first considered. Many will compassionate the sufferings of those whom they naturally love, but not necessarily, or in a much lower degree, the sufferings of those whom they do not love. Moral love, on the other hand, compassionates all suffering. The good man not only shrinks from causing any sentient creature suffering, but, as before remarked, desires to relieve suffering whenever he comes in contact with it. In so doing he may expect no possible reward-not even the gratitude of the person or creature relieved—yet he is impelled to relieve the suffering, and were he not to do so he would feel a pain and remorse, keen in proportion to the suffering unrelieved and his power to have relieved it.
So again with the characteristic of generosity. Generosity is the feeling which induces the victor to spare the vanquished. Until his enemy lies helpless before him
anger shuts out any softer feeling; but no sooner is his enemy in his power, and his anger pacified, than a feeling of compassion arises in the heart of a good man for his enemy's helplessness.
An illustration of this is seen in the pity often excited by the sufferings of dumb animals. The sufferings of a dumb animal, tortured to death by cruel men, excites the strongest feelings of compassion in the minds of many, because it is felt that the animal has no power of redress, and no helper in the world.
But besides the pity and compassion which suffering and helplessness call forth in the strong and generous, a yet deeper feeling may be evoked, which is dependent on the character of the individual whose suffering is relieved. Even when the recipient of a kindness has but low moral qualities, yet there are few who cannot appreciate true kindness : and the consciousness that this is the case begets in the benefactor an additional interest in, and kindness towards the subject of his compassion, which will induce him to repeat his kindness with even greater readiness than before.
In the case of the animal, no suffering experienced, or kindness received, can call forth in it moral qualities, and make it compassionate in its turn to the sufferings of others, although it may evince the strongest love and gratitude towards its benefactor; but such gratitude is an unreasoning and instinctive attraction towards its benefactor, as a being which has been good to itself. It is a purely psychical affection, and unaffected by moral considerations, and for that very reason is often more strongly manifested by the animals than by man. Nothing more is expected from the animal, and its unreasoning gratitude calls forth the affection of its benefactor.
But compassion is sometimes rudely blunted by the unworthiness of the human being relieved, who may not only be ungrateful, but may evince a total want of compassion for the sufferings and necessities of others. In like manner, the love and gratitude of the person benefited may also be checked by the unworthiness of his benefactor.
If the human being, whose sufferings have been relieved, has high moral qualities, he may perhaps feel a gratitude towards his benefactor similar to that of the animal, but, as often as not, the benefit received calls forth a sense of obligation and indebtedness, which is rather a burden than otherwise, because his benefactor is in some other respects repulsive to him. The animal and some human beings will love a person because he is kind to them, and be indifferent to the fact that he is cruel and unmerciful to others ; but such cruelty creates an aversion in the mind of a generous person, which completely neutralizes the love or gratitude which the benefit would otherwise call forth. On the other hand, we may feel the strongest attraction towards another person on account of some comparatively trifling kindness shown by that person, because it is recognised as a manifestation of true kindness of heart. In one case the great benefit produces no attraction, but only a sense of obligation, because it is not bestowed from true kindness or moral compassion; in the other case the small benefit produces a powerful moral attraction, because it does spring from true kindness, and no burden of obligation accompanies it.
Thus, any manifestation of moral love calls forth an answering chord of love in the person towards whom it is displayed, which will naturally be powerful in proportion to the latter's capacity for appreciating moral characteristics. Love or charity, in short, begets love or charity; but this can only be between two persons whose moral sympathies are similar. The just person is attracted by justice in another, and repelled by injustice; the truthful