Sunday, December 28, 2008

National Vitality

Vol.I. SATURDAY 26th JUNE 1909 No.2
Facts and Opinions

Nothing is stranger than the difference presented by Europe and Asia in the matter of national vitality. European nations seem to have a brief date, a life-term vigorous but soon exhausted; Asiatic races persist and survive. It was not so in old times. Not only Greece and Rome perished, Assyria, Chaldea, Phoenicia are also written in the book of the Dead. But the difference now seems well-established. France is a visibly dying nation, Spain seems to have lost the power of revival, Italy and Greece have been lifted up by great efforts and sacrifices but show a weak vitality, the Anglo-Saxon race is beginning everywhere to recede and dwindle. On the other hand in Asia life pulsates victoriously. Japan has risen at one bound to the first rank of nations; China untouched by her calamities renovates her huge national life. The effect on India of an accumulation of almost all the conditions which bring about national death, has been a new lease of life and a great dynamic impulse. Of the Mahomedan races, not a single one is decadent. Persia rises from her weakness full of youthful enthusiasm and courage though not yet of capacity. Arabia in her deserts surges with life. Egypt after her calamities is undergoing new birth; as far as Morocco the stir of life is seen. And today Turkey, the sick man, has suddenly risen up vigorous and whole. What is the source of this difference? Is it not in this that Asia has developed her spirituality and Europe has turned from it? Europe has always tended to live more in matter and in the body than within; and matter when not inert is always changing; the body is bound to perish. The high pressure at which Europe lives only tends to disintegrate the body more rapidly when the spiritual sources within are not resorted to for stability.

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