You yourself are only impotent when you do not go beyond your own self;
the incompleteness of your life is your own doing.
Make use of your temporal existence, so that, by giving it to posterity, by transferring the centre of your moral gravity into the future, you might anticipate and bring nearer the final revelation of the Kingdom of God in the world.
There is a great argument going on in man between Time and Eternity as to who is the stronger — the Good or Death. “Your fathers,” says the Prince of this world to man, “those through whom you have received everything you possess, were and are no more, nor ever shall be;
but, if so, where is the Good?
You are reconciled to the death of your fathers, you sanction it by your consent,
you live and enjoy yourself, whilst those to whom you owe your existence are gone forever.
Where, then, is the good, where is the very source of piety — gratitude, where is pity, where is shame?
Have they not been completely conquered by selfishness, self-seeking, sensuality?
Yet do not despair. This condemnation of your life has meaning only from the point of view of the Good, only on the supposition that the Good exists. But this is just where the fundamental error lies: there is no Good. If there were, either your fathers would not have died, or you could not have been reconciled to their death. And now it is clear that the Good, with its fictitious demands and standards of piety, shame, and pity, is but an empty claim. If you want to live, live forgetful of the Good, for it has been swallowed up by death, is no more and never shall be.” “Your fathers died, but they have not ceased to exist, for the keys of life are in
hands,” says Eternity. “Believe not that they disappeared. That you might behold them again bind yourself to the unseen by the secure bond of the Good: revere them, pity them, be ashamed to forget them.” “Illusion!” says the Prince of Time again. “You may believe in their hidden subjective existence if you like;
but if you are not content with such a counterfeit of life for yourself, and cling to the fulness of the visible objective life, then, if the Good exists, you must demand the same for your fathers. But the visible objective existence — the only one worth speaking about — has been lost by your fathers, and shall never more be returned to them. Renounce, then, the impotent Good, the exhausting struggle with chimeras, and enjoy life to the full.” But the last word is with Eternity, which, admitting the past, appeals all the more confidently to the future. “The Good does not depend upon the degree of your power, and your weakness is not the impotence of the Good. And you yourself are only impotent when you do not go beyond your own self;
the incompleteness of your life is your own doing. In truth all is open to you. Live in all things, be a unity of yourself and your other, not only in relation to the past, to your forefathers, but also in relation to the future. Affirm yourself in new generations that with active help from you they might bring the world to that final stage in which God will give back the fulness of life to all — to them themselves, to you, and to your fathers before you. By doing this you can at the present moment show the absolute power of the Good over time and death, not by idly denying them, but by making use of them for the full and perfect revelation of the immortal life. Make use of the death of your forefathers, so as to preserve, in the religious regard for the departed, a sure token of their resurrection. Make use of your temporal existence, so that, by giving it to posterity, by transferring the centre of your moral gravity into the future, you might anticipate and bring nearer the final revelation of the Kingdom of God in the world.”