When a man jumps off a cliff, he doesn’t defy the law of gravitation; he merely illustrates it. Similarly, when a culture or a civilization jumps off a cliff, it doesn’t defy the ontological conditions which sanction it, or the nature of man, or the nature of God, or the nature of man’s destiny under God. It merely illustrates them. In short, at the point of crisis, our reasonings are thrust against the ultimate nature and meaning of things.
For many days I had been debating within myself many and diverse things, seeking constantly, and with anxiety, to find out my real self, my best good, and the evil to be avoided, when suddenly one—I know not, but eagerly strive to know, whether it were my-self or another, within me or without— said to me: