People may be cooped up in Hell….But if they yell together that they are saints they all believe it.
This is the power of mob conviction.
Its extent shows why each man ought to be at considerable pains to convince himself of truth, rather than of dogma, or half of a truth, or of nothing.
Those who subscribe to dogma or who hold half a truth to be all of the truth or who say, “I know nothing,” make a palsied spectacle of themselves and it is not only unpleasant to live with them, but dangerous in addition.
Down the shuffling ages have gone myriads of people calling to Muhammad, as Christians call to Christ, and revering Buddha or Confucius, as Christians say they revere Christ. All of them think of each other as heathen—and they are, all of them.
Each of them, and many more, has a man and a book and some have a word, but none will listen to the word of the other to see if anything can be learned by it. Their cities rise and vanish. The stupefying multiplicity of their wars and arguments rust and are silent.
They never think: I did this for nothing, or we died for nothing. But the pyramids were for nothing. All the holy dead in all the crusades died for nothing—though economists, swallowing a caravan of camels, will tell you it was for trade routes.
Kingdom, power and glory, forever accessible to man are forever so meanly snatched at that they turn to clay in the hands of men.
The dime out has extinguished even the frail lantern of Diogenes. Christ asked only that you set truth first ahead of all other fealties, and that you examine yourself, not your brother, with its light.
Whenever the door of Hell opens, the voice you hear is your own.