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  Every Branch in Me — Who are we as "human" beings? Back to the List of Slideshows
slide 19 of 19

The final essay in Every Branch in Me  is by Lord Northbourne, and the very last paragraph in the book is quoted below. It sums up not only his essay, "The Survival of Civilization," (1) but sums up the purpose of the book—to reacquaint ourselves with the 'sap' that courses to each living 'branch' within us and that gives us not just our reason to live but also, through that awareness, a way to live more fully (that is, to 'bear fruit') as both individuals and as a society:

In exalting our own powers over Nature we diminish ourselves, for the realization of our full potentiality does not depend on the development and exercise of those powers for our own terrestrial advantage; it depends entirely on the fulfillment by us of our spiritual function; for that alone can keep us in touch with the imperishable and finally bring us into union with it. Such is our appointed destiny, and only to the extent that we follow it for its own sake and without ulterior motive can harmony between man and man and between man and Nature become a reality, and with that harmony a civilization that is worthy of the name, and is at the same time as fully protected from corruption and dissolution as any collective human organization can ever be.

(1) Taken from page 336 of Every Branch in Me,  this chapter is also found in the journal Studies in Comparative Religion, Volume 7, copyright 1973, pages 21-30.

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