The gods of quiet virtue and spiritual wisdom have had fewer votaries than at most other parallel periods of our history, while the grinning demons of brazen pleasure and materialistic pursuits have been far busier. Folly holds the field. Despite all the scientific backwardness and primitive character attributed to them, there was always a place in most of the civilizations of antiquity--and there still is in the Orient--or the sage or the prophet. In the West there does not seem to be one for him today--on the contrary, he is too often met with unjust suspicions and hopeless misunderstanding and so can do nothing else than crawl into his shell. This accusing fact that our society has no place for him, sets no importance on him and perceives no value in him, is of itself enough to damn it for having strayed so far from its higher purpose. There is something seriously wrong with a civilization which thinks that the effort to come into Overself-consciousness is an abnormal and even an insane one.
-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 71
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