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Young Ninja Group (ages 3-5)

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Sorted The Best Of Love And Rockets Rar

She had the best of friends to help her blaze her own path, and some of the women who failed as mentors still loved and trusted her. But that road can be lonely and scary, when there is nobody to follow.

Sorted The Best Of Love And Rockets Rar

For some days Europeans lived in panic dread, knowing not what horror mightat any moment descend on them. No wonder, then, that the Government resorted totorture in order to extract the secret from the scientists. No wonder that outof the forty individuals concerned, one, the Englishman, saved himself bydeceit. He promised to do his best to "remember" the intricate process. Understrict supervision, he used his own knowledge of physics to experiment insearch of the Chinaman's trick. Fortunately, however, he was on the wrongscent. And indeed he knew it. For though his first motive was mereself-preservation, later he conceived the policy of indefinitely preventing thedangerous discovery by directing research along a blind alley. And so histreason, by seeming to give the authority of a most eminent physicist to awholly barren line of research, saved this undisciplined and scarcely humanrace from destroying its planet.

In this attitude there was something admirable, and sorely needed at thetime; but also there was a fatal deficiency. In its best exponents it rose to adetached yet fervent salutation of existence, but all too easily degeneratedinto a supine complacency, and a cult of social etiquette. In fact it was everin danger of corruption through the inveterate Chinese habit of caring only forappearances. In some respects the spirit of America and the spirit of Chinawere complementary, since the one was restless and the other bland, the onezealous and the other dispassionate, the one religious, the other artistic, theone superficially mystical or at least romantic, the other classical andrationalistic, though too easy-going for prolonged rigorous thought. Had theyco-operated, these two mentalities might have achieved much. On the other hand,in both there was an identical and all-important lack. Neither of them wasdisturbed and enlightened by that insatiable lust for the truth, that passionfor the free exercise of critical intelligence, the gruelling hunt for reality,which had been the glory of Europe and even of the earlier America, but now wasno longer anywhere among the First Men. And, consequent on this lack, anotherdisability crippled them. Both were by now without that irreverent wit whichindividuals of an earlier generation had loved to exercise upon one another andon themselves, and even on their most sacred values.

These differences between the Martian and the human psyche entailedcharacteristic advantages and disadvantages. The Martian, immune from man'sinveterate selfishness and spiritual isolation from his fellows, lacked themental coherence, the concentrated attention and far-reaching analysis andsynthesis, and again the vivid self-consciousness and relentlessself-criticism, which even the First Men, at their best, had attained in somedegree, and which in the Second Men were still more developed. The Martians,moreover, were hampered by being almost identical in character. They possessedperfect harmony; but only through being almost wholly in temperamental unison.They were all hobbled by their sameness to one another. They were without thatrich diversity of personal character, which enabled the human spirit to coverso wide a field of mentality. This infinite variety of human nature entailed,indeed, endless wasteful and cruel personal conflicts in the first, and even tosome extent in the second, species of man; but also it enabled every individualof developed sympathy to enrich his spirit by intercourse with individualswhose temperament, thought and ideals differed from his own. And while theMartians were little troubled by internecine strife and the passion of hate,they were also almost wholly devoid of the passion of love. The Martianindividual could admire, and be utterly faithful to, the object of his loyalty;but his admiration was given, not to concrete and uniquely charactered personsof the same order as himself, but at best to the vaguely conceived "spirit ofthe race." Individuals like himself he regarded merely as instruments or organsof the "super-mind."

But the physical damage proved far less serious than the physiological.Earnest research discovered, indeed, a means of checking the infection; and,after a few years of rigorous purging, the atmosphere and man's flesh wereclean once more. But the generations that had been stricken never recovered;their tissues had been too seriously corroded. Little by little, of course,there arose a fresh population of undamaged men and women. But it was a smallpopulation; for the fertility of the stricken had been much reduced. Thus theearth was now occupied by a small number of healthy persons below middle ageand a very large number of ageing invalids. For many years these cripples hadcontrived to carry on the work of the world in spite of their frailty, butgradually they began to fail both in endurance and competence. For they wererapidly losing their grip on life, and sinking into a long-drawn-out senility,from which the Second Men had never before suffered; and at the same time theyoung, forced to take up work for which they were not yet equipped, committedall manner of blunders and crudities of which their elders would never havebeen guilty. But such was the general standard of mentality in the second humanspecies, that what might have been an occasion for recrimination produced anunparalleled example of human loyalty at its best. The stricken generationsdecided almost unanimously that whenever an individual was declared by hisgeneration to have outlived his competence, he should commit suicide. Theyounger generations, partly through affection, partly through dread of theirown incompetence, were at first earnestly opposed to this policy. "Our elders,"one young man said, "may have declined in vigour, but they are still beloved,and still wise. We dare not carry on without them." But the elders maintainedtheir point. Many members of the rising generation were no longer juveniles.And, if the body politic was to survive the economic crisis, it must nowruthlessly cut out all its damaged tissues. Accordingly the decision wascarried out. One by one, as occasion demanded, the stricken "chose the peace ofannihilation," leaving a scanty, inexperienced, but vigorous, population torebuild what had been destroyed.

For aeons they remained in this faith. And they schooled their hearts toacquiesce in it, saying, if it is so, it is best, and somehow we must learn tosee that it is best. But what they meant by "best" was not what theirpredecessors would have meant. They did not, for instance, deceive themselvesby pretending that after all they themselves actually preferred life to beevanescent. On the contrary, they continued to long that it might be otherwise.But having discovered, both behind the physical order and behind the desires ofminds, a fundamental principle whose essence was aesthetic, they were faithfulto the conviction that whatever was fact must somehow in the universal view befitting, right, beautiful, integral to the form of the cosmos. And so theyaccepted as right a state of affairs which in their own hearts they still feltgrievously wrong. This conviction of the irrevocability of the past and of theevanescence of mind induced in them a great tenderness for all beings that hadlived and ceased. Deeming themselves to be near the crest of life'sachievement, blessed also with longevity and philosophic detachment, they wereoften smitten with pity for those humbler, briefer and less free spirits whoselot had fallen in the past. Moreover, themselves extremely complex, subtle,conscious, they conceived a generous admiration for all simple minds, for theearly men, and for the beasts. Very strongly they condemned the action of theirpredecessors in destroying so many joyous and delectable creatures. Earnestlythey sought to reconstruct in imagination all those beings that blindintellectualism had murdered. Earnestly they delved in the near and the remotepast so as to recover as much as possible of the history of life on the planet.With meticulous love they would figure out the life stories of extinct types,such as the brontosaurus, the hippopotamus, the chimpanzee, the Englishman, theAmerican, as also of the still extant amoeba. And while they could not butrelish the comicality of these remote beings, their amusement was the outgrowthof affectionate insight into simple natures, and was but the obverse of theirrecognition that the primitive is essentially tragic, because blind. And so,while they saw that the main work of man must have regard to the future, theyfelt that he owed also a duty toward the past. He must preserve it in his ownmind, if not actually in life at least in being. In the future lay glory, joy,brilliance of the spirit. The future needed service, not pity, not piety; butin the past lay darkness, confusion, waste, and all the cramped primitiveminds, bewildered, torturing one another in their stupidity, yet one and all insome unique manner, beautiful.

The brilliant cripples that resulted from this policy looked at existencefrom a new angle. Deprived of the supreme experience for which their fellowslived, envious of a bliss which they knew only by report, yet contemptuous ofthe naïve mentality which cared for nothing (it seemed) but physicalexercise, love-making, the beauty of nature, and the elegances of society,these flightless intelligences sought satisfaction almost wholly in the life ofresearch and scientific control. At the best, however, they were a tortured andresentful race. For their natures were fashioned for the aerial life which theycould not lead. Although they received from the winged folk just treatment anda certain compassionate respect, they writhed under this kindness, locked theirhearts against all the orthodox values, and sought out new ideals. Within a fewcenturies they had rehabilitated the life of intellect, and, with the powerthat knowledge gives, they had made themselves masters of the world. Theamiable fliers were surprised, perplexed, even pained; and yet withal amused.Even when it became evident that the pedestrians were determined to create anew world order in which there would be no place for the beauties of naturalflight, the fliers were only distressed while they were on the ground.

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