And then Laszlo got that look in this eyes, the one that said we had to get out, get into a cab, and get back to our headquarters. He pled pressing business to Wissler, who very much wanted to talk further, and promised to return for another visit soon. Then he bolted for the door, leaving me to apologize more fully for the abrupt departure — which, not surprisingly, Wissler didn’t seem to mind at all. Scientists’ minds may jump around like amorous toads, but they do seem to accept such behavior in one another.

When you think about it, we rationalists—and we’re all, to an extent, rationalist—we accept propositions about the early universe which boggle the mind more than any of the biblical miracles do. Your mind can intuitively grasp the notion of a dead man coming back again to life, as people in deep comas do, and as we do when we wake up every morning out of a sound sleep. But to believe that the universe, immeasurably vast as it appears to be, was once compressed into a tiny space—into a tiny point—is in truth very hard to believe. I’m not saying I can disprove the equations that back it up. I’m just saying that it’s as much a matter of faith to accept that.

“Forgive me, I only wanted t’say that the purity of science often hurts many people, just like pure natural phenomena do. Volcanic eruptions bury whole towns, floods wash bridges away, earthquakes knock buildings flat –”

In the name of the multitude he was here giving expression to the fact that Western man is in danger of losing his shadow altogether, of identifying himself with his fictive personality and of identifying the world with the abstract picture painted by scientific rationalism. His spiritual and moral opponent, who is just as real as he, no longer dwells in his own breast, but beyond the geographical line of division…Thinking and feeling lose their own inner polarity, and where religious orientation has grown ineffectual, not even a god is at hand to check the sovereign sway of unleashed psychic functions.

To what extent is any given man morally responsible for any given act? We do not know.