half measures

- Yg. 1922, No. 14 -

The compromiser is in control of the situation today. We have the time of halves. Some radicalism is noticed in public, but on closer inspection it's not that bad; it's mostly just a radicalism of words. You puff yourself up with phrases and beautiful words; but anxiously refrains from coming into situations in which one might be forced to take seriously all that which is defended and trumpeted into the world.

People today no longer dare to do what their own conscience commands them to do. His characterless meandering and adapting to the "given facts" is nothing more than cowardice in front of the dear neighbor. He rapes his conscience out of displeasure and indolence. He voluntarily renounces the pure mountain air, which one can only get into by laborious climbing up, and contented himself with the lowland, in which pleasant twilight gently covers weaknesses and half-measures. Here a world of pitiful comfort beckons to man when he “classifies himself”, tries to become the well-bred, decent ordinary citizen. Soon he will be hopelessly lost. The conscience has calmed down. One humbles oneself and begins to wither spiritually. One arrives at a state of mind which, fed by uncertain, nebulous illusions, regards life as something that must be dealt with in the most comfortable way possible. The world has another philistine.

Of course there are exceptions. Thank God. But unfortunately it is like that: everyone holds in childish naivety for the exception. One pushes in, yes both eyes and pretends that everything is in perfect order. Yes, there is a direct uncertainty about being more deeply involved with oneself, so as not to encounter weak points. One desires to stay in ambiguity in order not to be taken out of the emotional equilibrium by the blunders uncovered in glaring daylight.

This fear is cowardice itself. It is known that the content of the facade does not correspond. Out of vanity, dullness, and laziness, one anxiously acts as if it were the case. He is not usually, at least in his younger years. It would be terrible if that were the case. Slowly, however, over the years, the balance is established. Nature always retaliates. It corrects man inwardly to what he initially pretends and, thank God, is not yet inwardly. Exterior and interior will soon be adequate. This process is slow and imperceptible. The half measures revenge themselves. The hopeful bud of free humanity never becomes sweet fruit. Stunted, without air and light, grows a poor plant.

The worst part is that these people do not even know how crippled they are. It is no longer possible for them to realize how dreary they have slipped from their cowardice, their eternal backsliding and laboring from what presented themselves in their youth as a hopeful approach to free humanity.

Because the inner transformation has taken place slowly and imperceptibly, one considers oneself to be different from what one actually is. Self-deception has become second nature. One is simply no longer able to self-critically determine that one is a person with weak personality who lets himself be restricted and determined by all sorts of irrelevant things in his actions.

This half-heartedness and self-delusion is the strongest inhibitor of all human evolution.

It creates the cushions to rest on, on which one self-sufficient dawns. No thought is consistently thought through to the end; each just laid out in the most comfortable way possible. You need a comfortable religion that is nice to dream about. All his faults are registered under general sinfulness and corruption of human nature. One looks to a Savior out of convenience. His spirit's height and depth, his walk, which could become a model, is moved far away into the sphere of the divine. What remains is weak belief, vague sentimentalism. The final decisions always lie in the “afterlife”. On this side is the tale of half-measures and weaknesses.

This is a divinely ordained order, that is, of half-measures, which is of little importance. It has no value to change much: one must submit to it.

Thoughtlessness not only in religion, but in all areas of life! Nobody dares to be himself. If he is, then he must go the way of the crucifixions. The mystical breath of the divine wafts around “people” in such surroundings. Whole halves become saints.

On the broad road of half-measures a human race sneaks into an uncertain future. It feels good.

1922, 14
Hans Müller