We have the peculiar spectacle of a nation which, to a limited extent, practices Christianity without actively believing in Christianity. We are asked to turn to the Church for our enlightenment, but when we do this we find that the voice of the Church is not inspired. The voice of the Church today is the echo of our own voices. And the result of this experience, already manifest, is disillusionment. . . . The way out is the sound of a voice, not our voice, but the voice coming from somewhere not ourselves, in the existence of which we cannot disbelieve. It is the task of the Pastors to hear this voice, cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says. If they cannot hear it, or if they fail to tell us what it says, we laymen are totally lost. Without it we are no more capable of saving the world than we are capable of creating it in the first place.
When every autumn people said it could not last through the winter, and when every spring there was still no end in sight, only the hope that out of it all some good would accrue to mankind kept men and nations fighting. When at last it was over, the war had many diverse results and one dominant one transcending all others: disillusion.
I want you to observe, that those who cry the loudest about their disillusionment, about the failure of virtue, the futility of reason, the impotence of logic - are those who have achieved the full, exact, logical result of the ideas they preached, so mercilessly logical that they dare not identify it. In a world that proclaims the non-existence of the mind, the moral righteousness of rule by brute force, the penalizing of the competent in favour of the incompetent, the sacrifice of the best to the worst - in such a world, the best have to turn against society and have to become it's deadliest enemies.
One of the most devastating experiences in human life is disillusionment. Of course there are some illusions the disillusionment of which is healthy. It takes two things to bowl over a tree - a heavy wind outside and decay inside. Much of the moral wreckage is caused by inner cynicism -a disgust with life's futility, an inability to see sense in it. A person in that mood is an easy mark for the next high wind.