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FEARLESSNESS

Science, if it is to be redintegrated should primarily not be limited, and thus be fearless. Any conditional limitation will be an evidence of mediocrity, and thus will become an unconquerable obstacle on the path of achievement.

I recall a conversation with a scientist who so insistently wanted to be the defender of modern science that he even attempted to diminish the significance of all ancient accumulations. Whereas, precisely, each young representative of modern science must first be open to everything useful and more so to all that bears the testimony of ages. All negation is contrary to creativeness. In his enlightened, constantly progressive movement, a true creator, first of all, is not negative. A creator has no time for condemnation and negation. The process of creativeness proceeds in an unrestrained progression. Therefore it is painful to see how a man, because of certain prejudices and superstitions, entangles himself with phantoms. In order that no one might suspect a scientist of being old-fashioned, in his fear he is ready to inflict anathema and oblivion upon the most instructive accumulations of the experiences of antiquity.

Verily, a free, unlimited science reveals again to humanity many long forgotten useful discoveries. Folklore again marches hand in hand with the disclosures of archaeology. Song and legend strengthen the pathways of history. The pharmacopoeia of ancient peoples revives again in the hands of an investigating young scientist. No one will say that all this ancient pharmacopoeia should be applied literally, for many of the hieroglyphs and inscriptions are deliberately symbolical. The very meaning of many expressions has been lost and changed through the centuries. But the experience of thousands of years nevertheless offers an unlimited field for useful research. Thus, much of that which is forgotten must be rediscovered and benevolently explained in contemporary language.

Turning to archaeology, we see that many excavations of recent years have astonished us by the refinement of meaning and forms of numerous, often fragmentary remnants. This refinement, this subtle elegance of antiquity, once again points to the cautious, reverent attentiveness with which we should touch these ancient testaments. We dream of forgotten lacquers, of the lost technique of jewel-mounting, of means of preserving materials unfamiliar to us. Finally, we are compelled to recognize many ancient methods of healing those scourges of mankind which are equally frightening at present. When we hear, and become convinced, of ancient methods successfully applied in the cure of certain forms of cancer, or tuberculosis, or asthma, or heart disease, is it not our duty to give most benevolent attention to these echoes of accumulated wisdom from ancient times?

Negation, which is limiting, must not have any place on the horizon of young scientists. Only mediocre thinking can cut off and impede progress. Absolutely everything that can help evolution should be welcomed and heartily accepted. All that can serve for the development of human thinking  all must be listened to and accepted. It is unimportant in which garment or hieroglyphics the fragment of knowledge is brought. The benefits of knowledge will have a revered place in all parts of the world. Knowledge is neither old nor young, ancient nor new. Through it there is accomplished a great, unlimited evolution. Everyone who obstructs it will be the progeny of darkness. Everyone who according to his strength will assist it will be a true warrior, a co-worker of Light.

Peking

December 22, 1934