The vision in the bush

Could Aurignacian man divine the coming of civilization? Could the men of the Mycenaean age foresee Hellenism? When the people of Israel came riding into Canaan, could they look forward to the future of Judaism? . . . If they had limited themselves to the observance of a purely rational social ethic based on the immediate advantage of the community, they might have been more prosperous, but they would not have been culturally creative. They would have had no importance for the future. The highest moral ideal either for a people or for an individual is to be true to its destiny, to sacrifice the bird in the hand for the vision in the bush, to leave the Known for the Unknown, like Abram going out from Harran and from his own people, obedient to the call of Yahweh, or the Aeneas of Vergil’s great religious epic.