MAN seems to be entering one of the major crises of his career. His whole future, nay the possibility of his having any future at all, depends on the turn which events may take in the next half-century. It is a commonplace that he is coming into possession of new and dangerous instruments for controlling his environment and his own nature. Perhaps it is less obvious that he is also groping toward a new view of his office in the scheme of
things, and toward a new and racial purpose. Unfortunately he may possibly take too long to learn what it is that he really wants to do with himself.
Before he can gain clear insight, he may lose himself in a vast desert of spiritual aridity, or even blunder into physical self-destruction. Nothing can save him but a new vision, and a consequent new order of sanity, or common sense.
From Last and First Men, by W. Olaf Stapledon (1930)
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