But, with reference to all these unremovable causes of the seeming unreality of the spiritual life, we should not fail to notice that our very questionings here are an evidence of reality. It is hard to see how else the questions could arise at all.
In the question of freedom, for example, if the mind were wholly determined, it is difficult to see how the very notion of freedom should arise at all; or if the ideas, which compose it, be conceived somehow to have arisen, it is still more difficult to see how it could mean anything to a mind that did not already know freedom in its own experience. I confess myself quite dissatisfied with the ordinary facile psychological geneses of the conviction of freedom. They seem to me only another great example of the ever-besetting "psychologist's fallacy. The simple fact, that with any intelligence I can raise the question of freedom, that I can give any meaning to it satisfying even to my own mind,—this alone seems to me good evidence of the fact of freedom. The question is itself explicable, only upon the presupposition of the fact.
So, too, in the question of immortality, is not Emerson right in maintaining that the perennial interest with which men perpetually return to this problem, is itself better evidence of the reality of the future life than any proofs which they might discover? If we were mere creatures of the day, complete kindred of animals, it is hard to see how this question of the immortal life should come so to press upon us. Is it not the stirring within us of our own birthright, that prompts the questioning? Is it a false response that men have made, these years since Wordsworth wrote, to his "intimations of immortality"? Are questionings, in truth, no evidence here? Does not, rather, the note of satiety, unrest, disillusion, and final despair, which inevitably shows itself in all poetry that reflects any thorough-going attempt on the part of man to find his entire satisfaction in the flesh, bear unmistakable testimony to the fact that man is more than animal?
So, once more, the very existence of the problem of evil in practically all minds points to its own solution. For the question could not arise in all minds, except upon the assumption in all that, in a world that ought to be, happiness and virtue would fall together. But in this common assumption made by all minds, as demanded by their very constitutions, must we not see an unmistakable self-expression of that power that lies back of the universe, and, therefore, an implicit answer to our own doubt,—a virtual pledge that finally, at least, that shall be which is here demanded?
A similar thing is to be said even with reference to the question of the existence and love of God. Unless man is by his very nature religious, it is difficult to see how the primal religious question could even arise. The simple fact that the question is one of never-dying interest to man, that he persistently recurs to it in his highest moments, and unconsciously assumes it in his deepest experiences and even in his commonest activities—the mere fact that he so questions as concerning an absolutely vital interest, is itself strong evidence of the reality of that questioned. Thus "Physicus," in the very act of renouncing all religious faith, says, as if it were a matter of course, "I am confident that truth must in the end be most profitable for the race;" thus unconsciously still betraying a fundamentally religious belief.
Here, too, the persistent, unconscious showings of the nature of men must be taken as self-expressions of that Absolute which is back of all, and so evidence of such a God as the soul seeks. A thoughtful modern novelist thus concludes one of her stones: "Full assurance has not been granted me, and it is my lot in doing battle to strike often in the dark. Yet I have moments when I know that the strife is not in vain. In these I wonder why we are so troubled about our duty to our fellow-man, and about our knowledge of God. The one command in regard to our neighbor is not obscure. And our foreboding lest our faith in God shall escape us seems futile, inasmuch as we cannot escape from our faith." One can hardly deny the force of this consideration, without calling in question that fundamental assumption of all our thinking and living—the honesty of the world. When this is denied, all thinking, scientific, philosophical, or religious, is at an end.
"Rather I prize the doubt
Low kinds exist without,
Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a spark.
Poor vaunt of life indeed,
Were man but formed to feed
On joy, to solely seek and find and feast;
Such feasting ended, then
As sure an end to men;
Irks care the crop-full bird? Frets doubt the maw-
Rejoice we are allied
To That which doth provide
And not partake, effect and not receive!
A spark disturbs our clod;
Nearer we hold of God
Who gives, than of his tribes that take, I must believe.
Then, welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand, but go!
Be our joys three parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!
For thence—a paradox
Which comforts while it mocks—
Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail:
What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me:
A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the
 Cf. Paul E. More: "The Poetry of Arthur Symonds," The Independent, April 17, 1902.