1932 saw the publication of “The Two Sources Of Morality And Religion”, a book that was probably Henri Bergson’s last.
After a lifetime trying to unveil Life, the Nobel Laureate gives us these intriguing last lines in the book: “Men do not sufficiently realize that their future is in their own hands….the essential function of the universe….is a machine for the making of gods.”
In a letter to Margaret Noble dated 7th June 1896 (“The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda — Volume 7”), Swami Vivekananda teaches that this “the essential function of the universe” (that Bergson spoke of years later) is a responsibility each of us is tasked with: “Let us call and call till the sleeping gods awake, till the god within answers to the call. What more is in life? What greater work?”
And why is there no “greater work”?
We find the answer in a 1946 lecture from Viktor Frankl (published as part of his “Yes To Life: In Spite of Everything”). We would do well to keep in mind that Viktor said this a few months after he was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp, after experiencing some of the worst horrors.
Everything depends on the individual human being….