141 CHRONICLESnney, because the cause of the sacred is not man’s, it is God’sncause. Desacrahzed man cannot chmb back to the sacredncavern; he has lost the leading thread. The sacred arisesnmuch like civilizations arise, without man’s consciouslynpursued actions. But we know that every civilization is anhuman stylization on an already given theme, a divine andncosmic theme. The civilization-giving process follows fromnthe cosmological model. Nobody creates a cosmologicalnmodel; only our individualistic and simplifying bent suggestsnthat such models may be one man’s work, as we arentaught that our cosmology owes its alpha and omega to thenone Galileo. A cosmology, that is a world picture, ancollective, time-transcending vision, is the product offereesnperhaps beyond our comprehension, and certainly beyondnour creative power. At best, it is the work of manynindividuals and groups, not necessarily pursuing the samenobject, but harmonizing nevertheless under the vast vault ofnthe same impulse, as the works of St. Benedict, Dante, andnGoethe, great men with diverse motivations, were ultimate­nly harmonized.nIn fact, a new cosmology has already made its beginnings.nThe Galilean/Newtonian universe (Newton himselfnwas dissatisfied with it) is slowly, ever so slowly, gliding outnof focus, and a finite cosmos has reappeared on ournhorizon. Industrial society itself has produced not onlyncritics, but also thinkers (strangely, among schools ofnsociology) who analyze its enormous blockages and counterproductivenachievements. We may live through the lastnstages of mindlessly reproduced consumer “goods” and of anreturn to the uniqueness of objects. There is, of course, nonway of forecasting a new civilization, although thinkers likenNietzsche and Heidegger have forcefully stated the exhaustionnof the present “gods” (or idols) and the expectation ofn”new gods” leading us in some new direction. Beingnattuned to new “gods,” we do not renounce the Christianncivilization, but remain attentive to its timeless source andninspiration.nOLAF STAPLEDON: PHILOSOPHER ANDnFABULIST by Stephen R.L. ClarknThe most widely known of Merseyside philosophers wasnnever a full-time academic. But he gave classes for thenWorkers Educational Association from 1912, extra-muralnlectures on philosophy from the 20’s, gained his Ph.D. inn^'”, Xn’riin.vi’.^>n7J’n, /n/,n^^^S^^v.n’^^^^i^.ns6j8riHKi*Saiy ^i “wjv^ • • Vn^^ ^^^1-n^^^^^^j^^fefe-r ••’^ ‘-•’,”n.^^^^^^^^^M^^^”.”n•:^;” ‘^^^^^S^-‘i-.y’n• * ‘ , – • ‘- ” – • ‘ : ” ” • ” ‘ “nnnLiverpool in 1925 (in philosophical psychology), and wasnan active and famous philosopher till he died, in 1950. OlafnStapledon was born a hundred years ago in the littlenpeninsula between the Dee and the Mersey, and lived therenall his life, apart from a brief sojourn in Balliol and PortnSaid, and duty with the Quaker ambulance corps duringnthe First World War. He lectured regularly, published ancouple of minor philosophical books and some interestingnarticles, and wrote several of the great classics of philosophicalnscience fiction: Last and First Men, Last Men innLondon, Sinus, Odd ]ohn, Starmaker, The Flames.nStapledon’s archives are now housed in Liverpool UniversitynLibrary, and his work and life are subjected toncritical scrutiny. He was a man of his time in tending tonprefer coUectivist solutions for social problems and tonhanker after a new, improved breed of humanity. But hennever lost sight of the perils of progressivism and collectivism,nand lent no support—though he was falsely accused ofnthis—to fashionable left-wing apologias for Stalinist Russia.nHis fables, as I shall argue, contain the antidote to hisnown professed doctrines.nHow may we summon up the courage and devotion tonlive humane or spiritual lives in a universe that, sonscientistic mythology requires us to believe, is deeply hostilento all human values? “How to face such an age? How tonmuster courage, being capable only of homely virtues? Hownto do this, yet preserve the mind’s integrity?” This is thenStephen R.L. Clark is professor of philosophy at thenUniversity of Liverpool. His most recent book is FromnAthens to Jerusalem: The Love of Wisdom and the Lovenof God (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1984).n