A man ever considered with purely earthly respects, appears to be reaching peaks of moral and physical perfection. His skills coalesce delightfully to lead him to that goal. His senses more perfect than in lower species, his memory so amazing, that presents him with various objects, not allowing to be mixed up, his ability to judge, allowing to classify them and compare, his mind, every day discovering new relations between the two, everything works, leading him toward new discoveries, and strengthening his dominance.
Meanwhile, among his conquests and victories, neither the enthralled world, nor established social organizations, nor announced laws, nor fulfilled needs, nor multiplied pleasures are enough for his soul. A desire continues to grow in him that demands something else. He examined, penetrated, tamed and adorned his earthly refuge, but his eyes look for another realm. He became the master of visible and finite nature, but desires the nature invisible and without borders. He took care of things which, the more complex and artificial they are, of the higher caliber they seem. He learned and counted everything, but feels discouraged that he only deals with interests and calculations.
Some inner voice shouts inside of him and tells him that all these things are just a mechanism, more or less brilliant, more or less perfect, but inadequate to be a finale or a limitation of his existence, and that what he took as the goal, was only a number of means.
Benjamin Constant – On religion