12 Lord, What is Man ? XV Nature is essentially mean, mediocre. You can have schemes for raising the level of this mean, but not for making every one two inches taller than his neighbour, and this is what people really care about. xvi All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income. The World i The world is a gambling-table so arranged that all who enter the casino must play and all must lose more or less heavily in the long run, though they win occasionally by the way. ii We play out our days as we play out cards, taking them as they come, not knowing what they will be, hoping for a lucky card and sometimes getting one, often getting just the wrong one. iii The world may not be particularly wise—still, we know of nothing wiser. iv The world will always be governed by self-interest. We should not try to stop this, we should try to make the self- interest of cads a little more coincident with that of decent people. The Individual and the World There is an eternal antagonism of interest between the individual and the world at large. The individual will not so much care how much he may suffer in this world provided he can live in men's good thoughts long after he has left it. The world at large does not so much care how much suffering the individual may either endure or cause in this life, provided he will take himself clean away out of men's thoughts, whether for good or ill, when he has left it.