Rather, the results in others are indirect effects from our lives, echoes of our living ring down distant bells, quietly, impartially, implacably reaching out to the most secluded, almost forgotten hamlets of men.
In our teaching of men, we hardly do more than the housemaid’s chore of raising the blinds to let sunlight stream into the house. The teacher’s work is to remove the impediments to a man’s own seeing, to remove the things that would block the light. He cannot reach into another man’s mind to insert knowledge; neither can he furnish the light to to that mind by which it will see the truth. He merely sets nature free to work, as a doctor’s medicine allows nature to throw off a disease; his is the humble work of helping nature, imitating its procedures, but never supplanting it. He takes another by the hand and leads him from known truths into the unknown gradually, showing the steps to be taken by his contrasts, his examples, his similes, hoping the learning mind will follow the steps and come to truth. He cannot offer the comfort of a superior intellect, as a angel can, for in fact his intellect is not superior; it is of exactly the same kind as that of his student. He brings the material for knowing to the mind of his student, lays that material out in order, removes the impediments to knowing;; and then hopes for the splendid result of knowledge.