Chapter 18 - Entering Into The Spirit Of It
"Entering into the spirit of it." What a common expression! And yet how much it really means, how absolutely everything! We enter into the spirit of an undertaking, into the spirit of a movement, into the spirit of an author, even into the spirit of a game; and it makes all the difference both to us and to that into which we enter. A game without any spirit is a poor affair; and association in which there is no spirit falls to pieces; and a spiritless undertaking is sure to be a failure. On the other hand, the book which is meaningless to the unsympathising reader is full of life and suggestion to the one who enters into, the spirit of the writer; the man who enters into the spirit of the music finds a spring of refreshment in some fine recital which is entirely missed by the cold critic who comes only to judge according to the standard of a rigid rule; and so on in every case that we can think of. If we do not enter the spirit of a thing, it has no invigorating effect upon us, and we regard it as dull, insipid and worthless. This is our everyday experience, and these are the words in which we express it.