The rules of human conduct derive from the basic laws and constitute a guide for the perilous journey on which we are all engaged. To accomplish our destiny, it is not enough merely to guard prudently against road accidents. We must also cover before nightfall the distance assigned to each one of us. We must not only preserve life but propagate it; we must also increase and strengthen our spiritual forces.
There are no watertight compartments in our inmost nature. Nevertheless, we divide the rules of conduct into three groups: the discipline of our personal life, the precepts for human relations and the discipline of the transmission of life. Of course these are arbitrary divisions: the discipline of personal life, that is the inner life of the organs, the blood and the soul, merges with that of our relation with our parents and neighbors and with the requirements of the propagation of the race. Honesty, truth, love and unselfishness, which condition the highest communal existence, are the expression of a strong and harmonious personality. It is the same with the physical and mental qualities which give an individual the power to hand on life in all its fullness.
Every rule of conduct has two aspects. It opposes certain tendencies and favors certain others. We ought to refuse to follow those ideas, desires and appetites which carry us in the opposite direction to the current of life. We should, by voluntary effort, avoid those faults and actions which are harmful to the conservation of our own life and that of others; to spiritual development and to the propagation of the race. The inhibition of bad tendencies and the correction of functional disorders are not, however, sufficient. We must also increase the quality, quantity and intensity of our lives. People become rich, not by saving, but by working and by making the money they have earned work instead of lying idle. Not to hate one's neighbor is good, but to love him is far better. The best way not to grow weaker is to increase one's strength. The rules of conduct must not only tell us what not to do, but also, and still more imperatively, what to do.
Like a child lost in a forest, modern man wanders at random in the world he has created. There are no signposts on our road to warn us of forbidden zones. Anyone, without realizing it, may cross that frontier which the very structure of life ordains for our thoughts as well as our deeds. To protect ourselves against this danger, a strict discipline is essential. There is no other way of avoiding the bogs, the quicksands and the precipices. We need a map and a guide for the dangerous journey of life.