Man, the human animal, is said to be the child of earth, the progeny of the Anima Mundi, or world soul: call it Mother Nature if you like. And this is true, as far as this limited portion of his composite make-up is concerned. But, in the grand scale of evolution, man's position is a wide stride in advance of that of Mother Nature. She is acutely conscious that man is her superior. Moreover she is jealous, in fear that man may so advance as to outstrip and leave her in the lurch, without his help, which she needs and which she feels to be her due.
In order therefore to slow him down, to circumvent, to deter, delay and to detain him, she resorts to artifice and stratagem and sets numerous traps. They are all nearby, attractively baited, placed to advantage and within easy reach. Every one of man's shortcomings and limitations is an instance in point. Egoity, ambition, laziness, greed, desire, personality, likes and dislikes and criticism; these are all traps designed and set by Nature for the purpose of holding man back. Some of the traps are very comfortable, so much so that it is difficult to realize that one has been caught. They are also very large, so extensive in fact that whole nations at a time may fall into a trap. Others are so constructed that failing to grip and hold they may so stun as to render the victim partially or wholly insensible. The subtlest of the devices are so designed as to take away or prevent man from acquiring vision. And thus bereft he can hardly hope to escape the larger pitfalls. It might be added that there is no closed season for Nature in this field as trapper. Nor are there any game wardens. In that respect she has a perfectly free hand. There is a modicum of humor in this grim affair. But we have been told by all the world Sages just where the traps are and what they are and how to avoid them.