Walter Grainge White
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Meanwhile the problem of effectively joining souls is complicated by the fact that success depends on the social no less than on the individual make-up of the minds that meet. Each stands for a consciousness wedded to a custom. The social habits of the people with whom one’ 3 life is more immediately bound up must on the whole be followed, and a prejudice in favour of these as compared with habits of any other kind constitutes in large part the mental outlook of every normal man. But if there is to be real sympathy between those who represent very different stages or types of culture, such prejudice must be somehow overcome — to this extent at least, that some sort of line is drawn between essential and non-essential habits, between morals and manners, let us say, so that a large toleration can be exercised in regard to the latter. Here anthropological science can help. The study of man is scientific just so far as it is disinterested and objective. Impartially viewed in the light of the facts, a given mode of life is seen to entail one code of manners and another another. If Nhai, for instance, was to continue to live the life of a Sea Gypsy, his best chance was to stick to Mawken methods of coping with their amphibious environment. Thus who can doubt that the Mawken, confronted with tinned salmon.
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