On the contrary, the trends toward being as a part and toward affirming one’s being by participation in given structures of life are rapidly increasing. Conformity is growing, but it has not yet become collectivism. The Neo-Stoics of the Renaissance, by transforming the courage to accept fate passively (as in the old Stoics) into an active wrestling with fate, actually prepared the way for the courage to be in the democratic conformism of America.

In the symbolism of Renaissance art fate is sometimes represented as the wind blowing on the sails of a vessel, while man stands at the steering wheel and determines the direction as much as it can be determined under the given conditions. Man tries to actualize all his potentialities; and his potentialities are inexhaustible. For he is the microcosm, in whom all cosmic forces are potentially present, and who participates in all spheres and strata of the universe. Through him the universe continues the creative process which first has produced him as the aim and the center of the creation. Now man has to shape his world and himself, according to the productive powers given to him. In him nature comes to its fulfillment, it is taken into his knowledge and his transforming technical activity.