Raymond KnisterAn excerpt from Raymond Knister of blessed memory novel "White Narcissus” which portrays a man's courage to keep trying after several bitter rejection from his childhood sweetheart who refused him because she couldn't afford to leave her estranged parents by themselves. This should help you understand the place of materialism, freedom, sacrifice and human existence.
“If you let things take their own way there’s bound to be a great deal of trouble and bitterness. You will find that you have acquired nothing for the furnishing of your life but sorrow and the memories of sorrow. You are even further removed than my own ideals are from the dogma of to-day.
That arrivism , opportunism, at best only cloaks the thirst for getting which is rendering barren the lives we see everywhere. ‘Materialism’. Yet in a degree we’ve got to recognise that it is based on the reality which is the foundation to material things. People get it reversed and think that material things are the only basis of reality. But it is our destiny: we are bound to conquer.
We must subdue things, we’ve got to take from life even the emotions, the experience, and the fulfilment we need. If we shirk that we are doing a wrong as great as that of starving in the midst of abundance.
Sacrifice is alright. It is a part of the acceptance of life. Calmness and freedom from inordinate grasping is good. But the fact which you and I have to face right now is that happiness is not offered forever in this world, it does not go begging; and we have a right to all of it we can make, a duty to ourselves which is imperative and primary, and only the fruition of which enables us to do a duty to others.”
The book White narcissus first published 1929.