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"A civilization of the spirit"
Over the centuries, many powerful nations and empires have risen up, often in the face of extremely harsh conditions and hostile surroundings. The record of history includes remarkable accounts of the triumphs of human ingenuity, courage, and industry. Yet not only has the long course of civilization included the dramatic rise of great societies but obviously there have also been substantial periods of decline and, at times, even the complete collapse of a culture.
There is no question that the material benefit to mankind of civilization's forward advances has been tremendous. But material benefits, of themselves, have not been sufficient to save some of the greatest of all empires, like those of the ancient Persians, Babylonians, Aztecs, and Romans. Many of the most powerful societies the world has ever known have long since passed from the scene of living history.