The history of humanity … evokes the picture of a creeping vine. If its prop is pulled up or broken, the plant creeps along the ground, unknowingly seeking a new support, another occasion to raise itself above the weeds, and as soon as it has found one it clings to it in an unconscious but untiring effort toward the light. It is sometimes mistaken; its choice may be bad; the branch it has adopted may be rotten; that is not its fault. The human flock obeys an obscure order: it must rise, and it cannot do so without a leader. Thank God, if there have been evil influences, they have been counteracted, on an average, by that of certain rare privileged men, comparable to the transitional animals who were in advance of their time. These men attained a higher stage of evolution, and had a great part to play, a high duty to fulfill, namely, to orient the march of humanity in the path which leads away from the animal. Strange to say, in spite of their handicaps, of the fact that the doctrine they taught was less pleasant and demanded sacrifice, it is they who gained the higher prestige in history, and their teachings outlasted and outshone all the others.
Lecompte de Nuoy, Human Destiny, p. 110-111