what is the meaning of "improve away"?
It is the presentation of a principle inherent in man's nature, a principle which his wisdom has improved away until it is wellnigh eliminated altogether, but which crops out again and again in spite of him —the principle of Spirit as opposed to Matter, of Soul acting and existing independently of the body which enshrines it. Long years of denial of aught but the properties of matter have landed the chief lights of modern science in pure Materialism. To them, therefore, this Spiritualism is a portent and a problem. It is a return to superstition; a survival of savagery; a blot on nineteenth century intelligence. Laughed at, it laughs back; scorned, it gives back scorn for scorn.
source:http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301051h.html _ hos by acd