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A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
And with the slower working of my brain, yet with all attention
not a whit less alert, I begin to feel a profounder peace enveloping
me. The prolonged concentration of thought has ultimately induced
a finer state to arise inside. How sorry I feel for the city dwellers
who are subject to turmoil without end! Why should they make
the intellect supreme? Yet their way ~of escape cannot inwardly be
different from mine. Minds, exasperated by the inevitable frictions
and disappointments of daily life, may find in the respite gained
by mental quiet a soothing and healing serenity that will anoint
their wounded nerves with balm.
The intellect is but an instrument and not the essential being
of man. It is not self-sustained. It is an automatic and routine
faculty. Modern man represents the triumph of mechanistic intellect
over mere instinct, just as future man will represent the triumph of
divine intuition over mere intellect.
Reason, which may be a good guide at times, may also be our
betrayer at other times. Not always by prudent forethought may
we best be led, but also by the spontaneous upwelling of inspiration.
Reason is purely arithmetical, whereas intuition is an unfoldment
from we know not where. The advance of intuition upon our thought
is not mathematically measurable. It enters the mind unannounced,
as by a private door. It is not a thought but an influx from a superior
realm which seeps into thought It is not an emotion—unless indeed
it be emotion utterly purified from the personal. But alas^ most of us
attach little or no importance to the faint heralds of dawning
The comparative stillness which surrounds me now may not be,
nay, is not, the utter stillness which I long to attain, for not a few
slow-walking thoughts contrive to meander around inside the
emptied hafis of my brain. To be really still is to be centred. Never-
theless, I shall be contented with it today and not attempt to cross
the mystic frontier.
I know that these intruders are alien to the essential being of
man. I know that when all thoughts are let go, when they die off
like lotus flowers in midwinter, the divine reality begins to arise.
The mere resolve and consequent effort to turn one's attention
inwards immediately arouses them to a fierce struggle for their own
existence. Their grip on man is more tenacious than he normally
realizes, for it is the result of long hereditary ingrained habit passed
down through the race. They hold him mercilessly, enslave him in
a manner which he rarely understands, and deprive him of the
liberty that already exists in his unknown inmost nature. I have
watched hi myself the processes by which thought moves and I have
discovered them to be mechanical.