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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

CHAPTER FOUR

My Quest of Inner Stillness—The Remembrance of Former Births—A

Buddhist Method of Tapping Pre-natal Memory—Natures Purpose with

Mankind—On Unity with Nature.

FOR several days now I have been making my ascent to the imposing
natural amphitheatre which is my sanctuary, despite the constant
pains in my back. I have faithfully kept my tryst with stillness. The
deodar begins to unbend from his aristocratic stiffness and welcomes
me as our acquaintance grows. Before long he will admit me into the
sacred circle of friendship, without a doubt. The russet leaves have
made a little clearing for me, as though to intimate to the world
that this place is specially reserved for someone who wants to be
still. The few tiny-headed mountain flowers glisten in the sunlight
and their yellow and heliotrope discs of petals vie with each other to
dispel their faint scent and make the air sweeter. Even the finely
• antlered hind, which fled with extreme fright but a week ago, has
now peeped at me for a full minute, twitching its broad ears and
moist nose, before making off into the lonesome forest. Yes, I am
getting on.

Nevertheless, I have made no undue effort to crush my recal-
citrant thoughts at one fell swoop. I take my meditations quietly and
when I relax after them I let the thoughts simmer down without
abnormal pressure on my part. I feel that there is no need to hurry,
despite the time limit set to my sojourn by the Himalayan climate
itself, let alone by my duties to the world. "Patience is the key of joy,
but haste is the key of sorrow," my leisurely Arab friends used to say
rebukingly, when I moved amoing them with all my Western speed.
Here, somehow, I see that they are right. I feel that there will never
be any need to worry about the result of my little adventure, because
even if it should be complete failure to attain my aim, there will yet
be a Higher Power which has taken me into its care, and its decisions
may unrebelliously be accepted.

I do not want to strive for further growth in spirituality. I feel as
poor lung-racked Keats felt about his art when he said, "If poetry
comes not naturally as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at
ail,"

Today the prelude to my meditation takes a trite theme—trite,
that is to say, for the East, but perhaps unfamiliar to the majority
of Western people. The doctrine of successive re-embodiments of the