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A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS '
in India to refuse disciples rather than become one. Clearly Darwin's
terse definition of the fool as a man who never makes an experiment
does not apply to him.
Here is a faithful friend's letter, telling of the political troubles in
which far-off Europe is plunged and bewailing the ever-present threat
of a great war. She is naturally depressed, for she is a General's wife,
and begs me to emerge from my solitude and do something about
it! But who am I, my dear friend, an insignificant itinerant scribbler
and a weak and faulty mortal, to tackle what a thousand worried
politicians and a hundred thousand bewildered pacifists can tackle
far better? Europe has made its own destiny and, under the watchful
eyes of the gods, Europe must shoulder it. Every calamity brings its
unseen spiritual compensation. Do not despond, however, for there
is a Plan back of things, and at the appropriate hour the presence of
higher powers will be clearer before the surprised audience of our
world. Our race is being carried through a transitional phase in its
lifetime. For the great powers of fate, the unseen guiding forces of
history, mobilize at critical periods the human instruments necessary
to accomplish both our pre-destiny and their will, whether for pain
or pleasure or both.
Who are the real masters of the world anyway? Are they the
unconscious puppets whose names appear in the public prints, or are
they the divine beings who have had watch and ward over mankind
since immemorial days?
Meanwhile root your life in the sacred Overself and you shall
have nothing to fear. It is exceedingly difficult for the modern mind
to conceive of a state wherein the personal ego melts into submission
to the impersonal Infinite. It seems, at first sight, impossible that
one's entire life, with its joys and sufferings, its fears and hopes, its
follies and failures, should become held in suspension, as it were, by
a deeper life that arises from a divine source within oneself and
transcends it. In this state there are no yesterdays and no tomorrows,
for so only can peace be attained. But we must try, and if we try in
faith and rightly, we shall eventually not try in vain. Take this truth
into your head, madame, as you would takea lantern into your hand.
* * *
Here, too, is another letter from a lady. She is old and has sought
for spiritual truth for thirty years, but "alas, all my efforts were in
vain. I found only disappointment and utter disillusionment in my
quest, which has led to scepticism and embitterment". In a tortured
mood, she appeals for my advice. You shall have it, poor lady.
Sorrow is but the preface to wisdom. You shall renew your vanished
hopes and pick up again your faith in a Supreme Being.