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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"


Here is a political friend whom I have helped with advice. He
writes to ask if I will become a candidate in his party for the next
elections. Thanks and regrets. I have already become a candidate
in a higher kind of election, one conducted by Mother Nature and
yielding to the successful no other prize than repose, no other
honour than truth.

A further letter comes from a friend in Egypt, giving me all
the news from a group that plays its part in the social life of that
sunny land, and then demanding my own. A railway official writes
of the problems that have arisen during his efforts to practise medita-
tion. A doctor in England sends his thanks for my elucidation of
certain psychological points in one of my books, and then propounds
a question somewhat difficult to answer. A keen American business
man says that some of my paragraphs have revolutionized his out-
look on life, but will I deal with certain delicate personal problems?
A few scattered groups, who may one day become vital exponents
of the gospel of inspired action and who are willing to work selftessly
for the higher welfare of mankind, send their informal news and
wish to take counsel on various points. My youngest student, a
dozen years old in body but dozens of centuries old in soul, sends an
affectionate note about his progress at school. He can do already,
with ability and assurance, what many adults are still struggling
to do—sit still and relax, with thoughts successfully attuned to the
Infinite. A Yogi who begins and ends his letter with the Sanskrit
symbol for God; an engineer who is trying to keep a secret sensi-
tivity to diviner things amid his busy activities, albeit his spiritual
impulses flow unevenly and disjointedly; a company director who
is now learning to direct himself as well; an unemployed carpenter
who begs for my benediction upon his efforts to find work; a count-
ess caught in the social whirl yet not forgetting her higher duties—
all these and more contribute their quota of correspondence for the

My last letter is a harrowing one. It tells of a series of terrific
tragedies which have broken the writer's heart. Can I give him
some crumb of comfort, he asks, some explanation which will
enable him to hold on to life and not end it violently?

I give him what explanation I can, but there is not much to say
when confronted by the mystery of destiny. To unravel it properly
is a task for an Adept. But there are a few words of cheer to follow:
"When the great troubles descend and life seems black with woes,
do not mutter mournfully, *This is the end!' but rather say hope-
fully 'This is the beginning !* The occasion should be seized as the
opportunity to start a new life, to show forth the positive, courageous
and constructive qualities that lie latent within you. It should be an