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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

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occasional and limited periods be an indication of insanity, then I
prefer never to become sane again! If seeking metaphysical truth
or practising mystical meditation is a sign of disordered intellect,
then 1 pray the gods never to set me right again! If, to this learned
but little-minded gentleman, the effort to find and keep inner
peace in a peaceless world is incipient insanity, then I am happy
to have him label me as mad! But I look upon it as true sanity to
try and keep a worthwhile integrity of soul amidst all the distracting
forces, the terror and turbulence of modern existence.

My academic opponent no doubt goes respectably to church
every'Sunday, but would he be willing to walk with Christ to
Calvary? I wonder whether he has ever thought that Jesus meant
what he said? I wonder whether he could possibly realize that a
saintly sage of our times, Hindu born though he be, is a truer
Christian than most of the mob with a Sunday religion? I wonder
whether he could ever grasp the fact that a brown skin is no barrier
to entry into the kingdom of heaven, which Jesus held before us as
the goal but which so few Christians understand today.

I would make every preacher undergo an apprenticeship to
life, and not to professors, before he spoke the first word from the
pulpit. I would send him as a young man to live with the poor and
the downtrodden before he fitted together those polished periods
of his maiden sermon. I would compel him to go out to the lonely
mountains and the unfrequented woods and stay there without
books or friends to wrestle with his soul in that solitude until he
either found God or found that the Church was not his vocation.
I would bid him renounce all hope of inspiring others with religion
until and unless he had first become inspired himself. If in the
sequence his sermons might be less to the liking of conventional
audiences and conventional bishops, they would at least be true and
sincere, palpitant with the divine breath which ought to enter into
every man before he dares to become a minister of God to the
godless. This I would require of every preacher and every priest,
whether he belong to the church of Christ or the brotherhood of
Buddha, whether he admonish his flock in the name of Sri Krishna
or in the name of any other prophet.

I am in the fortunate position of owing allegiance to no orthodox
religion. When inquisitive persons ask me what is no business of
tfceirs, I reply disconcertingly, and they do not press their enquiries
any further.

I have found no mooring for my floating soul in any religious
faith, in any philosophy, because I believe in the Spirit which, like
the wind, bloweth where it listeth.

People who professedly follow Jesus, but who have never sue*