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A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
full one, because much that is worthwhile has been rejected by the
compilers and much that is printed has been badly translated,
while the record of Jesus* wandering preparatory years between
the ages of twelve and thirty is entirely missing. Even the true
incidents are not always accurately reported. Nevertheless, even
imperfect as it stands, I take the little black book to my heart and
shall treasure its gift.
We must look beneath this surface-symbol that men call life,
my dear lady, and endeavour to find out what it truly means. Jesus
knew. We must not mistake the mere accidents of existence for its
fundamentals. He who apes the world at the cost of his interior
peace punishes himself.
The words of Jesus have not been entirely lost to the world, as
the words of so many other speakers have. Why? Because Jesus
spoke out of the deep region of the Overself, whereas the others
lectured out of their little intellects. Jesus spoke to his contemporaries
but his speech succeeded in reaching all posterity. The others could
never get beyond their contemporaries, never find more than an
ephemeral life in the daily gazette. They had to speak with some
careŚcare both for public opinion and their pockets. Their excuse
was that men must live, that bread is better than a halo. Poor
fellows! They did not know that whoever finds the halo will find
his bread likewise. Sparrows are fed and why not men with haloes?
God is not so powerless that He cannot take care of His own. . . .
The speech of Socrates is also still in circulation, because he let the
bread take care of itself, which it did. . . . The value of a man's
words depends upon his spiritual specific gravity.
The sayings of this god-man Jesus are the most quotable of
any that I know. The world of commentators and theologians may
quibble over their meanings, as they have quibbled for nineteen
hundred years, but a simple soul or a sensitive one will find far less
difficulty in understanding them, because they are superbly direct
and because Jesus himself was not a theologian. There is nothing
in the New Testament which is tortuous or hesitant.
For in this day and age the time has come, as it came once in
Palestine, to speak outright, to- give plain voice to Truth, and not to
mutter half-heard, half-meaningless phrases about it in dark alleys.
Alas, that most of us are spiritual mutes and cannot speak one
Alas, too, the cry "Back to Christianity", which I hear in Europe,
or "Back to Hinduism*', which I bear in India, is a vain one. We