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A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
West, and I doubt whether more than five per cent could keep up
such practice the whole day through. Those who attempt it, however
inevitably end by suffering from discontent with themselves. Their
unsuccessful efforts produce natural inner conflicts, and the goal of
peace is not much nearer. Nature, in the end, drives them finally
back to a more balanced existence.
How much wiser would they have been, how much unnecessary
self-torture would they have saved, if they had started from the first
with a sane rhythm, with a daily programme that allowed so much
time for meditation and so much for active life! The moral is that
meditation is only a means to an end—not, as so many think,' a goal
in itself. We need not mistake the road for the destination. There is a
whole lot more which I could say about meditation, about the
ancient ways in which it is practised and the modern methods which
must supplant them, but I shall desist.
They will tell you, perhaps, that the arts are snares and the
intellect is a trap. True, they can be, but they need not be. They
are dangers to narrow men, like themselves, but we can turn them
into friends: we can use our cultural gifts and enjoy the gifts of
others, and the world will be the better for it.
The real truth is that there is no final virtue in any place per se,
nor any superiority in inactive solitary life as compared, with active
social life. Whoever vaunts one at the expense of the other thereby
betrays how little a distance his eyelids have been opened by the
Great Light of the Universe. But when men, who take the teacher's
robe upon their shoulders, proclaim the old paths to heaven as
being the only paths, and the old ways as being true for all time,
I must control the urge to refute their narrowness and await the
appropriate time when the inner voice bids me speak. And then I
shall reveal how mean a conception they have formed of the broad
tolerance, the all-embracing charity, the universal unfolding of the
Supreme Father, Who is the life and support of all beings without
There is divine light, there is comforting salvation for us all,
no matter who we are or what we do, whether we are old sinners or
whether we are new saints, for men hard at work in business dfficei
as for those who are mere dreamers, spinners of gossamer webs,
and wholly irrespective of our interest in Yoga, religion, philosophy.
One day die realization of this truth will ensoul all adult humanity.
And then the subtle patterns of Divinity shall be outworked on this
wobbly old earth of ours.