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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"


intimations, however, did not come to me through any source
which the modern world treats with respect, and it would be a futile
waste of time to talk of them to the exacting audience of today. Let
it suffice to state that there is a certain condition of being, similar to
that which exists in a semi-trance, and that in this condition normally
invisible forces may speak to man. In that way I have learnt a little
of the unwritten history of our race.

What has emerged in this way retraces the picture of a primal
age when the Good, in no narrow sense, was entirely dominant,
and when matter was in submission to spirit. The humanity of that
time lived by the light of a divine instinct and did not need to
dally with the hesitations of cunning and intellect in order to
understand what were its best interests. The exploitation of the
weaker peoples by stronger ones did not exist and could not exist;
for all men fill in their hearts the common Father whom they
worshipped as their own, universally.

The animals of that age did not fear man and had no reason to
fear him. Nor did they fear one another. Nature provided abundantly
for their needs in a harmless way. The depredation of one species
upon another was not only unnecessary but likewise unknown.

If, as I say, I have no facts and no fossils to produce so as to
convince those whom I have no desire to convince, I have indeed a
question. Every intelligent man—that is, intelligent through the
experience of life and not pseudo-intelligent through the books
of schools—must say at some time or other, with Napoleon, when he
gazed out of the palace window one night at a star-studded sky:
"Do not ask me to believe that all this vast creation possesses no

^ If, further, he admits the likelihood of this Author's, this God's,
existence, he will have to face the problem of suffering and evil;
why God allows them in our midst. Acknowledging the existence of
these miseries, he will have to admit that God has deliberately
• introduced them into His creation or that they have arisen of their
own accord without His express intention. The only way to burke
this issue is to assert, upon the evidence of the mixed character of
the world, and of the simultaneous presence of deplorable sorrows
and delightful pleasures, that God created this universe whilst in a
state of inebriation!

This problem is without doubt the oldest, the most hoary-headed,
with which the thinkers of both antiquity and modernity have had
to grapple. All have failed to solve it. I do not propose to trouble
myself with it cither.