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Full text of "Sri Sai Baba`S:Charters And Sayings"

FIFTH TALK                77

though quite good in their way we call "lower"
things in contradistinction to " higher " and spiritual ,
things—at once puts a man on-a high level. Now of
course it does not. You have another form of the
same delusion which is very common with regard to
asceticism. A great many people follow what they
call asceticism as an end in itself, and they think that
to avoid all the ordinary pleasures of life, to make
oneself uncomfortable in various ways, is highly
meritorious. Now it is not in the very least meritori-
ous, and we have to fight against that idea, because
it is a relic of the Puritan idea which at one time
dominated England and a good deal of Europe.
Puritanism held that, to be good, you must be as
uncomfortable as possible. Whenever you were in
any sort of way happy, you were surely infringing
some of the divine laws ; you were not in the least
meant to be happy down here; your body was a vile
thing which had to be repressed in all sorts of ways,
and, if at any time it delighted in any thing you were
doing, you might be certain that thing was wrong.
That is all nonsense, but it does come from a
perversion of the truth; and the truth is that
those things which most people in the world
enjoy and regard as great pleasures cease to be
thought of as pleasures by the man who, rising to
a higher level, has altogether higher pleasures
within his reach, which far more than take their
place.