TWENTY-SEVENTH TALK 547 escape from doing physical work and did nqt sub- stitute the work of tfie higher planes. Of course there were many who did that. In the same way there are tliose airing the Buddhist monks, at whom their fellows rather sneer, calling them (< Rice Monks "—men who are monks for the sake of the assured living, not a very luxurious one; but among the Buddhists there is an assured living for every monk—a living which will never fail while, say, one in the country has any food at all, and for the sake of making sure of that, without doing any work for it, there are some who have joined that great Order. But after all only a very few. The same thing was true perhaps, in a somewhat greater degree, of the monastic orders of the middle ages in Europe. There were people who joined them for the sake of the power and influence, and did not mind in many cases the lack of possessions. For though the individual monk did not have possessions, the monastery as a body did acquire a very great deal which was at» the disposal of the individual to a large extent. So that they lived luxuriously enough, I do not doubt. But the original intention was not at all that; that was only a defection from the original idea. We who are decidedly on the line of action must beware that we do not find ourselves secretly rather despising the man of pure devotion, who, as we say^ does nothing on the physical plane.