I wonder why this collection of observations and suggestions is not signed with the personal name of an 'author', as books usually are?

Is the person responsible modest? Is he ashamed of them? Perhaps he does not wish those who would not understand to associate him with ideas of this kind? Is it pride? Is it humility?

What is a name? (Is it not the symbol of someone who regards himself as a separate individual?) Is not a name essentially - the name of an ego? But the Self, the Principal, the I-Reality has no name. ('The Tao that can be named is not the real Tao': one of the greatest books in the world opens with those words.)

May we see in this the pretension that these thoughts are of someone who lives on the plane of Reality? But were that so would not the Fingers have been pointing AT the moon?

No doubt the fact itself is of little interest, but its implications may be worth this consideration. Perhaps the explanation is simpler than any of these suppositions.

Tom, Dick, and Harry think they have written the books that they sign (or painted the pictures, composed the music, built the churches). But they exaggerate. It was a pen that did it, or some other implement. They held the pen? Yes, but the hand that held the pen was an implement too, and the brain that controlled the hand. They were intermediaries, instruments, just apparatus. Even the best apparatus does not need a personal name like Tom, Dick, or Harry.

If the nameless builders of the Taj Mahal, of Chartres, of Rheims, of a hundred cathedral symphonies, knew that - and avoided the solecism of attributing to their own egos the works that were created through their instrumentality - may not even a jotter-down of passing metaphysical notions know it also?

If you should not understand this - give the book away before reading it! But give it to a pilgrim on the Way. Why? Because it would have helped the pilgrim who compiled it, if it had been given to him, and that is why he compiled it, and why he presumes to offer it to other pilgrims.

But in case you should still wonder who is responsible for this book I do not know how to do better than to inscribe the words


(© RKP, 1958)
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