Words, Words

Anything worth saying, it should be possible to say in a few dozen words. He who speaks diffusely understands dimly; he who understands clearly speaks concisely.

Facts and ideas ultimately are simple. A long exposition of what in itself is simple implies imperfect understanding on the part of speaker or listener, writer or reader.

On se souvient du mot de St. Exupéry: 'La perfection est atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher.' (i.e. 'Perfection is attained, not when there is nothing more to be added, but when there is nothing more to be taken away.')*

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Does not spiritual quality in man and woman exist in inverse ratio to acquired material prosperity?

In parts of the world in which poverty is still possible spiritual quality is more likely to be found than in parts of the world in which material prosperity has been imposed on the population.

It seems unlikely that material prosperity, sometimes termed a high standard of living, has any existence on the plane of Reality. Therefore as an aim in life it can have no spiritual significance.

Poverty has positive value in the eyes of men such as Saint Francis of Assisi, and material prosperity a negative value. Such also would seem to have been the belief of Jesus.

It seems unlikely, however, that the attainment of poverty has any greater significance than the attainment of prosperity. The material condition of a man (or woman), like the shape of his nose, may as well remain that with which he was born - as part of his normal background on the plane of Manifestation.

Materialists think of Rights rather than of Duties, yet it is the performance of duties rather than the exercise of rights that produces peace of mind, serenity, what is called happiness. Why? Perhaps because willingly to serve is a Positive action, to exact service a Negative action? But the acceptance of willing service is Positive, just as the performance of exacted service is Negative. Therein lies an adequate explanation of the misery of much that is contemporary life.

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If acquired characters cannot be transmitted genetically, it is evident that they cannot be transmitted by what is called reincarnation either.

'You cannot judge another person unless you have seen and judged yourself': one mechanical being judging another mechanical being!

Humility of which one is conscious is not true humility. Virtue which is felt as such is not Virtue, though it may be correct action. On the intemporal plane there is Virtue: On the plane of manifestation there are virtues.

*(Ed. note: The above translation is not part of the original work.)

(© RKP, 1958)

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