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The ego's interference shows itself in practical life no less than in mystical life. Under its influence, people create a false and favourable mental picture of a situation or of a person. They then expect one or the other to yield results that by their very nature could not be yielded. This leads to disappointment and unhappiness within themselves. Or the same people create a false but unfavourable picture and then severely criticize another for faults which do not exist outside the picture itself. This leads to disharmony and friction with others. From this simple instance we may see that the elimination of egotistic interference--a goal that philosophic discipline sets for itself--is not merely a theoretical affair for dreamers or hermits with nothing else to do, but is a practical affair promising great practical benefits for everyone who has to live or work in the world. The charge that philosophy is useless can only be made by those who have failed to inform themselves sufficiently about it.


-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 2: Their Roots in Ego > # 11






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