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The time came to give public expression and coordinated form to doctrines which I had hitherto either not received at all or else received in disjointed fragments and torn scraps. I not only tried to simplify these metaphysical ideas for ordinary readers, but also to systematize them for intellectual ones, and to expound the whole teaching in a clear and continuous manner. Indeed, some readers have been kind enough to say that they find that these two books (The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga and The Wisdom of the Overself) possess a logical development of their argument which helps to clarify the difficult subjects they deal with. Whether this be true or not, the fact is that it is normal for me to write merely disjointed fragments, but abnormal to write a sustained thesis; easy to throw off a short article for a periodical journal but hard to elaborate patiently a complete book. I like to announce in short staccato jerky sentences the truths I intuit, but self-discipline has made me argue them out in long flowing ones. All that smooth transition from paragraph to paragraph which is rightly held to be one of the prominent features of literary artistry, is absent from my natural capacity. What little I may have gained has been gained with great labour. Like Beethoven I have a habit of working at three or four compositions at the same time. And like him I often transfer a short fragment or even a complete piece from one composition to another. But the method of composition which is most predominant of all in my make-up is the peculiar one of jotting down my ideas about a theme without any order whatsoever, so that its end middle and beginning are jumbled together anyhow. Only after a certain period has elapsed do I undertake the task of arranging it in proper sequence.


-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 248






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