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I want nothing to do with those who jar my nerves, who create physical worldly or personal problems or seek to involve me in their own, or who would involve me in gossip or any other form of wasting time which I desperately need for my work or personal activities. I don't want to get immersed in other people's auras. Theirs are different from mine; they are comfortable in them. I ask only that I be allowed to have the comfort of my own which has taken so many lives on earth to fashion. The others have other attributes which jar on me, which are abrasive to my temperament and habits. All this is not only because my personal history is different from theirs, but primarily because the practice of meditation and the inner-outer work of refining consciousness and tastes, of acquiring culture and improving character has made me feel almost as if I belong to a species apart--so few are those who care for the same things, whose manner, speech, courtesy, and inner calm betray their real caste. So I am compelled to seek solitude, to reject intrusion on my privacy, to ask to be left alone to enjoy a little space around me when travelling, dining out, or resting in a park. The spiritual doctrine of unity with all mankind does not appeal to me; let those seek its realization who find it to their taste. The ethical doctrine of goodwill to all mankind does appeal to me and I try to practise it. But this can be done without having other auras foisted on me. I must not only follow Shakespeare's dictum "Be true to thyself" but must go farther and be myself. Those religions and teachings which tell us to destroy the ego do not appeal to me. But if I am asked to destroy the tyranny of the ego, to make it subservient to the Overself, it is certainly my duty to try and do so. Yet I consider that this is not the same as destroying my individuality.


-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 419






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