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It provides him with a standpoint wherefrom to measure the correctness or error, truth or falsity, breadth or limitation of the views, theories, and statements presented to him by others. Like a keen cold wind it blows away the mists of superstition and foolishness. The ordinary aspirant is not capable of distinguishing between a sound doctrine and a fallacious one, between a competent teacher and an incompetent one or a self-seeking teacher and a selfless one, between the correct course to pursue in meditation and the incorrect one. The discipline will give him the education which will enable him to make such critical distinctions. It summons all these to the bar of severe scrutiny. It puts thought on its farthest stretch because it starts where science leaves off. It shows up the defects of an improper and unbalanced outlook. It stresses the need of making reason a governing wheel to control emotional adventures. It warns the mystic who would rightly extinguish the tyranny of intellect to develop it at some time or other, because he who would become divine must also fulfil himself as a man. It counsels him to balance the mind-stilling methods used in meditation with the mind-sharpening discipline of metaphysics and science.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 1: Toward Defining Philosophy > # 163






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