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All yoga and mystic methods, as well as certain religious practices, although of the highest value as preliminary disciplines, are not the ultimate ends in themselves. If one has sufficient sharpness of mind--that is, sustained concentration on abstract themes--and sufficient freedom from any kind of egoistic preconception whatever, one can instantly grasp the truth and realize it. But who has that? Hence, these various methods of developing ourselves, these yogas, have been prescribed to assist us. Their practice takes a long time, it is true, but the actual realization is a matter of a moment. Nor can it ever be lost again, as can the feeling-ecstasies of the mystics. All these doctrines have their place for people of different degrees of understanding, and it is our duty not to destroy the faith of those who cling to them. But for those who want the highest Truth, and who are prepared to part with their illusions for its sake, there is only "the straight and narrow way, and few there be that find it." It is narrow only because the ego must be left outside the gate; it is straight because it goes direct to the final truth.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 4: Its Realization Beyond Ecstasy > # 8






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