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The attempt to improve other people's lives can easily mask a presumptuous interference with them. This is especially true when the hidden realities and long-term causes of a situation are not known, or are misread, or when the higher laws which govern mankind are ignored. In all these cases, the old evils may merely be replaced by new ones, so that the improvement is entirely fictitious. In the early Christian times, Saint Cyril saw and said what, much more than a thousand years later, Ananda Metteya the Buddhist and Ramana Maharshi the Hindu told me--that one best saves society by first saving oneself. This is why the philosopher does not try to impose on others the Idea or the Way which he has espoused. For the itch to improve them or alter them is, he now knows, a form of interference. He minds his own business. But if the higher power wants to use him to affect others, he will not resist it!

-- Notebooks Category 2: Overview of Practices Involved > Chapter 8: The Quest and Social Responsibility > # 117

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