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All these yoga exercises and physical practices are praiseworthy. They are recommended to aspirants--but only as accessories. They are not, and never can be, substitutes for that moment-to-moment struggle with the ego in daily living which is fundamental and inescapable. No forcible holding of the breath and no strained contortion of the body can take its place. The attempt to avoid following this discipline of the ego by substituting disciplines of the breath or flesh is a futile one, if it is an attempt to take the kingdom of heaven by violence. It cannot be successful. This desire to enter the kingdom in a hurry is pardonable. Yet if it were fulfilled the fulfilment would be a premature attainment and consequently lacking in fullness, falling short in wholeness, and uncertain of steadiness. All the different stages of development are needed in experience and can be missed only to our loss. Although timelessness is the quest's end, the journey itself must take place in the measured pace of time to prepare us properly for this end. It may be that this is because we may not take hold of spiritual possessions which we have not rightfully earned by personal labours and to which we have no honest legal title. It may be that a spiritual treasure cannot become our own in advance of the requisite efforts to develop adequate fitness and understanding for such vast responsibility.

-- Notebooks Category 5: The Body > Chapter 5: Exercise > # 148

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