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Instead of enquiring into the truth of his criticisms of their cherished dogmas or of confining their discussion to the subjects involved, they threw both reason and courtesy to the winds and degenerated into a howling mob thirsting for his blood. Any attempt to offer a calm and reasoned defense of his views brought down a fresh shower of highly emotional personal vituperation, but no real attempt to answer the points at issue. It would have been a waste of time and a completely futile endeavour to descend further into undignified controversy with such childish and malicious opponents. So he relapsed into Himalayan silence, shook the dust of debate off his feet. Why did such strong opposition to honest expression of matured reflection make its sudden appearance? Why did such intense resistance manifest itself against sincere statement of the results gained by profounder experience and more prolonged investigation? It is because they insist on taking their personal--that is, egotistical--feelings as proper criterions of truth. Such persons had followed him only because his doctrines pleased them. They had accustomed themselves to walk in fixed ruts.

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 72

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