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The fact that I have had practical experience of earning my livelihood as an editor has been made a subject of criticism. Were my critics not so narrow-minded they would have had the sense to see that exactly therein lies one of my merits. For this experience has purified me of the common mystical defects of writing whole pages that mean nothing, of recommending readers to attempt impossible tasks, of getting both thought and pen lost in the clouds to the neglect of the earth. It has taught me a robust realism and a healthy self-reliance--two qualities which are notoriously absent from the ordinary mystical make-up and for lack of which mystics commit many mistakes. My critics try to give the impression that earning my livelihood was a low act and that being a journalist was a kind of crime. These two facts are indeed held up against me as though they prove that I am both mercenary and materialistic, as though nobody with mystical aspirations would do the one or be the other. Such facts really pay me a compliment and do me no dishonour. But the blind unreflective followers of a dying tradition cannot be expected to perceive that. They cannot be expected to comprehend that I am endeavouring to bring mysticism into mundane life, to throw a bridge across the chasm which has so often separated them. And I know no better way than to have done so in my own personal life first before attempting to tell others how to do it.

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 92

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