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For the clairvoyant few to predict approaching disasters was to predict in vain. Wealth and Poverty hurried alike into the vortex of transient superficial pleasures; millionaire and mob gaily lived for the moment, reminiscent of that eighteenth-century person who flung the flippant remark "Après moi le deluge!" at the approaching French Revolution. Once we set to work several years before the war intending to write a small book to show the world quite ruthlessly its own subconscious, to lay bare the laws of destiny under which it was inevitably moving towards the edge of a precipice, and to pass on a message from a higher source which was at once a piece of practical advice and a tocsin of stern warning. But after the penning of the first few paragraphs, a dismal feeling of futility crept into the writer's heart, stole up to his brain in the form of clearcut deeply pessimistic thoughts, and finally passed down the appropriate nerves and muscles into the right arm and hand, which became stiff and paralytic. The task brought such a sense of vain labour, of a rolling upward of the fabled stone of Sisyphus, that the pen unresistingly fell from his fingers. He visualized the dread horror which lay in ambush for mankind if they did not turn back to insert some ethical ideals and spiritual wisdom into their social arrangements, but he visualized also the hopeless situation into which their own thoughts and deeds had forced them. For their chaos was such that they could neither draw back nor go forward nor stand still. He saw clearly that the many who needed the accompanying knowledge were too entangled in the net which their karma had woven around themselves to find any immediate profit in his words. Why then continue to waste valued time and spoil virginal paper? Why should he torment himself and others by writing such a book of bitter prophecy? The practical result could be but--nil! He put the book aside and busied himself with other matters, with philosophic researches into ultimate truths which brought him to sup with the Gods.

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 189

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