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The same doctrine which clarifies the game of life for one man, confuses it for another man. So long as truth is regarded from a personal standpoint this must inevitably be so. All schools of thought are tentatively correct if we assume the respective standpoints from which they look at a subject. The personal self possesses its own idiosyncrasies and peculiarities; its experience is circumscribed and it is guided by intellect, emotion, and passion alone. So long as we see things from this limited standpoint, so long shall we negate what others affirm, so long shall we now believe what we ourselves may later contradict. Yet the truth is more than a reconciliation of contradictory aspects, a bringing together of opposite tendencies. It is a final union which is higher than any of its separate elements. The process of attaining its height necessitates travelling a zig-zag path of alternating standpoints only at first. For when we leave the personal standpoint and win the higher self's insight, with its infinite perspective, we are able to harmonize all possible standpoints, we are able to give all other standpoints an intellectual sympathy without however regarding any one of them as possessing either universal or ultimate validity. But this need not lead to the silly conclusion that one standpoint is as good as another. For as one climbs up a hill the prospect varies, the outlook changes, and the field of view expands. He who has reached the crest is alone able to survey the whole landscape below, and to survey it accurately. Therefore the pilgrims of the Overmind refrain from letting themselves become covered by a crusted outlook, reserve their best exultations, remembering that ultimate Truth is of no party and yet of all, and hasten to that summit whereon they may stand serene, free at last from the noisy clamour of narrow minds. Then and then only the different world views which come into collision with each other in unphilosophical minds are spontaneously harmonized. Thus the simile of a search which we have used in the phrase "quest of the overself" is useful but does not cover the full implication of the undertaking which confronts aspiring man.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 5: The Philosopher > # 193






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