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Bergson was right. His acute French intelligence penetrated like an eagle's sight beneath the world-illusion and saw it for what it is--a cosmic process of continual change which never comes to an end, a universal movement whose first impetus and final exhaustion will never be known, a flux of absolute duration and therefore unimaginable. And for the sage who attains to the knowledge of THAT which forever seems to be changing but forever paradoxically retains its own pure reality, for him as for the ignorant, the flux must go on. But it will go on here on this earth, not in the same mythical heaven or mirage-like hell. He will repeatedly have to take flesh, as all others will have to, so long as duration lasts, that is, forever. For he cannot sit apart like the yogi while his compassion is too profound to waste itself in mere sentiment. It demands the profound expression of sacrificial service in motion. His attitude is that so clearly described by a nineteenth-century agnostic whom religionists once held in horror, Thomas Huxley: "We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered it." The escape into Nirvana for him is only the escape into the inner realization of the truth whilst alive: it is not to escape from the external cycle of rebirths and deaths. It is a change of attitude. But that bait had to be held out to him at an earlier stage until his will and nerve were strong enough to endure this revelation. There is no escape except inwards. For the sage is too compassionate to withdraw into proud indifferentism and too understanding to rest completely satisfied with his own wonderful attainment. The sounds of sufferings of men, the ignorance that is the root of these sufferings, beat ceaselessly on the tympanum of his ears. What can he do but answer, and answer with his very life--which he gives in perpetual reincarnation upon the cross of flesh as a vicarious sacrifice for others. It is thus alone that he achieves immortality, not by fleeing forever--as he could if he willed--into the Great Unconsciousness, but by suffering forever the pains and pangs of perpetual rebirth that he may help or guide his own.


-- Notebooks Category 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > Chapter 4: The Sage's Service > # 17

-- Perspectives > Chapter 25: World-Mind in Individual Mind > # 64






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