The lotus, that lovely Oriental flower, is much used as a symbol of the goal we have to gain. It grows in mud but is not even spotted by it. It rests on water but is never even stained by it. Its colour is pure white in striking contrast to the dirty surroundings which are its home. So the disciple's inner life must be undefiled, unstained, and pure even though his outer life is perforce carried on under the most materialistic surroundings or among the most sensual people.
-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 5: Self-Development > # 100