We are in rebellion against all these miserable advocates of the cause of misery who lean weakly on the worn-out excuse of God's will being behind everything and who therefore advise man to do nothing. We have raised the banner of rebellion against all those escapist mystics who defend "do-nothingism" as a rule of life when confronted by world-misery, merely because they themselves feel the bliss of inner peace; against all those Oriental religionists who defend it because they have made a dogma of the unalterability of karma; against all those unscientific metaphysicians who defend it because they regard every painful event as the expression of divine will and wisdom when it is so often the result of human will and stupidity; and against all those monastic hermits who find specious explanations for allowing others, who toil in the world, to wallow in ignorance or to agonize in suffering. The peace felt by the mystic is admirable but it is still a self-centered one; the karma propitiated by the religionist's prayers is ultimately self-earned and therefore must be self-alterable; the divinely ordered events of the metaphysician could not have happened without man's own co-operation. Those who remain inert in the presence of widespread misery often do so because they have not experienced it deeply enough themselves. The innate foolishness and disguised indolence which bid us always bear karma unresistingly and unquestioningly as being God's will, although advocated by so many Indian mystical advocates of lethargy, are denied even by a great Indian seer like the author of the Bhagavad Gita and by a great Indian moralist like the author of Hitopadesha. The first proclaims to a bewildered seer, "Action is better than inaction." The second, in a discussion of fate and dharma, affirms, "Fortune, of her own accord, takes her abode with the man who is endowed with energy, who is prompt and ready, who knows how to act."
Both Indian books quoted here were written by mystics. Yet they reflected this same superior standpoint. Why? Because their authors were philosophical mystics. There is thus a vast and vital difference between the attitudes of unreflective ordinary mysticism and philosophic ultramysticism. Anyone whose mind is not too bemused by personality worship and authoritarian prestige to see this difference may now appreciate why philosophy has a contribution of the highest value to make in this sphere.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 2: Living in The World > # 391