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Chapter 1 of The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga points out that the distressful condition of the human race is the ignorance of three fundamental questions: What is the meaning of the world and experience? What am I? And what is the object of existence?  PB writes, “I perceive with startling precision that the bursting of this integument of ancient ignorance will do more than anything else to make enduring peace descend on our troubled earth….When men learn to think rightly they will act accordingly, not before.  Their deeds can never be greater than their ideas, for the unheard declarations of the mind decide the noisy journeys of the feet.” (HTBY, p. 11)

What is involved in learning to think rightly? People are now more ready to apply reason to life than they formerly were although they are not ready enough to make such an application play a vital part in their existence.” (p. 13)  The new picture is blurred and vague, even amorphous, but this is because it belongs to the domain of philosophy. “For there has been a gradual process of abstraction, a transition from the empiric standpoint to the metaphysical, a growing tendency for science to become part of its own field of investigation and to turn matter and mechanism into concepts.” (Ibid., p.16)

“Colossal sins stain the pages of religious history which must be dealt with frankly yet constructively by the light of philosophy.” (p. 69) The individual hears that “a practical method-mystical contemplation-exists whereby he may experience for himself the beauty and peace of an ever-present divine spirit in which formerly he could believe but never knew. (p. 71) However, “The inability to obtain satisfactory and convincing answers to such questions as fullness of experience and love of knowledge will eventually arouse, must lead the thoughtful enquiring mystic who has not settled down into smug self-laudation or conservative quiescence, to a wilderness where he will walk in lonely bafflement for a time, just as once he may have walked into the wilderness of doubt, despair and skepticism when he emerged from the self-contradictions of dogmatic religion. (p.82)

The elementary position of all religious and mystical systems becomes clear, therefore, when they are co-ordinated in the larger conceptions of philosophy. [Within] it lies a new land, vastly mysterious and hardly trodden. It is the region of the third degree, the empire of the supreme wisdom open to man. Yet he will not know how close he is to it unless a guide now appears to make the revelation and to escort him farther. The guide may be an ancient one and speak to him across the generations through the inscribed pages of a manuscript or the printed pages of a book. Or he may be a living one to speak to him face to face. The first is a chart which may take him slowly some of the way while the second will take him quicker and farther….The new acolyte of the Absolute must now struggle incessantly, first toward his own final position and then for the beneficent liberation of others under the authoritative command of a superior power-TRUTH! (p. 83)

All page numbers refer to The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga.

Read More about PB’s views on the philosophical discipline in a new edition of The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga which has been updated to incorporate the author’s final revisions.   It includes a new introduction plus supplementary reading material selected from the author’s archives by the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation.