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July 2020, #77  Timely Comments from PB

“The student of philosophy must free himself from all narrow racialist views, national prejudices, class feelings, and personal selfishness. Philosophy in practice demands no less than this because it brings the realization that in actual fact all men are inseparably linked with each other. ‘He who regards impartially friends and foes, foreigners and relatives, the righteous and unrighteous, he excelleth.’ Bhagavad Gita

Racial animosity is really a pathological state which clouds vision and falsifies judgment. It raises prejudice to the dignity of a principle. Hate is a mental poison. It is the worst possible sin of our thought life. It damages those we hate, infects our own environment, and in the end it severely damages ourselves. The ability to treat all kinds and classes of people equally, and with universal goodwill, does not imply the inability to observe the comparative differences and even defects among them.” (The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, category 6, chap 5, para 50)

The above reflects the philosophy of the Paul Brunton Foundation about the unfair racial practices in the United States and throughout the world. PB has written volumes on the importance of life well lived. In The Spiritual Crisis of Man, he points out that there is no better world without better men. “When the religious sanctions of morality become impotent, there are grave results….When the inner life of religion has drained away, when faith and reverence are lost to older generations and meaningless to younger ones, it is inevitable that the outer life of society shall show chaos and crime and that men shall feel either disgust with their fellows or despair of them.” (p. 10)

He further writes: “The truth here is that the external problems which torment man are really projections of the internal problems which he has failed to solve aright within his heart and mind. There is no adequate answer to the principal questions of politics and economics without first finding an adequate answer to the larger questions of life itself, which necessarily include the questions: ‘What is man?’ ‘What are the real objects for which an organized society exists?’ ‘What are the final ends to be worked out through its means?’

“If we secure a clear conception of these objects and ends, we shall be able to work more efficiently, act more effectively and live more happily. But how can we do so successfully unless we know the larger direction which the evolutionary forces of life itself are inexorably compelling us to take? The problems which press down on humanity may be mostly political and economic. But their background remains moral and metaphysical. No solution can be a fundamental one which ignores these two elements. No way in which humanity can save itself from the danger which confronts it will prove satisfactory if it leaves out the spiritual way; every other way if taken alone will yield only failure as its result in the end.”

“Our failure to build a worthwhile society is primarily a moral failure. But before there can be moral reform, there must be spiritual reform. This is the root of all the others”. (pp. 19-20)