Page:Path of Vision; pocket essays of East and West.djvu/29

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THE MYSTICISM OF REALITY

For this is one of the dominating intellectual passions of the age. We seek experience only to see how it reacts upon us. In other words, we do not give for the sake of giving and the joy in the giving, but only for the sake of studying its effect upon ourselves. We do not seek in experience the hidden and oft times remote agencies of spiritual growth and betterment, but the palpable, material, and immediate returns.

I do not say, however, that this is prompted wholly by selfish motives. On the contrary, the selfishness, if any, springs from an illusory extension of Self—a fictitiousness of our own making. It is the result of an individualism abnormally and artificially developed—an individualism of the hot-house. It is the Ego taking an especial delight in its grotesqueries, revelling in its own madness, boasting even of its morbid, cancerous growth. The soul is turned into a clinic, as it were; the mind, into an asylum. This is the kind of experience that leads into the chamber of

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