Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers/How the Swami Happened to Have Seven Wives

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ISN'T it terrible about that elephant at the Zoo—Oh, you know!—it's like Gunga Din, only, of course, it isn't Gunga Din at all.

Anyhow, he's chained for life! I suppose someone gave him tobacco for a joke and it made him cross. I've heard of those cases, haven't you?

An elephant is such a—such a—well, noble beast, isn't he?

Its transmigration of souls makes them that way, perhaps.

Just think—the soul of some Hindu Howdah may be in that beast!

Or is it a Rajah?

Anyhow, it sits on top of an elephant.

We took up transmigration of souls one time—our Little Group of Serious Thinkers, you know—and it's wonderful; simply wonderful!

That was when the Swami Brandranath used to talk to us. The dear Swami! Such eyes—so pure and yet so magnetic!—I have never seen in a human being.

The eye is the window of the soul, you know.

He's in jail now, the poor, dear Swami. But he wasn't really a bigamist at all. You see, he had seven spiritual planes. All of us do, only most of us don't know it. But he could get from one plane to another quite easily.

Of course, he couldn't remember what he'd done on one plane while he was on the next one above or below it. And that's the way he happened to have seven wives—one for each spiritual plane.

Only the Court took a sordid view of it. It seems there was something about life insurance mixed up with it, too.

The Occidentals are so apt to miss the spiritual sweetness of the Oriental, don't you think?

We are—all but the Leaders of Thought, and a little group, here and there—so commonplace.

Don't you loathe the commonplace?

Not loathe, really, of course—because the harmonious mind does not let itself be disturbed.

The harmonious mind realizes that dirt is only useful matter in the wrong place, as Tennyson sings so sweetly somewhere.

Tennyson has quite gone out, of course. He is so—so, well, if you get what I mean—so mid-Victorian, somehow.

It seems he was mid-Victorian all the time, but it's only recently that it's been found out on him.

Though I always will think of "Come Into the Garden, Maud," as one of the world's sweetest little epics.

I'm very independent that way, in spite of the critics. After all, criticism comes down to a question of individual taste, doesn't it? That is, in the final analysis.

Independence! That is what this age needs. Nearly every night before I go to bed I say to my self: "Have I been independent today? Or have I failed?"

I believe in those little spiritual examinations, don't you?

It helps one to keep in tune with the Infinite, you know.

The Infinite! How much is comprises! And how little we really understand it!

We're going to take it up, the Infinite, in a serious way soon—our Little Group of Advanced Thinkers, you know.