The whole aim of the material man is to live, to pass from birth to death with as much comfort or enjoyment as may be on the way, but anyhow to live. He can subordinate this aim, but only to physical Nature’s other instincts, the reproduction of the individual and the conservation of the type in the family, class or community.

Self, domesticity, the accustomed order of the society and of the nation are the constituents of the material existence.

Its immense importance in the economy of Nature is self-evident, and commensurate is the importance of the human type which represents it. He assures her of the safety of the framework she has made and of the orderly continuance and conservation of her past gains.

But by that very utility such men and the life they lead are condemned

to be limited, irrationally conservative and earthbound.


The customary routine, the customary institutions, the inherited or habitual forms of thought, — these things are the life-breath of their nostrils. They admit and jealously defend the changes compelled by the progressive mind in the past, but combat with equal zeal the changes that are being made by it in the present.


For to the material man the living progressive thinker

is an ideologue, dreamer or madman…



a few ruling or prominent ideas amid a great current of unconnected or ill-connected and mostly trivial thoughts, a number of more or less imperative vital needs, alternations of physical health and disease, a scattered and inconsequent succession of joys and griefs, frequent minor disturbances and vicissitudes and rarer strong searchings and upheavals of mind or body, and through it all Nature, partly with the aid of his thought and will, partly without or in spite of it, arranging these things in some rough practical fashion, some tolerable disorderly order, — this is the material of his existence.


The average human being even now is in his inward existence as crude

and undeveloped as was the bygone primitive man

in his outward life.

But as soon as we go deep within ourselves, — and Yoga means a plunge into all the multiple profundities of’ the soul, —


we find ourselves subjectively, as man in his growth has found himself

objectively, surrounded by a whole complex world

which we have to know and to conquer.


The life of the human creature, as it is ordinarily lived, is composed of a half-fixed, half-fluid mass of very imperfectly ruled thoughts, perceptions, sensations, emotions, desires, enjoyments, acts mostly customary and self-repeating, in part only dynamic and self-developing, but all centered around a superficial ego.


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