of most philosophies is the philosopher. Enjoying as we do the privilege of Professor X’s acquaintance, we know that whatever he personally may think up about the nature and value of existence cannot possibly be true. And what (God help us!) about our great thoughts? But fortunately there have been saints who could write. We and the Professor are free to crib from our betters.

It is wonderfully easy to escape the vices toward which one doesn’t happen to be drawn. […] But when it comes to the subtler forms of vanity and pride, when it comes to indifference, negative cruelty and the lack of charity, when it comes to being afraid and telling lies, when it comes to sensuality. . . .


No, the life of the spirit is life out of time, life in its essence and eternal principle. Which is why they all insist–all the people best qualified to know–that memory must be lived down and finally died to. When one has succeeded in mortifying the memory, says John of the Cross, one is in a state that is only a degree less perfect and profitable than the state of union with God. It is an assertion that, at a first reading, I found incomprehensible. But that was because at the time, my first concern was with the life of poetry, not of the spirit. Now I know, by humiliating experience, all that memory can do to darken and obstruct the knowledge of he eternal Ground. Mortification is always the condition of proficiency.


Remorse is pride’s ersatz for repentance, the ego’s excuse for not accepting God’s forgiveness. The condition of being forgiven is self-abandonment. The proud man prefers self-reproach, however painful–because the reproached self isn’t abandoned; it remains intact.


There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice,” came the answer, “the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.”

“I shall never be able to do it alone,” he cried.

But the sick man was inexorable.

“It can’t be done by anyone else,” the pencil wrote. “Other people can’t make you see with their eyes.At the best they can only encourage you to use you rown.”

Then, as an afterthought, he had added on another sheet of the scribbling pad: “And, of course, once you’ve started using your own eyes, you’ll see that there’s no question of being alone. Nobody’s alone unless he wishes to be.”

– Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop