EASTERN INSPIRATION—Serge Elisseev
The East is impenetrable to the West only for the man who deliberately refuses to get rid of certain ideas which, like armor, prevent him from bending to enter the low Japanese door or squat on the mat . . . I regret that in the spiritual field, the philosophical and moral ideas of the Far East exercise but such superficial influence over us. The teaching of the great Indian thinkers could spiritually enrich the European soul. The habit of contemplation, if only for five minutes a day, would make for more mental concentration and strengthen our will by lessening our nervousness which makes us very unstable and prevents the formation of great character, a thing which is getting rarer and rarer in Europe. . . . In the course of its history, the European civilization has lost most of its spiritual values. It can no longer recover them though it still realizes their necessity. For the best of men cannot exist simply on the ideal of "efficiency of work" in the American way. In the condition in which the West finds itself, it is easier for us to go and search for truths in the East, than to come back to the few values we have left in the course of the development of our civilization.
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