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Alexandra David-Neel

From her book 'The Secret Oral Teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Sects', p.1


It is a long time since the idea of writing this book occured to me.  One fine summer

afternoon I had explained my plan to a learned Tibetan who led a life of contempla-

tion in a little house on the side of a mountain.  He was not encouraging.


"Waste of time", he said.  "The great majority of readers and hearers are the same all

over the world.  I have no doubt that the people of your country are like those in

China and India, and these latter were just like the Tibetans.  If you speak to them of

profound truths they yawn, and, if they dare, they leave you, but if you tell them ab-

surd fables they are all eyes and ears.  They wish the doctrines preached to them,

whether religious, philosophic, or social, to be agreeable, to be consistent with their

conceptions, to satisfy their inclinations, in fact that they find  themselves in them,

and that they feel themselves approved by them."

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