Henry Miller on “the awakeners”

I found this wonderful quote by Henry Miller (Sexus) on Juli Crockett’s blog. I’m sure she won’t mind if I re-post here.

“As to salvation and all that… The greatest teachers, the true healers, I would say, have always insisted that they can only point the way. The Buddha went so far as to say: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission it is to preach and teach. These are the gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?”

I remember reading a couple of Miller’s books in the early sixties. Primarily for the naughty parts. His books were banned in the US for many years. I obviously missed much of the man’s genius. Time to fix that.

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