It is an ancient teaching that mental laziness provides a fertile soil for the germination and growth of many vices, among them vanity, jealousy, avarice. It is not only that Satan proverbially finds mischief for idle hands to do. To produce idle hands, that constant enemy of man on earth must instill indolence into the mind of man. If the mind moves aright, it creates virtues and establishes itself on moral principles. This the minds of men are not doing.
There is prodigious mental activity in the civilization of today. That activity in action spells restlessness and discontent; it deludes men and women into fancying that they are busy. People are busy whirling like mad dervishes, hoping for ecstasy! Ratiocination is mistaken for meditation and restlessness for activity. The myriad motions of passions, prejudices, and prides obscure mental laziness. When inordinate likes and dislikes move men, the men mistakenly assume that they are mentally active, whereas their minds are more or less inert.
Mental creativeness is rare. Imitation of the activity of the few creative minds is rampant and often those imitations are parodies -- pathetic when not ludicrous. In the solution of his problems, man rarely proceeds in the right way. The calm and dispassionate evaluation of one's own problems by the light of one's own mind, aided by Right Ideas that have always ruled the world, is not undertaken.
Our civilization is built upon false values. The ever-changing nature of matter is pointed out by modern science, but for the scientist himself and those for whom his word is law, the immortal and never-changing nature of Spirit is an unproven, vague generality. The masses of men are influenced by the Divinity at the core of their own being which shapes its ends, rough-hew them how they will.
Countless men who admire and worship science transfer their intuitive loyalty from the stability of immortal Spirit to the shifting sands of kaleidoscopically changing matter. Organized religions, on the other hand, confuse the human reason by false notions about god and gods, heaven and hell, and so lead men to a hedonistic activity ruinous alike to mental calm and to a steady life.
To overcome difficulties, to live intelligently and to move onward, one needs to hitch his wagon to some constellation of Divine Ideas. Such cannot be found in the constantly shifting sands called knowledge by the modern schools. There is that Knowledge that changeth not, which, like the Spirit in man, is constant. Its laws are thoroughly consistent.
Philosophical ideas and ethical ultimates are the basis on which that knowledge is reared. Psychoanalysis and the so-called science of psychiatry would do away with man's Divine Intuitions. Biology, physiology, and chemistry have all but done away with the philosophical principles of immortality, causality, and the activity in the many of Spirit, which is One. Still those innate ideas reveal themselves in the intuitive response to their presentation. Even today, the moral ultimates command assent from the consciousness of man.
Truth, Justice, Mercy, Harmlessness, mean ever the same. Passionate Minds may argue about them and write volumes, but the heart of the common man knows what is meant by and is implicit in these Divine Virtues, these moral Principles.
Ethics are difficult to practice because their cosmic counterparts are not glimpsed. The universe is moral. It is just and merciful. Aye, it is even harmless, though it may not seem so.
The pepper plant will not give birth to roses, or the sweet jasmine's Silver Star to thorn or thistle turn, for rigid Justice rules the world.
The moral order of the universe is a superb fact; the ancient sages taught that truth in which the human mind today needs to be trained. The moral universe and not only the material one is governed by Law. Our mental laziness will disappear when we perceive this truth and act upon its numerous implications.
[From This have I heard, pages 280-82.]