Eastern Wisdom and Western Knowledge

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

“Why should prejudices be so strong at this moment?” The answer it seems to me is simple… circumstances have forced parts of the world once remote from each other into actual intimacy for which peoples are not mentally or spiritually prepared…. If those prepared to act as interpreters will do their proper work, we may find that within another generation or two, or even sooner, dislike and prejudice may be gone. This is only possible if prompt and strong measures are taken by peoples to keep step mentally with the increasing closeness… But if this is to happen, the West will have to abandon what Guénon calls its “proselytizing fury,” … the activities of all the distributors of modern “civilization” and of practically all those “educators” who feel that they have more to give than to learn from what are often called the “backward” or “unprogressive” peoples; to whom it does not occur that one may not wish or need to “progress” if one has reached a state of equilibrium that already provides for the realization of what one regards as the greatest purposes of life.

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