x | FBSt - Foreword

comparatively rational logical positivism of my friend Alfred
Jules Ayer, soon to be followed by the linguistic futilities
which Ernest Gellner has so brilliantly described in his "Words
and Things" (1959, Pelican 1968).

At the same time I endeavoured to neutralize the Marxist
virus in my system - first by a number of political and semi-
political books, culminating in Spain To-day in 1936, and then
by composing a book on The Psychology of Mass Propaganda
which argued for the futility of all political action on the ground
that mass activities must necessarily be permeated and vitiated
by self-deception, as well as by greed and hatred. This book was,
on ideological grounds, never brought out by the publisher
who had commissioned it, and it will probably be found among
my posthumous papers.

The upshot of all these convulsions and heartaches was a
revival of an earlier interest in Buddhism, which goes back to
my adolescence and had come to some prominence in my
Heidelberg days in 1923 and 1924. Still continuing to think
with pen in hand I composed a vast treatise on Contradiction
and Reality
, of which a Summary was printed at the outbreak
of the war at the expense of a friend. The war itself drove me
into Dr. Aubrey Westlake's wood in Godshill in Hamshire
where, as later in a caravan in Ewelme, Oxon, I attempted
to realize in meditation the teachings which I had speculatively
developed in that Summary. Therafter I decided to adopt an
indirect approach and thus between 1946 and 1968 remained
contend to edit and expound the ancient Sanskrit texts of the
philosophia perennis.[1]

[ ... ]

[1] About this term see Thirty Years of Buddhist Studies,
London 1968, p. 212-15.