133 | MoAMG II - Appendix 2

anyone to bring Buddhism to the West'[*] Mr. Humphreys is in danger
of feeling like President Ceausescu of Rumania after he had shot
his bear. I am at present engaged in supplementing the text of these
'Memoirs' with a few relevant illustrations. Among them there will
be a picture, taken from 'Time' (23.10.78), which shows this podgy
and overfed dwarf posing with an exceptionally deadly rifle
(obtained from some capitalist Merchant of Death) after he has
received 'a golden plate' for having shot the largest bear ever
recorded in the history of hunting in Europe, a bear even more
magnificent than that butchered by the previous record holder,
Josip Broz Tito. In this way it was given to this undersized leader of
the proletariat to crown a life-time of staggering achievement,
marked as it was by 'exceptional creativeness in philosophy, political
economy, history, education, science and culture'. I wished I had
done as well as that.

What had attracted me, as well as many of the German young
men of my generation, to the collectivist tenets of Communism (or
of National Socialism for that matter), had been the hope that in
this way we would manage to get rid of the intolerable burden of
our individuality, of our ridiculously insistent claims to self-
importance, and of the necessity to constantly make personal
decisions on matters about which we knew next to nothing. To merge
into the anonymous mass was to us the equivalent of the Nirvana
which a poet once described by saying that 'the dew drop slips into
the shining sea'. Buddhism is as insistent as Marxism about
combating the illusions of individuality, and the doctrine of 'not-
self' as well as the goal of self-extinction lie within its very core.
And yet, - in the Marxist world we have the cult of personality,
beginning with Stalin, and dilligently carried on by such practitioners
as Ceausescu, Kim Il Sung, Hoxha, and so many others. Once
again we see the dangers of conscious effort in human affairs,
which so very often brings about the very opposite of what was
intended. To fight the ego adds to its muscle. Anyone who has, -
for more than forty years, - watched Christmas pomposing along,
pushing out his chest and blowing his own trumpet, will know that
this mechanism operates as well for the impersonalist doctrines of

[*] 'The Middle Way', Febr. 1978, p. 140; also at p. 174! -
How can one 'bring' something which one has not got?