[L. 43 | 50] 1 April 1963

I should be glad if you will bear in mind that the publication of this book is not a matter of personal importance to me. It may perhaps be of importance to other people whether the book is published (though this can only be decided in retrospect), but for me it is a matter of only incidental concern. (I did not come to Ceylon in order to write about the Dhamma, and had I kept in good health it is probable that I should have found neither the time nor the inclination to do so.) This means, then, that you should please yourself what steps you take to publish it, without feeling that I shall be much worried one way or the other.

By all means write to me about points that puzzle you either in Blackham's book (6ET) or in what I have written—if you think my brains are worth picking, then by all means pick them. You told me earlier that you had set out to ask me about certain points that puzzled you, but that, upon reading through what you had written, it seemed so foolish that you tore it up. This is a great mistake. It is absolutely essential in philosophical matters (however it may be in legal matters when one is sitting on the Bench representing the Majesty of the Law) not to be afraid of appearing ridiculous by a display of ignorance (it is only fools who will think one ridiculous if one does so). Cf. Camus: 'All of Dostoievsky's heroes question themselves as to the meaning of life. In this they are modern: they do not fear ridicule.' (Myth, p. 77)

Unless a person is prepared to reveal himself (as one takes off one's clothes and reveals one's body to the doctor), it is not possible for another person (even if he is competent to do so) to straighten out his tangled views and show him what line of thought he should follow. In this matter, I myself am quite well aware that every time I open my mouth or put pen to paper in order to express unconventional thoughts (which I do quite often) I risk being thought a complete fool by other people (or even by myself in retrospect): but being happily endowed with a faculty for ignoring what other people think of me, this does not give me sleepless nights.