[L. 106 | 114] 30 November 1964

After some hesitation I have decided to reply to Mr. G.'s letter. But since it is evident that he is more concerned to maintain his own position (in a sense, the Notes seem to have drawn blood, touching him at several weak points) than to understand the Notes, it seems important that I should keep a certain distance and not come to blows with him; and so I have addressed my reply[1] to you—all my remarks are addressed to the Court.

It is obvious that he has a good knowledge of the Suttas (of which he is perhaps rather proud), and a very poor understanding of the Dhamma. A reply, therefore, that is going to be of any benefit to him (and not simply make the situation worse) needs rather careful wording: it is necessary to convey to him that he is very far from understanding the Dhamma, without actually telling him so in so many words. Whether or not my reply (which avoids his tactical sallies by the strategical manoeuvre of suggesting a profound difference in point of view—which is true—making any discussion of details futile at the present stage) achieves this aim, I really can't say—how does it strike you? Have I said anything that will merely irritate him without shaking his complacency?

The myth that was growing up about me here—that my presence was the cause of the good rains that have been enjoyed since I came here—is now being rudely shattered. There has been a shortage of rain in this district, and what little there has been has very carefully (almost by design) avoided Bundala. Perhaps the drought has come in order to demonstrate to the villagers that post hoc ergo propter hoc is a fallacy—or does this supposition itself fall into the same fallacy?

Editorial notes:

[106.1] my reply: L. 107. [Back to text]