228 W. 39
New York
the 6th of Feb. ’96
Dear Mrs. Bull–
I received your last duly, but owing to many things I have given up the idea of taking rest next month. I go to Detroit the first week of March and then, towards the middle or last week, come to Boston. I have not much faith in working such things as the Procopeia [Club] etc.–because these mixed-up conglomerations of all isms and ities–mostly fads–disturb the steadiness of the mind, and life becomes a mass of frivolities. I am very glad, however, to get an opportunity to talk to the graduates of Harvard. This does not mean that I am not coming to Procopeia. I will come but it will be only for your sake. There is one if, however–and that is if I am physically able. My health has nearly broken down. I have not slept even one night soundly in New York since I came; and this year there is incessant work, both with the pen and the mouth. The accumulated work and worry of years is on me now, I am afraid. Then a big struggle awaits me in England. I wish to go to the bottom of the sea and have a good, long sleep.
To Detroit I must go, dead or alive, as I have disappointed them several times last year. There were big money offers from near Chicago. I have rejected them as I do not any longer believe in paid lectures and their utility in any country. If after Detroit I feel the body able to drag itself on to Boston, I will come, else I will remain in Detroit or some other quiet place and rest to recuperate for the coming work in England. So far I have tried to work conscientiously–let the fruits belong to the Lord. If they were good they will sprout up sooner or later; if bad, the sooner they die the better. I am quite satisfied with my task in life. I have been much more active than a Sannyasin ought to be. Now I will disappear from society altogether. The touch of the world is degenerating me, I am sure, so it is time to be off. Work has no more value beyond purifying the heart. My heart is pure enough; why shall I bother my head about doing good to others? “If you have known the Atman as the one, only existence and nothing else exists, desiring what?–for whose desire you trouble yourself?” 107 This universe is a dream, pure and simple. Why bother myself about a dream? The very atmosphere of the world is poison to the Yogi, but I am waking up. My old iron heart is coming back–all attachments of relatives, friends, disciples are vanishing fast. “Neither through wealth nor through progeny, but by giving up everything as chaff is that immortality attained” 108 –the Vedas. I am so tired of talking too; I want to close my lips and sit in silence for years. All talk is nonsense.
Yours faithfully,