Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; whee words come out from the depth of truth;where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
This beautiful prayer from the thoughtful Indian artist/poet/musician of the early 20th century reflects such wisdom and insight about the human predicament. I really liked that thought about the “stream of reason” needing to not “lose its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.” Reason is such a gift but it can sure be misused and often is; in fact, usually is. When reason is devoid of Spirit, “dead habit” always takes over and we then become arrogant, overbearing, and even violent. This reminds me of a word of caution from W. H. Auden re the peril of “mere habits of affection freezing our thoughts in their own inert society.” And then Goethe noted, “They call it Reason, using light celestial, just to outdo the beasts in being bestial.”