And Proust, too, killing himself to write his book comes close to the concept of dharma when, echoing Balzac, he says that in the end it’s less the desire for fame than ‘the habit of laboriousness’ that takes a writer to the end of a work.
But dharma, as this ideal of truth to oneself, or living out the truth in oneself, can also be used to reconcile men to servitude and make them find in paralyzing obedience the highest spiritual good. ‘And do thy duty, even if it be humble,’ says the Aryan Gita, ‘rather than another’s, even it be great.
To die on one’s duty is life: to live in another’ death.
V.S. Naipaul in India:
A Wounded Civilisation
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