The things being done on the stage was merely trite and crass; but the undercurrent made them frightening. There was an air about the ponderous inanities spoken, which the actors absorbed like an infection; it was in their smirking faces, in the slyness of their voices; in their untidy gestures. It was an air of inanities uttered as revelations and insolently demanding acceptance as such; an air, not of innocent presumption, but of conscience effrontery; as if the author knew the nature of his work and boasted of his power to make it appear sublime in the minds of his audience and thus destroy the capacity for the sublime within them.
If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.
But how we read is for society more important than what we read. The man who takes up nothing but a newspaper, but reads it to think, to deduct conclusions from its premises, and form a judgment on its opinions, is more fitted for society than he, who having all the current literature and devoting his whole time to its perusal, swallows it all without digestion. In fact, the mind must be treated like the body, and however great its appetite, it will soon fall into bad health if it gorges, but does not ruminate. At the same time an acquaintance with the best current literature is necessary to modern society, and it is not sufficient to have read a book without being able to pass a judgment upon it.