It is something to be noted by the student of comparative religion and comparative mysticism that each faith and each minor sectarian movement sets up its own leader as the supreme personality among holy men, the universal teacher of all mankind. Consequently, he is most often put forward as the last World Teacher, for after him there will come no more--unless, of course, he himself returns as a Messiah. Such claims should be instructive to the student as displaying the egotistic psychological attitude of the claimants and betraying their spiritual limitation. Thus it is a mistake to believe that because the prophet-founders of religion were divinely inspired, they were therefore equally inspired. The divine reality expresses itself through various channels. The prophet who regards himself as the only one to whom divine revelation has come has already lost it. The sect which believes that only to itself has God spoken has never really heard Him. All these inexplicable miracle stories which gather around the life of every renowned saint must not be swallowed uncritically. In the Orient, the simple common people, the devout and the mystical, have usually failed to distinguish legend from history, observation from imagination. Let us not believe that by encouraging superstition we encourage spirituality. We must discard the one in order to find the other. We must differentiate between the noble disinterested efforts of the prophet and the ecclesiastical systems men set up in his name after he has passed away.
-- Notebooks Category 16: The Sensitives > Chapter 9: Inspiration and Confusion > # 28