Modern civilization, with its tensions and comforts, its speed and extroversion, its pleasure and treasure hunts, its complicated activities and economic necessities, has trapped its victims so securely that he who would follow an independent path would have to make excessive efforts. It may seem foolish to suggest a scheme of living which involves the sacrifice of time separated out from a pressing day and given up to purposes seldom bothered with by civilized society, whose ways in fact would impede it. It may seem unlikely that people will follow such a scheme when, even if they theoretically accept those purposes, they deem themselves too busy or know themselves too lazy to operate it. It may seem impractical to offer it, especially to those who are dependent upon their work for a livelihood and who lose so much time getting to and from it. And even if they or others could be persuaded into adopting it, there is little likelihood that its exercises would be kept up--for only a comparative few are likely to have the needed strength and perseverance to keep it up. Where then is the spare time out of the modern man's daily program and the continuously driving will to come from? Where are the exceptional persons who would make the requisite sacrifices? No man will take up such a course of self-improvement and self-development unless he is thoroughly convinced of its necessity. And even then he may lack the willpower to declare war against his bad habits, his sloth and complacency, his pessimism and surface-comfort. He may be unable to change his pattern of thought and life, even if he wants to.
-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 2: Its Choice > # 51