He may have studied under mystical teachers, lived in monastic ashrams, and wandered in mountain caves in former reincarnations gaining much bliss by the practice of meditation. That is why he may feel such a strong hankering for these things during the present incarnation, but the rhythm of progress has put him into a Western body and given him family life in order to develop another necessary phase of character and thus make him better balanced. Mysticism is only one side of life and a most estimable one, but life itself is many-sided. The true Quest must lead to a development of all these sides. Nothing narrower than this ideal will suffice. Any attempt to escape in the wrong way from the path which karma has outlined for him can only end in disappointment and disillusionment. However there is a way of escape from hard, external conditions and that is by fully learning their lessons, by mastering the problems of practical, everyday living, by developing intelligence and reasoning power, and by remembering to keep the mental picture of a fuller life of disinterested service ever before him.
-- Notebooks Category 2: Overview of Practicies Involved > Chapter 5: Balance the Psyche > # 188