As these essays were written during WW2, many have lost their relevance today and are merely historically interesting, or interesting for readers who just happen to like Koestler's writing style (incredibly sophisticated considering he'd just started writing in English a few years before, his previous books having been written in German and French!) and in depth analyses of the world's great social, political and economic issues. In my opinion, though, much of this book is still worth reading for the perennial insights he has to offer on the development of political systems, as well as the human split between emotion and reason, a theme which he followed up in greater detail in the Ghost in the Machine and other works. In short, the Yogi is the symbol chosen by him for social systems that attempt to change mankind from within (e.g., the enforced 'spirituality' of the Inquisition), while the Commissar represents those that attempt the same from the outside (e.g. Fascism and Communism).
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