Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Formula

The mystic was back from the desert.

“Tell us,” they said, “what God is like.”

But how could he ever tell them what he had experienced in his heart?

Can God be put into words?

He finally gave them a formula — inaccurate, inadequate — in the hope that some
might be tempted to experience it for themselves.

They seized upon the formula. They made it a sacred text. They imposed it on others as
a holy belief. They went to great pains to spread it in foreign lands. Some even gave their lives for it.

The mystic was sad. It might have been better if he had said nothing.

Anthony de Mello S.J., The Song of the Bird, 1984

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