Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two warnings before the story

Anthony de Mello warned me twice before I started to read his stories from 'The Prayer of the Frog'.

The first one on his back cover says this.
"It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear. So the Spiritual Teachers of humanity, like Buddha and Jesus, created a device to circumvent the opposition of their listeners: the story. They knew that the most entrancing words a language holds are, "Once upon a time..." that it is common to oppose a truth buth impossible to resist a story. Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata, says that if you listen carefully to a story, you will never be the same again. That is because the story will worm its way into your heart and break down barriers to the divine. Even if you read the stories in this book only for the entertainment, there is no guarantee that an occasional story will not slip through your defences and explore when you least expect it to. So you have been warned!"

The second one in the introduction inside says this. "Since each of these stories is a revelation of Truth, and since Truth, when spelt with a capital T, means the truth about you, make sure that each time you read a story you single-mindedly search for a deeper understanding of yourself. The way one would read a Medical book - wondering if one has any of the symptoms; and one's friends are. If you succumb to the temptation of seeking insight into others, the stories will do you damage."

I am just realising how we give in to the temptation of wanting to get insight into others' lives, and fix them! How easily we get into the mode of finding fault with the way the tileman has laid the tiles "Can't he get such a simple thing right?", with the sister-in-law who was rude "How could she speak like that to me!", with the employer who didn't acknowledge our presence "Surely, I was not hiding behind a wall! He could have smiled at me if he wanted to. He has a problem!" and on and on... Anything that will distract us from looking within.

A sample story: "A great religious persecution broke out in the land and the three pillars of religion, scripture, workship and charity appeared before God to express their fear that, if religion was stamped out, they would cease to exist. "Not to worry," said the Lord, "I plan to send One to earth who is greater than all of you". "By what name is this Great One called?" they asked. "Self-knowledge" said God. "He will do greater things than any of you have done."

Happy Reading! :)

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