“Is there such a thing as One Minute Wisdom?”
“There certainly is,” said the Master
“But surely One Minute is too brief!”
“It is fifty-nine seconds to long!”
To his puzzled disciples the Master later said,
“How much time does it take to catch the sight of the Moon?”
“Then why all these years of spiritual endeavor?”
“Opening one’s eyes may take a lifetime. Seeing is done in a flash!“
These words are by TONY de MELLO. I wish to pay my gratitude to him for his remarkable WORK in life. His piece of advice: Take the tales in tiny doses – one or two at a time. An overdose will lower their potency!
The Master in these tales is not a single person. He is a Hindu Guru, a Zen Roshi, a Taoist Sage, a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Monk, a Sufi Mystic. He is Lao Tzu and Socrates. Buddha and Jesus, Zarathustra and Mohammed. His teaching is found in the 7th century B.C. and the 21st century A.D. His wisdom belongs to East and West alike. Do his historical antecedents really matter? History, after all, is the record of appearances, not Reality; of doctrines, not of Silence.
It will only take a minute to read each of the anecdotes that follow. You will probably find the Master’s language baffling, exasperating even downright meaningless. This, alas, is not an easy book! It was written, not to instruct, but to Awaken. Concealed within its pages (not in the printed words, not even in the tales, but in its spirit, its mood, its atmosphere) is a Wisdom which cannot be conveyed in human speech. As you read the printed page and struggle with the Master’ s cryptic language it is possible that you will unwittingly chance upon the Silent Teaching that lurks within the book, and be Awakened — and transformed. This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words that lies beyond the reach of words.
If you are fortunate enough to be Awakened thus, you will know why the finest language is the one that is not spoken, the finest action is the one that is not done and the finest change is the one that is not willed.
A TRIBUTE TO THE AUTHOR (disclaimer: these are not my text)
What’s behind this phenomenal success? Very simply, it is a manifestation of the hunger for the spiritual spreading around the world. It’s a hunger with very special characteristics. People aren’t buying set formulas any more, or plus platitudes redolent of an era gone by; beaten tracks that did not succeed in bringing people to a spiritual awakening. There is an anguished search, sometimes confused in its direction, for a more liberal outlook. Modern man mired in profound cultural change first wants to know ‘who he is?’, what imprisons his soul, what stands in the way of spiritual progress. He wants to rediscover the God beyond all that has been identified through the years with the name of God: laws, norms, doctrines not made flesh, words stranged from life.
That is why Tony de Mello said that “our violent spirituality has created problems for us”, that “Jesus Christ has got a bad name because of what is said of Him from pulpits” and that “it is very difficult to recognise a saint because he looks like the rest of us”. In short, what Tony de Mello is telling us is that if we want to make Christianity credible we need to plumb the depths of the human spirit, to reach beyond our present frontiers.
From “Vida Nueva”. Madrid. Sept, 12th. 1987