How much do I want to read more? 7/10
I love the way Anthony de Mello "teach" his wisdom, and makes his best to awaken us.
One gentle touch after another. He knows it needs to comes from within, and it's beyond words.
He doesn't want to mislead us, so he's talking about it without talking about it.
== A note from the publisher
He wrote it after "One Minute Wisdom", and before "The Prayer of the Frog".
He sent the manuscript to the publisher with instructions to print it soon.
It was as it appears now: the stories had no titles and there was no table of contents.
The text was typed, except the short commentary to the first story that was handwritten by him.
The type-setting was about to start when at the end of 1986 he wrote again: "I am writting another book, which will be entitled 'The Prayer of the Frog', and it has to appear before 'One Minute Nonsense', please send the manuscript back to me."
In the early months of 1987 Tony worked hard on 'The prayer of the Frog'. He wanted to hand over the manuscript for publication before his departure for New York at the end of May. I met Tony in Bombay on the 30th of May. We discussed the layout of the book for several hours. After completing that work I asked Tony about the manuscript of 'One Minute Nonsense'. He told me that it was ready and he would send it to me immediately on his return from America. After that he would start preparing the book of Meditations.
At about six o'clock that evening I wished Tony goodbye and left to catch my train back to Gujarat. Two hours later he himself left for the Airport. He died at Fordham University, the very night of his first day in New York, 1st June 1987.
He never expected to be back so soon. His body arrived in the morning of 13th June and was buried the same evening in the cemetery at St. Peter's Church, Bandra, where he had been baptized.
Among his papers, 3 manuscripts were found:
- One Minute Nonsense: "Ready for the press" he had said, but the stories had no title and there was no table of contents. Did he intend to add them? We shall never know; but he proably not, since he told me "it is ready for the press".
- A manuscript with his Retreat Conferences, fully edited for the press; but he had never mentioned his book to me or anyone else. We published it with the title 'Contact with God: Retreat Conferences'.
- The unfinished manuscript of the book with Meditations, that he had planned to complete after his return from America, and which we published as he left it, with the title 'Call to Love'.
And so we are bringing out his last book, One Minute Nonsense, the one he wanted to come after 'The Prayer of the Frog'. We publish it as he left it, without titles and without contents, just the stories, one after the other, in the same order in which he left them.
"The man talks nonsense" said a visitor after hearing the Master speak.
Said a disciple "You would talk nonsense too if you were trying to express the Inexpressible."
When the visitor checked this out with the Master himself, this is the reply het get: "No one is exempt from talking nonsense. The great misforturne is to do it solennly."
Said a disciple to a newcomer at the monastery "I must warn you that you will not understand a word of what the Master says if you do not have the proper disposition."
"What is the proper disposition?"
"Be like a student eager to learn a foreign language. The words he speak sound familiar, but don't be taken in; they have an altogether foreign meaning."
The Master could be quite critical when he thought that criticism was in order.
But to everyone's surprise he was never resented for his reprimands. When asked about this once, he said "It depends on how one does it. Human beings are flowers: open and receptive to softly falling dew, closed to violent rain."
"A good way to discover your shorcomings" said the Master "is to observe what irritates you in others."
He once told how his wife had placed a candy box on the kitchen shelf only to find and hour later, that the box felt light.
The whole bottom layer was gone, each piece neatly dropped into a paper bag that sat atop the new cook's belongings. Not willing to cause embarassment, the kind-hearted woman merely replaced the candy and kept it in a cupboard out of temptation's way.
After dinner the cook announced she was leaving the job - that very night.
"Why? What's the matter?" asked the Master.
"I won't work for people who steal back" was her defiant reply.
Next day the Master followed this up with the story of the burglar who found this sign on the door of the safe he was about to blow: "Please do not use dynamite. This safe is not locked. Just turn the knob."
The instant he turned the knob a sand bag fell on him, the premises were floot-lit and sirens woke the entire neighbourhood.
When the Master visited the man in prison he found him bitter: "How am I ever going to trust another human being again?"
When a guest volunteered to do the dishes after dinner the Master said "Are you sure you know how to do the dishes?"
The man protested that he had done them all his life. Said the Master "Ah, I have no doubt of your ability to make dishes clean - I only doubt your ability to wash them."
This is the explanation he gave his disciples later: "There are two ways to wash dishes: one is to wash them in order to make them clean; the other is to wash them in order to wash them."
That was still far from clear, so he added: "The first action is dead because while your body does the dishes your mind is fixed on the goal of cleaning them; the second is alive because your mind is where your body is."