"The Formula" by Anthony de Mello
Filed in:Anthony de Mello
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—
so inaccurate, so inadequate—
in the hope that some of them 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.