Great mytics and masters taught through stories, poems and parables because they realised that rational speech was inadequate to communicate profound truths about the sacred dimension of life like spirituality, inner quest or the divine. This is also the experience of anyone who has attempted to reflect seriously on the deepest and most important issues of life such as love, relationships, suffering, death or freedom. “Stories are the shortest distance between human beings and truth,” Tony de Mello, the great Indian spiritual teacher and author of many best-sellers, wrote.
The stories contained in this book are all linked to the over-arching theme of Awareness. They are also related to various aspects of daily living so that Awareness does not remain a mere idea but can become a part of our own experience. That is why experience and resonance are two strong points of this book.
The book is made up of a large number of stories thematically organised under various topics of daily living such as relationships, emotions, judgments, helping, suffering, leadership, stillness, and so on. The diversity of stories under each theme covers different aspects and offers and numerous perspectives to interest and benefit a large variety of readers.
The stories centre around the sage who is not a single individual but someone who gives expression to the collective wisdom of humanity. So he is a Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sufi, Taoist and so on. His voice carries the teachings of the Buddha and Jesus, Ramesh Balsekar, J Krishnamurti, Tony de Mello and a host of others.
Though these stories carry perennial wisdom, it takes a considerable depth of understanding and creativity to make the sage speak to the experience of people in our time. That is why the stories indeed have a great resonance for readers and are capable of evoking experience of quiet reflections and transformations.
There are many gems here for daily living. Here is a story about relationships.
A woman told the sage that she had had a series of relationships that had ended in hurt and pain. Some of her partners had been possessive, some uncaring, some harsh.
“It is only now I realise that none of that was love,” she sobbed.
“Discovering what love is not, is a good introduction to what it is,” the sage said. (page 147)
A book of this kind can be a great source of inspiration and a powerful tool for personal transformation.
Publisher: Awareness Arc (www.Awarenessarc.org)
Distributor (S.Asia): Zen Publications (www.Zenpublications.com)