Olympic_TorchA friend often claimed her given name meant “light.” Accordingly, she was quite the scholar; with a near genius IQ who performed elongated math equations in her head. During her travels, she claimed to have found no one of equal. Thus, she fictitiously carried a lighted torch while claiming to “Light a world largely dark.”

One day, a wise man sitting in a darkened coffeehouse heard her words. “My friend, if your eyes are blind to the sight of the omnipresent light of the day, do not call the world dark. Your torch adds nothing to the glory of the sun and your intention to illumine the minds of others is as futile as it is arrogant.”

As Anthony de Mello would say,

“We all need to identify less and less with the “me.” By doing so, we’ll all be more at ease with everybody and with everything because we’ll no longer be afraid of being hurt or unlike. We need to reduce the desire to impress everyone. Can you imagine the relief when you don’t have to impress anybody anymore? Oh, what a relief.

So why do I refer to de Mello and being one of ‘true light?

While flying to upstate Washington over the weekend, a woman saw me reading de Mello’s work, ‘Taking Flight.’ Being a devote Christian, she claimed to know the true “Light” and opined that de Mello’s books did little to enhance one’s development in authentic Christian spirituality while simultaneously exposing the soul to serious spiritual danger.

Additionally, I should consider, “… that dabbling in Buddhism, Taoism, and other ideologies isn’t just a simple pastime. These practices could expose one to occult influences that could have lasting and damaging effects upon the mind, body and soul. So unless one is attempting to communicate with the One, Holy and True God – and in ways deemed acceptable – I need to understand I’m placing myself at enormous personal risk.

Paraphrasing Dale Carnegie, I subtly responded, “The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in my life. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use?”

Oh,” she beamed with a broad smile. “They are worthy leaders.”

Leaning back and looking over Washington’s coastline, I muttered in thought, “Socrates would talk with people he encountered on the street, using the opportunity to question them about their views on justice, piety, courage, and other virtues by which human beings lived. His pointed questions–and the inability of his listeners to answer them satisfactorily–showed them that their knowledge was incomplete or tainted with faulty ideas. For this, he received a death sentence.

Most will not believe in the real God because they’re unable to broaden their minds past that of their own world.