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Armchair Explorer

--by Anthony De Mello (Oct 01, 2001)


"The explorer returned to his people, who were eager to know about the Amazon. But how could he ever put into words the feelings that flooded his heart when he saw exotic flowers and heard the night-sounds of the forests; when he sensed the danger of wild beasts or paddled his canoe over treacherous rapids?

He said, "Go and find out for yourselves." To guide them he drew a map of the river. They pounced upon the map. They framed it in their town hall. They made copies of it for themselves. And all who had a copy considered themselves experts on the river, for did they not know its every turn and bend, how broad it was and how deep, where the rapids were and where the falls?"

It is said that Buddha obdurately refused to be drawn into talking about God.

He was probably familiar with the dangers of drawing maps for armchair explorers.

-- Anthony De Mello, in 'The Song of the Bird'


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