Radically transformative moment

You will have to walk out there, all alone, and discover for yourself. To walk alone means to walk away from every formula: the ones given to you by others, the ones you learned from books, the ones that you yourself invented in the light of your own past experiences. That is possibly the most terrifying thing a human being can do: to move into the unknown, unprotected by any formula. To walk away from human beings, as the prophets and the mystics did, is not to walk away from their company, but from their formulas.

Silence. It is only silence that you see, and the moment you see, you will abandon every book and guide and guru. What will you see? A falling leaf; the behavior of a friend; the ripples on the surface of a lake; a pile of stones; a ruined building; a crowded street; a starry sky…whatever.

After you see, someone will want to help you put your vision into words. You will shake your head and say, “not that—that’s just another formula.” What you saw cannot be related to the thinking mind. It is beyond all formula, beyond all meaning.

A strange change will come about in you, barely perceptible at first, but radically transforming. Having seen, you will never be the same again. You will feel the exhilarating freedom, the extraordinary confidence that comes from knowing that every formula is worthless. Then, you will never cease to learn, as each day you observe and understand afresh.

— Anthony de Mello, from The Way to Love

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