Reading the Mystics: A famous old tale I just made up!
The disciple complained to the master that it was too hard to read the old mystics. She said, “It’s dry and boring, and besides there is so much that is old fashioned or even unScriptural in them. It simply isn’t worth it.”
The master sat quietly for awhile and then replied, “Don’t expect the juicy tenderness of relevance and familiarity to be your only guide. Not all healthy meat is red. Read the old masters as though you are eating fish. Let it poach for awhile in your willingness to receive instead of your need to judge. Then let it simmer in the lemon juice of some of your own painful experience. Finally, enjoy what seems good and gently pick out the bones.”
The disciple was delighted with this new way of reading and thanked the master profusely. “It will be good to read what I can enjoy and to throw the rest away,” she said with new enthusiasm.”
Yes, that is helpful,” said the master with the hint of a smile on his face. “But…don’t throw the bones away. They might not all be garbage after all. Keep them in a safe and soft place. As your soul grows more healthy, you may discover that some of what you thought were bones were really the deepest truths of all. You just weren’t ready for them when you began.”