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The Song of the Bird Paperback – August 21, 1984
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- Publisher : Image; Reprint edition (August 21, 1984)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0385196156
- ISBN-13 : 978-0385196154
- Item Weight : 6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #100,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who also wrote several other books on spiritual topics and led retreats and conferences. According to his website, his books were once ruled theologically inconsistent with Catholic doctrine and banned from Catholic bookstores, although they ban was later lifted and books were sold with the following warning added: “The books of Father Anthony de Mello were written in a multi-religious context to help the followers of other religions, agnostics and atheists in their spiritual search, and they were not intended by the author as manuals of instruction of the Catholic faithful in Christian doctrine or dogma.” To me, the caution was an appealing advertisement.
I have three favorite stories from this book: “The Little Fish,” “The Contented Fisherman,” and “Domesticated Rebels.” “The Little Fish” has made its way into popular culture, and many have cited De Mello as its original source. You may recognize it from the Pixar and Disney movie Soul, the famous “This is Water” commencement speech by David Foster Wallace in 2005, or a reference in The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. Here it is.
“Excuse me,” said an ocean fish, “You are older than I so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the Ocean?”
“The Ocean,” said the older fish, “is the thing you are in now.”
“Oh, this? But this is water. What I’m seeking is the Ocean,” said the disappointed fish as he swam away to search elsewhere.
He came to the Master in sannyasi robes. And he spoke sannyasi language:
“For years I have been seeking God. I have sought Him everywhere that He is said to be: on mountain peaks, the vastness of the desert, and the silence of the cloister and the dwellings of the poor.”
“Have you found him?” the Master asked. “No. I have not. Have you?”
What could the Master say? The evening sun was sending shafts of golden light into the room. Hundreds of sparrows were twittering on a banyan tree. In the distance one could hear the sound of highway traffic. A mosquito droned a warning that it was going to strike… And yet this man could sit there and say he had not found Him.
After a while he left, disappointed, to search elsewhere.
Stop searching, little fish. There isn’t anything to look for. All you have to do is look.
Who would I recommend this to? Everyone.
The little gems of stories or sayings are delightful to ponder befor going to sleep or start the new day.
I followed deMello's instruction and confined my reading to one parable or tale each morning. Throughout the day it would return to me, either to amuse, enlighten or both.. Interestingly, I was already familiar with many of the tales but viewed them differently in the past. deMello has generated a refreshing, sometimes novel, interpretation that always inspires.
Song of the Bird is a book that will be read again and again. The compilation is proof that although Truth has many ways of revealing itsself, it remains consistent and eventually reveals itself to all who seek it.
Worth reading through several times - a little at a time. Too much at once and they loose their impact.
The above is his stated goal in the introduction and it is accomplished masterfully.
Similar to One Minute Wisdom but the stories do not overlap.
Top reviews from other countries
Anthony De Mello is a Catholic priest who has really listened to what other religions have to say, and allowed their truths and insights to enlighten his own religion too. He faithfully follows St. Ignatius' instruction to "find God in all things", including the lives and teachings of non-Catholics and non-Christians.
I am SO glad I bought another copy. It is a unique piece of writing and wisdom.
Wholly readable and VERY thought provoking.
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER !!!