The One Mystery (part 2) by Bede Griffiths

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The basic principle of this meeting, said Mgr Rossano, was one of mutual enrichment by sharing experience. In every religious tradition not only Hindu and Christian, but Buddhist and Muslim, African and American Indian, there is an immeasurable depth of religious experience, each people experiencing the divine mystery through its own language and symbols and patterns of thoughts. In the dialogue it is understood that each one remains true to his own tradition of life and thought, but seeks to open himself to the experience of the reality of God in a different mode of thought and expression. The comparison was made of the white light which is broken up into different colours–red, blue green, yellow, all of which appear different and even opposed, but which when traced back to their source are found to be one.

The origin and goal of all religion is the same, the one inexpressible Mystery, in which the ultimate meaning of human existence is to be found. This was expressed in the declaration of a group of theologians from east and west at a seminar on evangelisation, which was recently held at Nagpur in north India. ‘An ineffable mystery’, they declared, ‘the centre and ground of reality and human life, is in different forms and manners active among all peoples of the world and gives ultimate meaning to human existence and aspirations. This mystery which is called by different names but which no name can adequately represent is definitively disclosed and communicated in Jesus of Nazareth.’

This, of course, expresses the Christian point of view. For a Christian the disclosure of the mystery is to be found in Christ, for a Buddhist in the Buddha, for a Hindu in the Vedas, for a Muslim in the Koran. Each has his own unique insight into the mystery, and we have to learn to share these insights with one another. To relate these insights to one another, to see the relationship of each to the whole, is the function of theology today. In this task the Christian theologian cannot work apart from the Hindu, the Buddhist and the Muslim, who are all engage