Sayings of a modern mystic who was down-on-his-luck
(more about the Yogi)

"'Tolerance'" is a load of horsesh*t..."

"'Tolerance'" is a load of horsesh*t. Love me or hate me, but don't tolerate me."


The Yogi couldn't stand it when people were all nice, the "butter wouldn't melt in their mouth" kind of nice.

He couldn't deal with the "gentle Jesus meek and mild" stereotype of God either. He called God something like a "tremendous and fascinating mystery."

So one day some sort of fundamentalist guy came and was talking to the Yogi, and said something like, "I think it's ok to believe like you do. I believe in tolerance."

Well, the Yogi let him have it right between the eyes. "'Tolerance'?" he yelled. "Tolerance is a load of horsesh*t. Love me or hate me, but don't tolerate me." He told me later that he felt we shouldn't just be tolerating the beliefs of others, but embracing them, celebrating them, rejoicing in them.


This calls to mind the difficult saying of the Christ in Revelations Chapter 3 when he said to the Angel of the Church at Laodicea: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

The Yogi's saying not to be "lukewarm" may seem at first to contradict the "wisdom of the East," with its emphasis on "balance" and "the Middle Way."

But in matters of the spirit, even the East brooks no aloofness. "You must approach enlightenment," one saying goes, "like a man whose hair is on fire approaches a pond."

That kind of passion may be what the Yogi is calling for here.

By the way, the term Ananda is referring to (how the Yogi spoke of God) is "Mysterium tremendum et fascinans." It comes from The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto; "tremendum" here is not "tremendous," but rather "dreadful" or "awe-inspiring." God is not a tame servant, as many people fancy; he (it) is fiercesome, "wholly other," and not to be trifled with.

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  1. What do you think of "tolerance"? Is it so bad?
  2. What do you make of the saying of the Christ about being "cold or hot"?
  3. Which god are you more comfortable with, the "gentle" one or the "fiercesome" one? Or are these not useful categories when talking about God?

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