between he had made time to write a long letter to a close friend, in which hesaid, speaking of earlier experiences: “All of that seems to belong to another eraand to another world. I find the whole of my interest is now focused on somethingelse, on the ‘world of the spirit’, and I see everything else as so trifling andso irrelevant. The things that mattered so much in the past do not seem to matterany more. Things like those of Achaan Chah the Buddhist teacher, seem to absorb mywhole interest and I am losing my taste for other things. Is this an illusion? Ido not know. But never before in my life have I felt so happy, so free. “That just about sums up Tony as he was-and indeed as others perceived him -in hislast phase, before he left us so suddenly, three months before his fifty-sixthbirthday. And now there is already a body of literature that is growing aroundhim. a veritable golden legend, with testimonies from a variety of people,scattered the world over. Quite a few have said they never met him but wereprofoundly affected by his books. Others had enjoyed the privilege of a deeprelationship. Yet others only briefly experienced the magic of his spoken word.Not many would go along with everything that he said or did, especially after hecrossed the established boundaries of spiritual venture-nor did Tony expect adocile following, but rather the contrary. What attracted so many to his personand ideas was precisely that he challenged everyone to question, to explore, toget out of prefabricated patterns of thought and behaviour, away from stereotypes,and to dare be one’s true self-in fine, to seek an ever greater authenticity.A relentless quest for authenticity-that is how Tony’s vision came across from anyangle, at any range. And this gave to his multifaceted personality an integrity, awholeness, that had a charm and a power all its own: it reconciled opposites, notin tension but as a harmonious blend. He was most ready to make friends, to share;yet one felt there was a dimension in him that was out of reach. He could beboisterous in company, trotting out outrageous jokes, but no one could doubt hissteadfast seriousness of purpose. He changed so much and in so many ways along theyears, and nevertheless there were constants in his character that stayed firmlyin place.A striking example of this was his commitment as a Jesuit. He had moved far beyondthe enthusiastic promotion of the Spiritual Exercises according to the originaldesign of Saint Ignatius-which was the thrust for which he first came to be inter-nationally appreciated; in fact, at the end he was way out of what might berecognized as Ignatian spirituality. But he never surrendered his Jesuit identity.There was obviously nocompulsion in this; probably not much reasoning either. It was just that he feltso much in tune with the mind and heart of Ignatius, as he knew and understood theSaint.In a homily that he addressed to the Jesuit Provincials of India in 1983, beforethey and he himself participated in the last General Congregation, or Chapter ofthe Order, he shared , with them an insight into Ignatius which was even more aself-revelation of Tony;“There is a tradition among our early Fathers that God gave to Ignatius the gracesand charismas that He intended for the Society as a whole and for each individualJesuit. If I were asked to choose for myself and for our Society today from amongthe many charismas that Ignatius had. I would quite unhesitatingly choose three;his contemplation, his creativity and his courage,”Parmananda R. Divarkar S.J. 4th September. 1987WARNINGIt is s a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth in whichalone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction o/ human beings to Truthis one of hostility and fear. So the Spiritual Teachers of humanity, like Buddhaand Jesus, created a device to circumvent the opposition of their listeners: thestory They knew that the most entrancing words a language holds are, “Once upon atime...”, that it is common to oppose a truth but impossible to resist a story.