We got to have lunch, yesterday, with a famous man of our time: a mystic whom some regard as the most intelligent on earth today. Peculiarly, this is his home town where his family still resides. Unbeknownst to us, this man’s brother happened to be sitting near us, and at the end of his lunch came to sit with us. (He could have known we were to be there…).
He, the brother, the younger, had rejected his older brother’s way in life – an acid-freak hippy, in today’s parlance. And he asked who we were that we had brought his brother to this Temple of Rationality, the University. When he heard who we were, colleagues in some sense, he asked me who his brother is, and why we had brought him there…where he no longer seemed to belong or to fit. I answered, telling brother about brother: not what he did, not what he is, but what is his importance, how his work and thinking had influenced ours, and what that work is.
Somehow, I think convincingly, I translated the mystic into the rational (the probably mystical into the apparently rational), telling the doubting, the rejecting brother, who the other is, in terms which made new sense. My other friends, sensing the privacy of a privileged conversation, turned away and could not watch us. I, the translator, I the broker, now of brother to brother…a magical moment. (John and David Lilly)