Someone writes of him:
Panikkar is no obscurantist or anti-intellectualist, however, for he stresses that we must communicate what we experience. Experience must be interpreted, otherwise "myth and faith would perish the moment that the innocence of the ecstatic passes away." In fact, experience is inchoate even to the subject until it is captured first at the level of mythic expression, much of which is nonverbal, then in mythologies which cast myth into the form of narrative, then in fully conceptualized systems. where mythos, to use his term, has become logos.We talk about pictures on wall, how zen dharma combat would demand something real be said about the experience in one's eye, then we follow words about the experience of meetingbrook and how it wishes to become real once more.
Given the mythic formulations in which communication is carried on, Panikkar argues, the process must become a critical one. We must critically analyze one another’s mythologies across our cultural and religious differences in order to lay bare their roots in our experience of our differing truth claims. In this kind of dialogue, the parties must maintain their respective commitment, but they must also recognize that the ways in which they express those commitments are something less than, or a distorted picture of, the truth contained in experience itself. With this recognition comes a recovery of the humility about oneself and the veneration for the absolute transcendence of God that pluralism requires.
One assumption Panikkar makes -- one that reveals the Thomistic strain in his thought (he is a Roman Catholic priest, trained in Madrid and Rome) -- is that everyone has an experience of God (even the secularist, especially the secularist) and that everyone seeks God in the form of some absolute. This absolute is embodied in each individual’s experience in some concrete way; indeed, it can be experienced only in that particular embodiment. Thus, Panikkar insists that religious particularities cannot be dispensed with; they can be critiqued, but not discarded. Any attempt to abstract the absolute out of the concreteness of experience is doomed to fail; it is a destruction of experience itself, an intellectualizing destruction that reduces the living God to an object.
(--in, "Raimundo Panikkar: Pluralism Without Relativism," by Peter Gorday, an Episcopal priest, from article in the Christian Century, December 6, 1989.
Rain slows. Roads wash out. Bridge across 2nd brook is 6 inches under torrent flow.
Saskia says, "Raimundo Panikkar says it for us." And he does.
His gift words our picture with Catalan Christophany.