Awareness - Anthony de Mello

Kindle book

My rating: 8/10


The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens.

The point is that most of what we feel and think we conjure up for ourselves in our heads, including this business of being helped by people.

On love and trust

You are never in love with anyone. You’re only in love with your prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person.

You never trust anyone. You only trust your judgment about that person. So what are you complaining about?

Prioritize your happiness first. How could you be so selfish that you would demand I choose you above my own happiness?

She would love me at the cost of her happiness and I would love her at the cost of my happiness, and so you’ve got two unhappy people, but long live love!

Waking up

Most people go to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get relief. I repeat: to get relief. Not to get out of it.

Do you know one sign that you've woken up? It’s when you are asking yourself, “Am I crazy, or are all of them crazy?”

Step one is to realize that you don't want to wake up. It's pretty difficult to wake up when you have been hypnotized into thinking that a scrap of old newspaper is a check for a million dollars.

When you fight something, you’re tied to it forever. As long as you’re fighting it, you are giving it power. You give it as much power as you are using to fight it.

The only way to get out of this is to see through it. Don't renounce it,

Three types of selfishness

  1. When I give myself the pleasure of pleasing myself
  2. When I give myself the pleasure of pleasing others.
  3. The worst is when you do something good so that you won't get a bad feeling.

Stop feeling bad about being selfish; we’re all the same.

I don't believe anyone who says that he or she does not like hurting people.

The one thing you need the most is not energy, or strength, or youthfulness, or even great intelligence. The one thing you need most of all is the readiness to learn something new.

A young man came to complain that his girlfriend had let him down, that she had played false. What are you complaining about? Did you expect any better? Expect the worst, you’re dealing with selfish people. You’re the idiot—you glorified her, didn't you? You thought she was a princess, you thought people were nice. They’re not! They’re not nice.

The selfish thing is to demand that someone else live their life as YOU see fit.

Focus on now

Why not concentrate on the now instead of hoping for better times in the future? Why not understand the now instead of forgetting it and hoping for the future? Isn't the future just another trap?

The only way someone can be of help to you is in challenging your ideas.

Self-observation

It means to watch everything in you and around you as far as possible and watch it as if it were happening to someone else.

The reason you suffer from your depression and your anxieties is that you identify with them.

If you want to be accurate, you might say, “I am experiencing a depression right now.” But you can hardly say, “I am depressed.” You are not your depression.

You would be the sky, observing the clouds.

You’re not interfering. Don't interfere. Don't fix anything. Watch! Observe!

If you desire to change what is into what you think should be, you no longer understand.

That's the most liberating, wonderful thing in the world, when you openly admit you’re an ass.

Disarmed, everybody has to be disarmed. In the final liberation, I'm an ass, you're an ass.

If you ever let yourself feel good when people tell you that you’re O.K., you are preparing yourself to feel bad when they tell you you’re not good.

Are you aware of your reactions as you listen to me? If you aren't, you're going to be brainwashed.

Be aware of your presence in this room.

Am I my thoughts, the thoughts that I am thinking? No. Thoughts come and go; I am not my thoughts.

Grief is a sign that I made my happiness depend on this thing or person, at least to some extent.

The three most difficult things for a human being are not 29 physical feats or intellectual achievements. They are, first, returning love for hate; second, including the excluded; third, admitting that you are wrong.

Don't seek the truth; just drop your opinions.

Society

The main preoccupation of society is to keep society sick!

Are you your clothes? Are you your name? Are you your profession? Stop identifying with them. They come and go.

Four steps to wisdom

  1. Get in touch with negative feelings that you’re not even aware of.
  2. Understand that the feeling is in you, not in reality.
  3. Never identify with that feeling. Don’t define your essential self in terms of that feeling. Don't say, “I am depressed.” If you want to say, “It is depressed,” that’s all right. If you want to say depression is there, that’s fine; if you want to say gloominess is there, that’s fine. But not: I am gloomy.
  4. How do you change things? How do you change yourselves?

The day you are different, they will become different.

“You go ahead and be yourself, that’s all right, but I’ll protect myself, I’ll be myself.”

As you identify less and less with the “I,” you will be more at ease with everybody and with everything. Do you know why? Because you are no longer afraid of being hurt or not liked. You no longer desire to impress anyone.

I’d much rather hear you say, “I’ve come awake,” than hear you say, “I’m sorry.” I’d much rather hear you say to me,

Say I get plastic surgery and I become beautiful again. Does the “I” really become beautiful?

Even when someone supposedly was mean to you, there is no room for apology. Nobody was mean to you. Somebody was mean to what he or she thought was you, but not to you.

They’re only rejecting what they think you are.

On God

The highest knowledge of God is to know God as unknowable. There is far too much God talk; the world is sick of it.

We don't have to quarrel about a word, because “God” is only a word, a concept. One never quarrels about reality; we only quarrel about opinions, about concepts, about judgments. Drop your concepts, drop your opinions, drop your prejudices, drop your judgments, and you will see that.

Negative feelings

Pleasant experiences make life delightful. Painful experiences lead to growth.

“Who says that worry doesn’t help? It certainly does help. Every time I worry about something it doesn’t happen!”

Only a very aware person can refuse to pick up the guilt and anger, can say, “You’re having a tantrum. Too bad. I don’t feel the slightest desire to rescue you anymore, and I refuse to feel guilty.” I’m not going to hate myself for anything I’ve done.

It isn't nature that does the injury, but the person's own heart.

Being free

One cannot make a slave of a free person, for a free person is free even in prison.

The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave.

Thoughts

When you see the sun, you’re seeing it where it was eight and a half minutes ago, not where it is now. Because it takes a ray of the sun eight and a half minutes to get to us.


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