From Anthony DeMello's book The Way to Love. Narration by Paul Coutinho. What you call the experience of happiness is not happiness at all but the excitement and thrill caused by some person or thing or event. True happiness is un-caused. You are happy for no reason at all. And true happiness cannot be experienced. It is not within the realm of consciousness. It is un-self-consciousness.
Can you be said to love me if you cling to me and will not let me go, if you will not let me be? Can you be said to love me if you need me psychologically or emotionally for your happiness? This is not love; it is craving and wherever there is craving there is a threat and where there is a threat there is fear, and where there is fear there is no love because we always hate what we fear. But where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency, and no fear because perfect love casts out fear.
It is said that God was in the world for the world was created by Him but the world did not recognize Him. We have made images of God that are more unlike Him than like Him. Therefore, the first thing we need to do if we want to find God is have the readiness to realize that our ideas of God are all inadequate. Then the second thing we need to do is listen, hear, and see in a special way called heart listening, heart hearing, heart seeing. That’s all we have to do. DeMello explains how in this podcast.
Suffering is a sign given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth, that you might understand that there’s falsehood somewhere. Suffering occurs when you clash with reality. When your illusions clash with reality, when your falsehoods clash with truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering. What leads to growth is painful experiences. Suffering points up an area in you where you have not yet grown, where you need to grow and be transformed and change.
If you just suppress your desire and you attempt to renounce the object of your desire, you are likely to be tied to it. Whereas if you look at it and see it for what it is really worth, if you understand how you are preparing the grounds for misery and disappointment and depression, your desire will then be transformed into what I call a preference. When you go through life with preferences but don’t let your happiness depend on any one of them, then you’re awake.
Spiritual greed makes us attached to peace. We are saying, “Unless I’m peaceful, I won’t be happy.” Did it ever occur to you that you could be happy in tension? Before enlightenment, I used to be depressed; after enlightenment, I continue to be depressed. You don’t make a goal out of relaxation and sensitivity. Have you ever heard of people who get tense trying to relax? If one is tense, one simply observes one’s tension. You will never understand yourself if you seek to change yourself. The harder you try to change yourself, the worse it gets. You are called upon to be aware. Let tension or the calmness take care of itself. Step by step, let whatever happens happen. Real change will come when it is brought about, not by your ego, but by reality. Awareness releases reality to change you.
God is love, so what is love? Love is sensitivity, love is consciousness. A loving heart is sensitive to the whole of life, to all persons; a loving heart doesn’t harden itself to any person or thing. Love entails clarity of perception, objectivity; there is nothing so clear-sighted as love. But the moment you become attached, then you’re blocking out so much of life. You’ve got eyes only for the object of your attachment; the heart has hardened. It can no longer see life as it is.
The only way to change is by changing your understanding. But what does it mean to understand? How do we go about it? Consider how we’re enslaved by various attachments; we’re striving to rearrange the world so that we can keep these attachments, because the world is a constant threat to them. How liberating it is not to depend emotionally on anything. If you could get one second’s experience of that, you’d be breaking through your prison and getting a glimpse of the sky. Someday, maybe, you will even fly.
Life is a banquet and the tragedy is that most people are starving to death. Why? We’ve been brainwashed into believing what isn't true. Wake up and see the truth. Heaven is here and now. Don’t suffer with the pain of the past; it happened when you were asleep. Wake up! Put on a new mind. Take on a new way of looking at things! Awakening is in direct proportion to the amount of truth you can take without running away. To do that, what you need most of all is the readiness to learn something new.