Anthony De Mello takes your mind on a vacation to find the place inside of you that steps out to the vast stillness of Heaven.
Do you want to change the world? How about beginning with yourself? How about being transformed yourself first? How do you achieve that? Through observation. Through understanding with no interference or judgment on your part. Because what you judge you cannot understand. When you say of someone, “He’s a Republican,” understanding has stopped at that moment. You slapped a label on him. “She’s a Democrat.” Understanding has stopped at that moment. How are you going to understand what you disapprove of or what you approve of, for that matter?
All of this sounds like a new world, doesn’t it?
The first thing you need to do to wake up is get in touch with negative feelings that you’re not even aware of. Lots of people have negative feelings they’re not aware of. Lots of people are depressed and they’re not aware they are depressed. It’s only when they make contact with joy that they understand how depressed they were. You can’t get rid of boll weevils on your farm if you’re not aware of their existence. To awaken, the first thing you need is awareness of your negative feelings
The harder you try to change, the worse it can get. Does this mean that a certain degree of passivity is all right? Yes, the more you resist something, the greater power you give to it. That’s the meaning, I think, of Jesus’ words: “When someone strikes you on the right cheek, offer him your left as well.” You always empower the demons you fight. That’s very Oriental. But if you flow with the enemy, you overcome the enemy.
Some people make awakening a goal. They are determined to get there; they say, “I refuse to be happy until I’m awakened.” In that case, it’s better to be the way you are, simply to be aware of the way you are. Simple awareness is happiness compared with trying to react all the time. People react so quickly because they are not aware. You will come to understand that there are times when you will inevitably react, even in awareness. But as awareness grows, you react less and act more. It really doesn’t matter.
Do not suppress desire, because then you would become lifeless. You’d be without energy and that would be terrible. Desire in the healthy sense of the word is energy, and the more energy we have, the better. But don’t suppress desire, understand it. Understand it. Don’t seek to fulfill desire so much as to understand desire. Know your preferences. When you go through life with preferences but don’t let your happiness depend on any one of them, then you’re moving toward wakefulness
A scientist observes the behavior of ants with no further end in view than to study ants, to learn as much as possible about them. He’s not attempting to change them or train them or get anything out of them. He wants to learn as much as possible about them. That’s his attitude. The day you attain a posture like that, you will experience a miracle. You will change—effortlessly, correctly.