Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our natural state

I went through a period of my life in which I immersed myself in the writings of Anthony de Mello - to my very great benefit! This is from a transcript of a talk he gave. Click through if you want to be really challenged. For now let's look at something he said about happiness:
Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings.
Some years ago I listened to a series of tapes by Richard Rohr called "Letting Go: A Spirituality of Subtraction" that made essentially the same point as de Mello. That inner change - the one from striving for addition to embracing subtraction - is one of the most important ones we'll ever make. Let go, let go, let go. This is truly the way to peace and well being. And there's no other way. Of that I am convinced.

1 comment:

  1. Sue and I spent the weekend with two our grandchildren, Fiona 4 and Moire 18 months. They spent the whole weekend running, dancing, and squealing with unrestrained joy. After awhile it began to get on our nerves. We know we are too old when we lose our tolerance for joy.


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