Reveals the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People
By: Marketwire .
Mar. 29, 2011 04:00 AM
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 03/29/11 -- The Watkins
Review is pleased to announce its list of the 100 Most Spiritually
Influential Living People. The Spiritual 100 list ranks spiritual leaders
and authors including the Dalai Lama (#2), Deepak Chopra (#5),
Nelson Mandela (#19), the Pope (#34), and the best selling author
Eckhart Tolle at #1. The spring issue features a full eleven pages
highlighting each of these inspirational individuals.
The Spiritual Heroes that I have been fortunate enough to find in my life
have always stood somewhere dangerous, somewhere that has always appeared
totally inconceivable. Like the edge of a cliff with their heels dangling over the
precipice as if they were a diver preparing for a back flip. And all the while just
speaking to me in the most unassuming of voices. Just quietly blowing my mind
as if it was the most natural thing in the world, with the wind whipping up a
storm, and their heels dangling over the edge, and my mind quietly breaking
Mitch Horowitz is the author of: Occult America
has been a recent guest on New Realities television a has written a great article about that fuzzy boundary between cult and true spiritual practce.
Check out his article in the Wall Street Journal:
Messages to assist you in awakening from your dream state are flowing in from many sources as the moment for this exhilarating event draws ever closer. The number of sentient beings offering you encouragement and support is enormous because there are so many of you, and not one of you is alone or without guidance and love. If you are having difficulty accessing it or believing it, it is because your fear of disappointment and your doubts of your worthiness to be a part of the grand awakening, or your doubts about the grand awakening actually occurring, do distract you, and make it very difficult for you to feel the love and sense the guidance you are being offered.
I have previously stressed the importance of taking time out regularly throughout the day to relax and quieten your minds so that your illusory worries and anxieties do not overwhelm you. When you forget to do this, or when you do take time out alone but allow your worries to hold your attention, your support for the illusion intensifies and your doubts multiply. Make apoint of noticing your anxious and doubting thoughts; notice that they are thoughts from which you can disengage. You do not have to be absorbed into them so that it seems that you and your worries are one — for they are merely thoughts and ideas that you can disregard.
You have all experienced people sharing their thoughts with you — thoughts with which you do not resonate — and you have had no difficulty letting them go and paying them no attention. Many of the thoughts that float into your minds are just like those. It is solely because humans tend to identify themselves with the thoughts flowing into their minds that you find it hard not to attend to them all as though they had great value for you. But you are not your thoughts, and you can see this very easily by noticing any one thought that occurs to you and choosing to replace it with a different one. The thought departs, and you remain.
In your daily quiet periods you can practice observing your thoughts as they flow into your minds, and make decisions about whether or not you want to pay them some attention. As you do this and choose not to attend to some of them, your minds will become quieter, leaving spaces for answers from your guides— to questions for which you have been seeking answers — to slip into your awareness. When you allow this to happen it shows you that you do entertain many thoughts that do you no good, and that in fact disturb your peace of mind. When you become aware of this you will find it far easier to acknowledge them and release them, and in so doing you will find yourselves feeling calmer and more peaceful as the stress of daily living reduces, and the thoughts that cause you worry and anxiety occupy far less of your time. Frequently you will observe that many of them are about what someone else might or might not think, say, or do, and there is nothing that you can do about the issue, except let it go. If it becomes necessary to respond you will do so at the appropriate time . . . dwelling on it in advance is often rather counterproductive.
“Katie noticed a woman sitting in the chair by the side of the bed. She sat with her legs apart as an un-refined old lady might & held her hands in front of her, making inter-locking rings of her thumbs & fore-fingers. She looked wonder-full to Katie, voluptuous — an old lady in a dark paisley dress, her hair in a bun on top of her head. Before she eventually merged with THE LADY, Katie would ask others who were in the same room with her wherein she was watching THE LADY if they were also able to see THE LADY & no one but Katie was ever actually able to see THE LADY.
“The LADY stayed with her for as long as Katie needed her, approximately 7 years. Katie discovered that if she exaggerated any experience or deviated in the slightest manner from the TRUTH, then the LADY would be standing in the corner with her head down. Katie would feel her absence & move toward her & MY LADY would say without words : “I ABIDE ONLY IN TRUTH.”
Katie said about MY LADY: “ What I have come to know is that I projected the LADY. What happened with MY LADY is that I automatically projected her out there ... like a movie ... not on purpose, but as a result of a perceived painful limitation I was experiencing in this dimension. Some people would project Christ, others Krishna. I projected this fat LADY with a bun on her head, wearing a paisley dress. That’s who I could trust.”
The sudden transformation of Byron Katie serves as a remarkable testimony to the powers of spiritual resurrection that live in each of us.
Born Byron Kathleen Reid in Breckenridge, Texas, on December 6th, 1942, she was raised in the years following World War II in the small desert town of Needles, California. Her mother said that she was named Byron for money, after a wealthy second cousin offered financial support if the child was given his name, and she was named Kathleen for love. Growing up, everyone called her Katie.
Her home-maker mother and her father, a railroad worker, saw Katie grow from a quiet, thoughtful little girl into an aggressive, competitive teenager who sought to be the best in everything she did. A top student, she played piano and sang in a regional choir. Beautiful, energetic, and fun, Katie was voted first runner-up for queen of her high school prom.
At nineteen she married Robert, her high school sweetheart. They moved to Fresno; two sons and a daughter soon followed. Robert and Katie formed their own company as equal partners. When her marriage, like many, met with difficulties, Katie, a perfectionist and high achiever, suffered the belief that she was not enough. She began striving for the usual symbols of happiness and security — money, beauty, talent, and success.
Katie invested their mutual earnings in real estate. Within a few years, she and Robert owned shares of numerous buildings in Needles’s business district. They bought a grand riverfront house and threw lavish parties attended by an elite and influential local crowd. By the 1970s, Katie had become a millionaire.
Katie now had her long-sought success. She was doing big business, raising a family, living high. But it wasn’t enough; nothing pleased or satisfied her. In her increasingly frustrated and ultimately futile search for happiness through money and power, Katie had “bullied, intimidated, and badgered” anyone, even her husband and children, to get her way.
But in the midst of having everything and seeking more, her passion had turned to desperation. Her marriage with Robert became a battle of wills, her family life a series of skirmishes. They were all casualties, especially the children. “If I didn’t get my way,” Byron Katie said, “I would leave the house and take the children with me.”
The third time she did this, Robert got involved with another woman. This was a time of darkness for Katie and for her children, but the seeds had been sown long before. For years she had held back the darkness and emptiness with food, alcohol, tobacco, and constant striving. But her strategy took its toll; her progressive disintegration led to rages, alcohol abuse, and paranoia. At one point she bought a gun and kept it loaded under her bed. Finally, even her children feared her. When her marriage ended in 1976, Katie and the children wound up penniless in Barstow, California.
Then, in 1979, she married Paul, an old friend fifteen years her senior. When Paul was nineteen and Katie four, he had paved the street where she lived. She still recalled being captivated by his laughter; she had loved him even then. Katie and Paul began buying, fixing up, and reselling old houses and were soon quite wealthy — Katie still had the knack. Once again she had money, friends, a thriving career, and a family she loved. But the meaning had drained out of her existence. She felt herself dying inside.
Paul, a good man, had married Katie on her way down. He’d seen a couple of friends have nervous breakdowns. But he’d never witnessed anything like his wife’s terrifying descent. Katie had once taken on the world, charmed people, closed deals, made money. Now, afraid to leave the house, she went weeks without bathing, changing her clothes, or brushing her teeth.
She spent days in bed — drinking, smoking, raging, popping codeine, eating ice cream by the gallon. Her weight shot up to over two hundred pounds. Her torment and her rage were unrelieved: “Nothing felt good, nothing made me happy, nothing brought me peace. In the end I was obese and starving. I was in so much pain and the pills weren’t working. I was insane, a dead woman still breathing.”
Her children spun off in their own mad directions, fleeing their cyclone mother raging on her bed. Paul became Katie’s primary caretaker — her buffer to a world she now feared. During the first seven years of their marriage, Paul suffered four heart attacks; the strain of caring for his wife came close to killing him. Katie spent the last two of those years lying on the bed, her unchanged clothing often plastered to her body and her unwashed hair matted to her head.
In 1986, after his fourth heart attack, Paul took Katie, now 43 years old, to a half-way house. Because she was terrorizing the other clients, she was forcefully put in the attic by the therapists of the half-way house & the door of the attic was locked from the outside. Lying on the floor, she re-members that she lay there with closed eyes & had the thought: “ All I want now is TO DIE.”
Katie then opened up her eyes and saw a cockroach crawling across a human foot. She did not, in that moment, know what a foot, or for that matter what anything, was. All was a mystery. Byron Kathleen Reid had in fact “died.”
Yet the sight of the insect, the foot, the leg, and the room filled her with delight and awe. She was a new-born — born from the dead — gazing in wonder at Life. “It was the most amazing thing,” she recalled. “I looked at the foot and the leg and I had never seen anything so beautiful and marvelous. It was the same with the floor, with the cockroach, and with the light, seeing it for the first time…and the unfolding of it was so incredible…total, total joy.”
The world was new. Katie had awakened from “an ancient dream.” Whatever had previously obscured her view of life’s inherent perfection was gone. Now, from moment to moment, she saw and joyously embraced reality exactly as it was. Everything she gazed upon, within and without, glowed with radiant Life.
We may never know what catalyzed this simple yet absolute turn-around in perception and consciousness. But one thing was certain: Overnight, Katie had moved from suicidal despair to ecstatic freedom. The mad-woman had vanished. In her place appeared a beautiful changeling, an innocent child.
No one, least of all Katie, understood what had happened. Her daughter Roxann at first believed that her mother was playing a trick. Yet she saw a different person come home. “Her face was changed completely,” Roxann reported. “Her eyes were cleared. She was not the same person.”
Understandably, Roxann feared the return of the mad-woman she had known. But what had happened to Katie persisted and only deepened over time. Her past behind her, her future yet to unfold, she now lived in the eternal present. Her contact with everyday reality — with people, objects, and situations — though at times bewildering, continued to fill her with wonder & joy.
For a time, Roxann led her mother — still absorbed in a child-like state of awe — around by the hand. Katie would spontaneously hug people on the street — friends, strangers, the homeless — with equal delight. Not surprisingly, perhaps sensing her unconditional love and acceptance, many let her hug them. She was called “the lit lady” & many would label her as “too lit.”
For seven years after the awakening, inner revelations came to Katie, and she tried to put them into words to share with others: “…there is only love…there is no time…unlearning is everything….” But she had leaped across a chasm of consciousness, and no words seemed capable of building a bridge for those who couldn’t see to the other side. She said of that time: “I was wild with love, mad with love.” But words couldn’t convey it. She had to live her Self-realization to sustain it.
Katie stopped trying to tell people what they hadn’t asked to hear and began to simply love — to love those she had known, those she had harmed, and those she now met — no longer expecting them to understand, to be good, to love her back, or to be anything other than who they were. She was turning down the burner on being “too lit” & finding a new center.
Living the truth had nothing to do with changing other people. Who they were, and what they did, was their business. Her only business was to love them unconditionally. By living in this way, Katie gradually regained the trust of the family she had nearly destroyed, and helped to heal them.
One night six months after her awakening, Katie experienced a kind of spiritual agony from the tension of trying to live and love in a world that did not yet understand or accept who she was. An old woman appeared to her, sitting in a chair beside the bed, “a wonderful, voluptuous old lady with her hair tied in a bun.” In this altered state, she saw herself and Paul, lying on the bed, as two primal beings who didn’t yet realize that they didn’t have to suffer. Life itself was unfolding perfectly.
For the next seven years, the marvelous old woman appeared to guide Katie: “What I’ve come to know is that I projected the lady…like a movie…as a result of a perceived painful limitation I was experiencing in this dimension. We give ourselves exactly what we need. We supply our own medicine. Today I don’t wait for angels. I AM always the angel I have been awaiting, and so are you. It’s not out there, it’s in here. Some people would project Christ, others Krishna. I projected a fat lady with a bun on her head wearing a paisley dress — that’s who I could trust. Now I trust All. I woke up knowing that “God is everything— everything is GOOD.” There is no exception in my experience. Why would I not live this? Anything else is suffering.”
Katie’s thoughts returned, of course, as thoughts do — and with them judgments, fears, and expectations. At such times she felt herself slipping from the freedom of her awakening into the mind of suffering. But whenever this happened, she worked her way back by a compassionate vigilance, inspecting the thoughts, beliefs, and false assumptions that separated her from others and set her against life. Doing THE WORK — as she called it — returned her gracefully to the pristine awareness & immaculate innocence of the original awakening.
THE WORK became her constant practice. Through this process, and her unconditional acceptance of life, Katie made peace with each moment — and with every event past or present. “All that I went through — every breath,” she said, “was what it took for me to finally wake up. All experience teaches love in the long run. All needs are supplied. Every experience of Life is for this.”
Byron Katie went on to travel worldwide teaching the Work — the fruit of her past struggles, her extraordinary awakening, and her continual surrender to Life as it arises, moment to moment.
Bios for Dan Millman and Doug Childers:
The above excerpt about Byron Katie’s awakening is from the book Bridge BETWEEN Worlds:
To read this entire article by Millman & Childers on the WORLD WIDE WEB, go to:
From Miceal website: http://www.hamburgeruniverse.com
If ants thought about God they would surely think of God as an ant - admittedly in a much grander form. And if elephants thought about God, surely they would think of God as some kind of super-pachyderm. While fully realizing this dynamic, human beings, for all our much vaunted intelligence, never seem to have quite got the point. We still persist in thinking of God as a person, purged of at least the more obvious vices andlimitations, but still fundamentally just a human being enlarged.
It's equally true that many of the more fanatical religious believers desperately want to hold on to that small kind of God as described in their scriptures. And they ferociously resist any attempt to change the picture. This religious ferocity against anyone perceived to be against your particular religious interpretation is something at which I have never ceased to wonder. It should be obvious that if God stands in need of such defense by us creatures, then "he" must not be all he is cracked up to be, and is in even a worse state than if "he" just needed worship. In short, behind these ferocious responses from the embattled variety of religious believer, probably lies not just a very weak and ill-informed theology, but ultimately a not so subtle form of atheism.
How is it that religions have never latched on to the wonders of the physical universe which are emerging through scientific research? Doing that might have given the religions not just a new lease of life, but might have directed them more realistically on to the path they claimed to have been following all along. We have seen many young people, in particular, who find God attractive but the religions that claim to be God's instruments irrelevant. This new generation has nothing very concrete against the religions; they just see them as irrelevant to modern life. Instead of religion they have identified something vaguely called "spirituality" to which they adhere.
But when are we also going to get past spirituality, which is still dealing with some vague version of an external divine force, and realize that reality does not consist of two broad categories, the physical, "natural" world, and the supernatural realms, but only of one continuous panorama whose more profound elements far surpass anything that could ever have been described under the old label of "supernatural?" Given the limits on our abilities to know, it should long ago have been obvious that, whatever God is, God is far more a verb than a noun. Furthermore, when are we going to realize that God as verb has none of the psychotic, neurotic and insecure qualities which the traditional human-style descriptions of God have for so long had at their core, and which are so passionately defended by equally neurotic and insecure followers?
Why it is that mainstream science is in many respects the world's greatest religion today, replete with its high priesthood, dogmas and excommunications? And why do we still insist that traditional style religion can be the only bedrock foundation for ethical behavior? If we really believed that, then we should still be stoning adulteresses. And if we no longer do that, then we should ask, was it religion that caused that change in practice to come about? Or did it come from elsewhere? And should we really fear that if the religious basis for ethics and morality won't stand up, that all is lost and we'll descend irretrievably into the barbarism of dog eat dog?
I don't think any of those worries are justified.
We have all heard of the "God Gene," and the "God Particle;" of "God and the New Physics," and "God in the Equation." And it appears the leading physicists have been quick to recognize how a touch of the divine, in their titles at least, can do wonders for sales. But fundamentally we still remain stuck in molds of interpretation that see everything through two completely different understandings of how the universe works.
After the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? first appeared I was often asked if I believed that leading edge physics had replaced religion in the modern world. Bewildering assumptions about what is normal or natural is what has led us into this apparent impasse, with its apparently mutually exclusive categories of science and religion. This question can't be readily answered while we remain in that dichotomy. These are some of the issues I will explore in the forthcoming editions of the "Global Intelligencer." http://www.hamburgeruniverse.com
Copyright © 2007 Míceál F. Ledwith All rights reserved
I still have to keep reminding myself that people - even so-called
scientists, are serious about Christianity, or any other religion/spiritual
Not only do the religions flout almost everything in what they consider
their holy scriptures, but they deny actual 'hard evidence' about the
foundation of their religion/spiritual practice.
("Thou shalt not kill" "Love they neighbour." "Make no graven image."
"If you meet me on the road, kill me." "Be a light on to yourself."
That sort of thing.)
Just watched yet another excellent 'neutral' documentary about the origins
of Christianity. (I am sure there are lots on the Web.)
One salient point was when, some years ago, a carved stone tablet was found
in Egypt with a story about a virgin mother who gave birth in a stable;
three visiting kings bearing gifts; shepherds being summoned; a child who
did miracles; was crucified; rose from the dead after three days.
The same story was carved in three languages: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Greek,
and one other other language.
Here is the thing: The stone tablet was carbon-dated to show it was written
three thousand years - before the supposed birth of Christ.
The mother was Isis and the child Horace.
The doco also mentioned that there is no historical mention in the holy land
of anyone called Jesus, or any of the events purported.
When these facts were shown to religious scholars they waffled like
politicians attempting to avoid the fact that they have not lived up to
their election promises.
This is what I get from the situation...
From the historical data there seems almost no doubt that what has been
reported is not true. So if this is not true - what else have we assumed are
facts when in reality they are just fantasies.
The remedy for being free from any conditioning is simple...
Disconnect from the part of the brain that refers to the past and projected
future - and live, (unconditionally) in the moment.
Unfortunately this will mean taking responsibility for yourself.
It means being so present to the moment that it is realised that the moment
is all that is.
Foundational Principle for this Conversation: An intention to experience all there is: physical, emotional, and whatever else can be experienced
as an expression of life at its most essential and expansive.
Definition: Spiritual – Related to the divine.
STUDENT: I believe in the idea of something being spiritual or divinely inspired, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin in talking about it.
LEWIS: As we integrate our vision for our life with our daily actions and our wants with our essential needs there is a realization that takes place. I call this a spiritual realization.
STUDENT: And what is this spiritual realization?
LEWIS: The understanding that what we call reality, the accumulated physical experiences and sensations are no more than an illusion of the senses – a creation from our eyes, ears, and taste buds.
STUDENT: Please explain.
LEWIS: We smell things through our nostrils and feel things through the power of touch. And yet we can see that all this sensory input is subjective. It is different for each person and even changes for us through the years as we age.
STUDENT: How does this connect to spiritual intention?
LEWIS: I believe that the ability to speak of this experience in a way that has an application to our life is “wisdom.” I personally see wisdom as a reflection of spiritual intention (See the Conversation on Self-Actualization).
LEWIS: A wise person is much more than a knowledgeable person.
A wise person – a spiritual person – has the ability to experience the true nature of inner reality. Such a person understands the nature of the world and all of its subtleties.
STUDENT: How is wisdom different from knowledge?
LEWIS: Knowledge is stored information. Many of the great teachers were skeptical regarding the importance of intellectual knowledge without a greater more profound element.
STUDENT: Please discuss this on a deeper level.
LEWIS: There are many philosophers that believe that their are some things that can be known and other things that can never be known. Those things that can be known they would call the "knowable." The knowable would include finite knowledge. An example of finite knowledge would be facts about something or any knowledge that reflects the workings of the intellect. Those things that cannot be known are known as the "unknowable." The unknowable would refer to that which we sense through the intuition or which we might call spiritual awareness.
STUDENT: Which is more important?
LEWIS: We must seek both in order to live our best life.
STUDENT: Is it possible that we all have the wisdom we seek within us?
LEWIS: Yes, yet sadly and foolishly we search for it in churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples. We have been convinced and continue to convince ourselves that collecting icons, joining religious organizations, and worshipping Pope’s, Rabbi's, Lamas and Ayatollahs is a spiritual practice (See the Conversation on Religion and Regenerative Thought Programs – RTPs).
STUDENT: What about sacred places? Would a pilgrimage to such a place be considered a spiritual intention?
LEWIS: It could be. The sacred is certainly an important part of spiritual intention. But I ask you, is it possible that it is the pain of our longing for transformation and self actualization that makes us run to holy cities, and rivers – and much of this is all in vain?
STUDENT: Is there any common thread of what is “spiritual” that one might find by studying some of the great spiritual thinkers through history?
LEWIS: There are some spiritual teachers that believe that spirituality is a harmony that exists between macrocosm and microcosm: between the inner truth known as Wisdom, that lies within us and the way we live our lives; between the social and cultural behavior we exhibit? That to live a spiritual life we must
discard, even transcend the rites, rules, and rituals we have created throughout time in some imitation of what we think spiritual is.
STUDENT: Please relate spiritual intention to the other sixteen Wealth and Freedom Resources? LEWIS: A person who has a spiritual intention can intuitively and automatically leverage each of the resources as needed to maintain a state where love and freedom reigns.
Anthony de Mello (4 September 1931 - 2 June 1987) was a Jesuit priest, psychotherapist and writer who became widely known for his books on spirituality. From: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anthony_de_Mello
"I wish to become a teacher of the Truth."
"Are you prepared to be ridiculed, ignored and starving till you are forty-five?"
"I am. But tell me: What will happen after I am forty-five?"
"You will have grown accustomed to it."
Wellsprings : A Book of Spiritual Exercises (1985), p. 19
- Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep. They're born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know — all mystics — Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion — are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.
As quoted in Approaching God : How to Pray (1995) by Steve Brown, p. 94
The genius of a composer is found in the notes of his music; but analyzing the notes will not reveal his genius. The poet's greatness is contained in his words; yet the study of his words will not disclose his inspiration. God reveals himself in creation; but scrutinize creation as minutely as you wish, you will not find God, any more than you will find the soul through careful examination of your body.
Awakening : Conversations with the Masters (2003), p. 24
"What, concretely, is Enlightenment?"
"Seeing Reality as it is," said the Master.
"Doesn't everyone see Reality as it is?"
"Oh, no! Most people see it as they think it is."
"What's the difference?"
"The difference between thinking you are drowning in a stormy sea and knowing you cannot drown because there isn't any water in sight for miles around."
Awakening : Conversations with the Masters (2003), p. 221
One Minute Wisdom (1989)
- The finest language is the one that is not spoken.
- If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people.
- Obedience keeps the rules … Love knows when to break them.
- No one can help the fish to find the ocean.
- Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance.
- Can one talk about the ocean to a frog in a well or about the divine to people who are restricted by their concepts?
- Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?
- The Master is not concerned with what we believe — only with what we see.
- The Master would frequently assert that holiness was less a matter of what one did than of what one allowed to happen.
- Nobody can be said to have attained the pinnacle of Truth until a thousand sincere people have denounced him for blasphemy.
- A good teacher offers practice, a bad one offers theories.
- If you never condemned you would never need to forgive.
- Wisdom comes to those who learn nothing, unlearn everything. That transformation is the consequence not of something done, but of something dropped.
These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness.
This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words, that lies beyond the reach of words. If you are fortunate enough to be Awakened thus, you will know why the finest language is the one that is not spoken, the finest action is the one that is not done and the finest change is the one that is not willed.
To a disciple who was forever complaining about others the Master said, "If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth."
To a visitor who asked to become his disciple the Master said, "You may live with me, but don't become my follower."
"Whom, then, shall I follow?"
"No one. The day you follow someone you cease to follow Truth."
"Why is everyone here so happy except me?"
"Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere," said the Master.
"Why don't I see goodness and beauty everywhere?"
"Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside."
There were rules in the monastery, but the Master always warned against the tyranny of the law.
"Obedience keeps the rules," he would say. "Love knows when to break them."
"You are only a disciple because your eyes are closed. The day you open them you will see there is nothing you can learn from me or anyone."
"What then is a Master for?"
"To make you see the uselessness of having one."
The sun and its light, the ocean and the wave, the singer and his song — not one. Not two.
"Help us to find God."
"No one can help you there."
"For the same reason that no one can help the fish to find the ocean."
To a visitor who described himself as a seeker after Truth the Master said, "If what you seek is Truth, there is one thing you must have above all else."
"I know. An overwhelming passion for it."
"No. An unremitting readiness to admit you may be wrong."
When you are guilty, it is not your sins you hate but yourself.
Is there life before death? — that is the question!
Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance.
When you come to see you are not as wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you are wiser today.
Whatever is truly alive must die. Look at the flowers; only plastic flowers never die.
The Master was exceedingly gracious to university dons who visited him, but he would never reply to their questions or be drawn into their theological speculations. To his disciples, who marveled at this, he said, "Can one talk about the ocean to a frog in a well or about the divine to people who are restricted by their concepts?"
People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change.
A disciple said to him, "I am ready, in the quest for God, to give up anything: wealth, friends, family, country, life itself. What else can a person give up?"
The Master calmly replied, "One's beliefs about God."
Every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description.
The disciples were absorbed in a discussion of Lao-tzu's dictum: Those who know do not say; Those who say do not know.
When the master entered, they asked him what the words meant.
Said the master, "Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?"
All of them indicated that they knew.
Then he said, "put it into words."
All of them were silent.
When I speak, you must not listen to the words, my dear. Listen to the Silence.
Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.
The Master is not concerned with what we believe — only with what we see.
The Master would frequently assert that holiness was less a matter of what one did than of what one allowed to happen.
Thought can organize the world so well that you are no longer able to see it.
A thought is a screen, not a mirror; that is why you live in a thought envelope, untouched by Reality.
Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If every one of you agrees to practise this, bitterness will die out, harmony will arise.
The Master would insist that the final barrier to our attaining God was the word and concept "God."
A disciple was one day recalling how Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed were branded as rebels and heretics by their contemporaries.
Said the Master, Nobody can be said to have attained the pinnacle of Truth until a thousand sincere people have denounced him for blasphemy.
The Master never ceased to attack the notions about God that people entertain.
A good teacher offers practice, a bad one offers theories.
The feigning sleeper can delude others — he cannot delude himself. The false mystic, unfortunately, can delude both others and himself.
If you never condemned you would never need to forgive.
A zealous disciple expressed a desire to teach others the Truth and asked the Master what he thought about this. The Master said, "Wait."
Each year the disciple would return with the same request and each time the Master would give him the same reply: "Wait."
One day he said to the Master, "When will I be ready to teach?"
Said the Master, "When your excessive eagerness to teach has left you."
"What is love?"
"The total absence of fear," said the Master.
"What is it we fear?"
"Love," said the Master.
The Master insisted that what he taught was nothing, what he did was nothing.
His disciples gradually discovered that Wisdom comes to those who learn nothing, unlearn everything.
That transformation is the consequence not of something done, but of something dropped.
A writer arrived at the monastery to write a book about the Master.
"People say you are a genius. Are you?" he asked.
"You might say so." said the Master, none too modestly.
"And what makes one a genius?" "The ability to recognize." "Recognize what?"
"The butterfly in a caterpillar: the eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being."
Much advance publicity was made for the address the Master would deliver on The Destruction of the World and a large crowd gathered at the monastery grounds to hear him.
The address was over in less than a minute. All he said was:
"These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness."
"What kind of a person does Enlightenment produce?"
Said the Master:
"To be public-spirited and belong to no party,
to move without being bound to any given course,
to take things as they come,
have no remorse for the past,
no anxiety for the future,
to move when pushed,
to come when dragged,
to be like a mighty gale,
like a feather in the wind,
like weeds floating on a river,
like a mill-stone meekly grinding,
to love all creation equally
as heaven and earth are equal to all
— such is the product of Enlightenment."
On hearing these words one of the younger disciples cried, "This sort of teaching is not for the living but for the dead," and walked away, never to return.
Happiness is our natural state.
As you identify less and less with the "me," you will be more at ease with everybody and with everything.
I'd much rather hear you say, "I've come awake," than hear you say, "I'm sorry."
No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that.
We're always dying to things. We're always shedding everything in order to be fully alive and resurrected at every moment.
Happiness is not something you acquire; love is not something you produce; love is not something you have; love is something that has you.
The most ruthless murderers are those who kill for their ideas.
They follow, not their common sense, but what they think their Scriptures say.
My commitment is not to consistency but to the Truth.
The law is a necessary evil and as such must be cut down to the barest minimum.
When someone offends you, you can raise your spirits to heights where offenses cannot reach.
All God statements were poetic or symbolic expressions of the Unknowable; people, however, foolishly took them as literal descriptions of the divine.
Work becomes spiritual only when it is transformed into play.
The Master persistently warned against the attempt to encompass Reality in a concept or a name.
A religious belief… is not a statement about Reality, but a hint, a clue about something that is a mystery, beyond the grasp of human thought.
There's nothing you can do to see — it is a gift.
There is something whereby each broken thing is bound again and every stain made clean.
One always treads with a joyful step when one has dropped the burden called the ego.
No one is exempt from talking nonsense. The great misfortune is to do it solemnly.
The Master in these tales is not a single person. He is a Hindu Guru, a Zen Roshi, a Taoist Sage, a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Monk, a Sufi Mystic. He is Lao-tzu and Socrates; Buddha and Jesus; Zarathustra and Mohammed. His teaching is found in the seventh century B.C. and the twentieth century A.D. His wisdom belongs to East and West alike. Do his historical antecedents really matter? History, after all, is the record of appearances, not Reality; of doctrines, not of Silence.
The Master was allergic to ideologies.
"In a war of ideas," he said, "it is people who are the casualties." Later he elaborated: "People kill for money or for power. But the most ruthless murderers are those who kill for their ideas."
You will seek for God in vain till you understand that God can't be seen as a "thing"; he needs a special way of looking — similar to that of little children whose sight is undistorted by prefabricated doctrines and beliefs.
"When you speak about Reality," said the Master, "you are attempting to put the Inexpressible into words, so your words are certain to be misunderstood. Thus people who read that expression of Reality called the Scriptures become stupid and cruel for they follow, not their common sense, but what they think their Scriptures say."
He had the perfect parable to show this: A village blacksmith found an apprentice willing to work hard at low pay. The smith immediately began his instructions to the lad: "When I take the metal out of the fire, I'll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head you hit it with the hammer." The apprentice did precisely what he thought he was told. Next day he was the village blacksmith.
Those who make no mistakes are making the biggest mistakes of all — they are attempting nothing new.
"Tell me," said the atheist, "Is there a God — really?"
Said the master, "If you want me to be perfectly honest with you, I will not answer."
Later the disciples demanded to know why he had not answered.
"Because the question is unanswerable," said the Master.
"So you are an atheist?"
"Certainly not. The atheist makes the mistake of denying that of which nothing may be said... and the theist makes the mistake of affirming it.
"What is the secret of your serenity?
Said the Master "Wholehearted cooperation with the inevitable."
My commitment is not to consistency but to the Truth.
To those who seek to protect their ego true Peace brings only disturbance.
A disciple asked, "Who is a Master?"
The Master replied, "Anyone to whom it is given to let go of the ego. Such a person's life is then a masterpiece."
Wisdom can be learned. But it cannot be taught.
"The law is an expression of God's holy will and as such must be honored and loved," said the preacher piously.
"Rubbish," said the Master. "The law is a necessary evil and as such must be cut down to the barest minimum. Show me a lover of the law and I will show you a muttonheaded tyrant."
Some people write to make a living; others to share their insights or raise questions that will haunt their readers; others yet to understand their very souls. None of these will last. That distinction belongs to those who write only because if they did not write they would burst... These writers give expression to the divine — no matter what they write about.
One year of life is worth more than twenty years of hibernation.
"Name one practical, down-to-earth effect of spirituality," said the skeptic who was ready for an argument.
"Here's one," said the Master. "When someone offends you, you can raise your spirits to heights where offenses cannot reach."
Look for competence not claims.
"What is the work of a Master?" said a solemn-faced visitor.
"To teach people to laugh," said the Master gravely.
Before creation Love was. After creation love is made. When love is consummated, creation will cease to be, and Love will be forever.
The master never let a statement about God go unchallenged. All God statements were poetic or symbolic expressions of the Unknowable; people, however, foolishly took them as literal descriptions of the divine.
The Master once referred to the Hindu notion that all creation is "leela" — God's play — and the universe is his playground. The aim of spirituality, he claimed, is to make all life play.
This seemed too frivolous for a puritanical visitor. "Is their no room then for work?"
"Of course there is. But work becomes spiritual only when it is transformed into play."
("Leela" is more commonly spelled "Lila")
"What is my identity?"
"Nothing," said the Master.
"You mean that I am an emptiness and a void?" said the incredulous disciple.
"Nothing that can be labeled." said the Master.
The master enjoined not austerity, but moderation. If we truly enjoyed things, he claimed, we would be spontaneously moderate. Asked why he was so opposed to ascetical practices, he replied, "Because they produce pleasure-haters who always become people-haters — rigid and cruel."
When God means you to be a healer he sends you patients; when he makes you a teacher he sends you pupils; when he destines you to be a Master he sends you stories.
The best things in life cannot be willed into being.
You can will an act of service but you cannot will love.
A disciple, in his reverence for the Master, looked upon him as God incarnate.
"Tell me, O Master," he said, "why you have come into this world."
"To teach fools like you to stop wasting their time worshiping Masters."
The Master persistently warned against the attempt to encompass Reality in a concept or a name. A scholar in mysticism once asked, "When you speak of BEING, sir, is it eternal, transcendent being you speak of, or transient, contingent being?"
The Master closed his eyes in thought. Then he opened them, put on his most disarming expression, and said, "Yes!"
The master made it his task to systematically destroy every doctrine, every belief, every concept of the divine, for these things, which were originally intended as pointers, were now taken as descriptions. He loved to quote the Eastern saying: "When the sage points at the moon, all that the idiot sees is the finger."
A religious belief… is not a statement about Reality, but a hint, a clue about something that is a mystery, beyond the grasp of human thought. In short, a religious belief is only a finger pointing to the moon. Some religious people never get beyond the study of the finger. Others are engaged in sucking it. Others yet use the finger to gouge their eyes out. These are the bigots whom religion has made blind. Rare indeed is the religionist who is sufficiently detached from the finger to see what it is indicating — these are those who, having gone beyond belief, are taken for blasphemers.
Said the self-righteous preacher, "What, in your judgment, is the greatest sin in the world?"
"That of the person who sees other human beings as sinners," said the Master.
"What can I do to see Reality as it is?"
The master smiled and said, "I have good news and bad news for you, my friend."
"What's the bad news?"
"There's nothing you can do to see — it is a gift."
"And what's the good news?"
"There's nothing you can do to see — it is a gift."
People who want to rise above a well-cooked meal and a well-tailored garment, are out of their spiritual minds.
"My life is like shattered glass." said the visitor. "My soul is tainted with evil. Is there any hope for me?
"Yes," said the Master. "There is something whereby each broken thing is bound again and every stain made clean."
"Whom do I forgive?"
"Everyone: Life, God, your neighbor — especially yourself."
"How is that done?"
"By understanding that no one is to blame," said the Master. "NO ONE."
"I seek the meaning of existence." said the stranger.
"You are of course, assuming." said the Master, "that existence has a meaning."
"When you experience existence as it is — not as you think it is — you will discover that your question has no meaning."
Isn't there such a thing as social liberation?"
"Of course there is," said the Master.
"How would you describe it?"
"Liberation from the need to belong to the herd."
One always treads with a joyful step when one has dropped the burden called the ego.
Ideas kill people.
The Way to Love (1995)
The Way to Love : The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello
If you want to know what it means to be happy, look at a flower, a bird, a child; they are perfect images of the kingdom. For they live from moment to moment in the eternal now with no past and no future.
The day you are happy for no reason whatsoever, the day you find yourself taking delight in everything and in nothing, you will know that you have found the land of unending joy called the kingdom.
If you want to know what it means to be happy, look at a flower, a bird, a child; they are perfect images of the kingdom. For they live from moment to moment in the eternal now with no past and no future. So they are spared the guilt and anxiety that so torment human beings and they are full of the sheer joy of living, taking delight not so much in persons or things as in life itself. As long as your happiness is caused or sustained by something or someone outside of you, you are still in the land of the dead. The day you are happy for no reason whatsoever, the day you find yourself taking delight in everything and in nothing, you will know that you have found the land of unending joy called the kingdom.
To find the kingdom is the easiest thing in the world but also the most difficult. Easy because it is all around you and within you, and all you have to do is reach out and take possession of it. Difficult because if you wish to possess the kingdom you may possess nothing else. That is, you must drop all inward leaning on any person or thing, withdrawing from them forever the power to thrill you, or excite you, or to give you a feeling of security or well-being. For this, you first need to see with unflinching clarity this simple and shattering truth: Contrary to what your culture and religion have taught you, nothing, but absolutely nothing can make you happy. The moment you see that, you will stop moving from one job to another, one friend to another, one place, one spiritual technique, one guru to another. None of these things can give you a single minute of happiness. They can only offer you a temporary thrill, a pleasure that initially grows in intesity, then turns into pain if you lose them and into boredom if you keep them.
If you search within your heart, you will find something there that will make it possible for you to understand: a spark of disenchantment and discontent, which if fanned into flame will become a raging forest fire that will burn up the whole of the illusory world you are living in, thereby unveiling to your wondering eyes the kingdom that you have always lived in unsuspectingly.
It is the desire for "the more" that prevents clear thinking, whereas if we are discontent, not because we want something, but without knowing what we want; if we are dissatisfied with our jobs, with making money, with seeking position and power, with tradition, with what we have and with what we might have; if we are dissatisfied, not with anything in particular but with everything, then I think we shall find that our discontent brings clarity. When we don't accept or follow, but question, investigate, penetrate, there is an insight out of which comes creativity, joy.
Mostly the discontent that you feel comes from not having enough of something — you are dissatisfied because you think you do not have enough money or power or success or fame or virtue or love or holiness. This is not the discontent that leads to the joy of the kingdom. Its source is greed and ambition and its fruit is restlessness and frustration. The day you are discontented not because you want more of something but without knowing what it is you want; when you are sick at heart of everything you are pursuing so far and you are sick of the pursuing itself, then your heart will attain a great clarity, an insight that will cause you mysteriously to delight in everything and in nothing.
Anthony De Mello : Writings (1999)
All I did was sit on the riverbank handing out river water. After I'm gone, I trust you will notice the river.
A master was once unmoved by the complaints of his disciples that, though they listened with pleasure to his parables and stories, they were also frustrated for they longed for something deeper. To all their objections he would simply reply: "You have yet to understand, my friends, that the shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story."
The master was never impressed by diplomas or degrees. He scrutinized the person, not the certificate.
He was once heard to say, 'When you have ears to hear a bird in song, you don't need to look at its credentials."
All I did was sit on the riverbank handing out river water. After I'm gone, I trust you will notice the river.
Imagine a high rise building, and on every floor there are the same people -
in different levels of consciousness, and therefore, different
When you get into the elevator/lift, for a while at least, you automatically
go to the floor that is most appropriate for your level of development.
After a while you have a choice which button to push for the level you want
In the basement we have those who are at the basic level - torturing and
being tortured. Sever suffering - that sort of thing.
Then the levels progress in consciousness, and thus circumstances.
Progressing - like, totally selfish; just taking care of the immediate
family, extended family, religious group, country.
Anger, complaint resentment, guilt. Very crowded floor these ones.
Then helping others - for one's own salvation.
Helping others from deep caring. Lots more room and fun, on this level.
And so on.
At the higher levels comes a real choice - the level you experience is
totally up to you.
In the Penthouse life is wonderful. Everything you desire.
And a great view - you can see where you have come up through, and what
others are struggling with. Of course you want to go down and bring them up
to your floor - but very difficult. People get addicted to the level they
And, even on the top floor, you are still connected to the 'earthly.'
When you are ready....