Anthony de Mello

An Integral Catholic Leader: Father Anthony de Mello, SJ by Giorgio Piacenza Cabrera (Aug.-Nov. 2013)


Introduction     
Father Anthony de Mello SJ is considered one of the foremost mystical theologians of the late Twentieth Century. His simple and direct approach to life continues to untie all kinds of blockages preventing man’s acceptance of his spiritual nature, even decades after his unexpected death. De Mello’s radiated authenticity, love for all and his characteristic laughter tended to disarm any negative preconceived notions against his ideas. As far as my research goes, I’d say that most of those that knew him personally can attest to his sincere and friendly attitude to all as people from every religious persuasion felt comfortable and at soulfully at home near him.

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"AWARENESS" — (excerpt from) An Anthony de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words

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A person is beyond the thinking mind. Many of you would probably be proud to be called Americans, as many Indians would probably be proud to be called Indians. But what is “American,” what is “Indian”? It’s a convention; it’s not part of your nature. All you’ve got is a label. You really don’t know the person. The concept always misses or omits something extremely important, something precious that is only found in reality, which is concrete uniqueness. The great Krishnamurti put it so well when he said, “The day you teach the child the name of the bird, the child will never see that bird again.” How true! The first time the child sees that fluffy, alive, moving object, and you say to him, Sparrow,” then tomorrow when the child sees another fluffy, moving object similar to it he says, “Oh, sparrows. I’ve seen sparrows. I’m bored by sparrows.”…

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"AWARENESS" (excerpt) A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words — ANTHONY DE MELLO, S.J.

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ARE WE TALKING ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY IN THIS SPIRITUALITY COURSE?
Is psychology more practical than spirituality? Nothing is more practical than spirituality. What can the poor psychologist do? He can only relieve the pressure. I’m a psychologist myself, and I practice psychotherapy, and I have this great conflict within me when I have to choose sometimes between psychology and spirituality. I wonder if that makes sense to anybody here. It didn’t make sense to me for many years.

I’ll explain. It didn’t make sense to me for many years until I suddenly discovered that people have to
suffer enough in a relationship so that they get disillusioned with all relationships. Isn’t that a terrible thing to think?…

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"Losing Yourself to Find Yourself" by Anthony de Mello

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Lets get back to that marvelous sentence in the gospel about losing oneself in order to find oneself. One finds it in most religious literature and in all religious and spiritual and mystical literature. 

How does one lose oneself? Did you ever try to lose something? That's right, the harder you try, the harder it gets. It's when you're not trying that you lose things. You lose something when you're not aware…

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“Come Home to Yourself” by Anthony DeMello

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Come home to yourself. Observe yourself. That's why I said earlier that self-observation is such a delightful and extraordinary thing. After a while you don't have to make any effort, because, as illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It's called happiness. Everything changes and you become addicted to awareness. 

There's the story of the disciple who went to the master and said, "Could you give me a word of wisdom? Could you tell me something that would guide me through my days?" It was the master's day of silence, so he picked up a pad. It said, "Awareness." When the disciple saw it, he said, "This is too brief. Can you expand on it a bit?" So the master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness." The disciple said, "Yes, but what does it mean?" The master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness means -- awareness." 

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