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Anthony de Mello (1931 – 1987)


Jesuit priest, psychotherapist and writer who became widely known for his books on spirituality.
Anthony de Mello
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."
de Mello quotes
To those who seek to protect their ego true Peace brings only disturbance.
de Mello
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.




de Mello Anthony quotes
The important thing is not to know who "I" is or what "I" is. You'll never succeed. There are no words for it. The important thing is to drop the labels.
de Mello Anthony
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. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!
Anthony de Mello quotes
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.
Anthony de Mello
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.
de Mello Anthony quotes
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.
de Mello
I'm going to write a book someday and the title will be I'm an Ass, You're an Ass. That's the most liberating, wonderful thing in the world, when you openly admit you're an ass. It's wonderful. When people tell me, "You're wrong" I say, "What can you expect of an ass?"
de Mello Anthony
The feigning sleeper can delude others he cannot delude himself. The false mystic, unfortunately, can delude both others and himself.
Anthony de Mello
"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."




Anthony de Mello quotes
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.
Anthony de Mello
The books of Father Anthony de Mello were written in a multi-religious context to help the followers of other religions, agnostics and atheists in their spiritual search, and they were not intended by the author as manuals of instruction of the Catholic faithful in Christian doctrine or dogma.
de Mello quotes
When you are guilty, it is not your sins you hate but yourself.
de Mello Anthony
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!"
de Mello Anthony quotes
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."
Anthony de Mello
Is it possible for the rose to say, "I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad?" Or is it possible for the lamp to say, "I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people"? Or can a tree say, "I'll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad"? These are images of what love is about.
Anthony de Mello quotes
Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance.
Anthony de Mello
"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.
de Mello Anthony
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.


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