Awareness vs Pushing
A quick story/quote from this book I’m currently reading!
This book was recommended to me by someone with more years here on this earth than me, more experience, and she has a different perspective — but the book is like a breath of fresh air! It’s called Awareness, by Anthony DeMello, a Jesuit priest, born in India who also was a psychotherapist! (You wonder why it resonates with me so much!)
I wanted to briefly share with you these excerpts before I go back to “work”!*(I added the bold for emphasis)*
“You know, sometimes people want to imitate Christ, but when a monkey plays a saxophone, that doesn’t make him a musician. You can’t imitate Christ by imitating his external behavior.
You’ve got to be Christ.
Then you’ll know exactly what to do in a particular situation, given your temperament, your character, and the character and temperament of the person you’re dealing with. No one has to tell you. But to do that, you must be what Christ was. An external imitation will get you nowhere.
If you think that compassion implies softness, there’s no way I can describe compassion to you, absolutely no way, because compassion can be very hard. Compassion can be very rude, compassion can jolt you, compassion can roll up its sleeves and operate on you. Compassion is all kinds of things. Compassion can be very soft, but there’s no way of knowing that. It’s only when you become love – in other words, when you have dropped your illusions and attachments – that you will “know”.”
~ Anthony DeMello
And further on in the book, he gives us this brilliant story that so aptly conveys the concepts I’m always going on about regarding dropping the “should” in our lives… Dr. Surkis would teach us, “when you ‘push’, there’s always a push back…”
“Meditating on and imitating externally the behavior of Jesus is no help. It’s not a question of imitating Christ, it’s a question of becoming what Jesus was. It’s a question of becoming Christ, becoming aware, understanding what’s going on within you. All the other methods we use for self change could be compared to pushing a car.
Let’s suppose you have to travel to a distant city. The car breaks down along the way. Well, too bad; the car’s broken down. So we roll up our sleeves and begin to push the car. And we push and push and push and push, till we get to the distant city. “Well”, we say, “we made it”. And then we push the car all the way to another city!
You say, “We got there, didn’t we”? But do you call this life? You know what you need? You need an expert, you need a mechanic to lift the hood and change the spark plug. Turn the ignition key and the car moves. You need the expert — you need understanding, insight, awareness you don’t need pushing. You don’t need effort.
That’s why people are so tired, so weary. You and I were trained to be dissatisfied with ourselves. That’s where the evil comes from psychologically. We’re always dissatisfied, we’re always discontented, we’re always pushing. Go on, put out more effort, more and more effort. But there’s always that conflict inside; there’s very little understanding.”
~ Anthony DeMello
Much love to each of you who wander here and find these beautiful pearls! I’m so appreciative that these insights and thoughts have come my way! I wanted to share immediately with you!
~ Dr C
Anthony de Mello – Awareness pt.1 on waking up
(**I found the picture online from a blogger named Darren Lang )