Almost any or every part of this wonderful book is worth sharing! Here is a part about ‘waking up’. Anthony de Mello is saying, “Do you think you want to become enlightened, do you? You’re really interested in Awakening? Well, you’ll have to be prepared to lose your precious beliefs, and that may be painful!”
‘The great masters tell us that the most important question in the world is: “Who am I?” Or rather: “What is ‘I’?” What is this thing I call “I”? What is this thing I call self?
You mean you understood everything else in the world and you didn’t understand this? You mean you understood astronomy and black holes and quasars and you picked up computer science, and you don’t know who you are? My, you are still asleep. You are a sleeping scientist. You mean you understood what Jesus Christ is and you don’t know who you are? How do you know that you have understood Jesus Christ? Who is the person doing the understanding?
Find that out first. That’s the foundation of everything, isn’t it? It’s because we haven’t understood this that we’ve got all these stupid religious people involved in all these stupid religious wars—Muslims fighting against Jews, Protestants fighting Catholics, and all the rest of that rubbish. They don’t know who they are, because if they did, there wouldn’t be wars. Like the little girl who says to a little boy, “Are you a Presbyterian?” And he says, “No, we belong to another abomination!”
But what I’d like to stress right now is self-observation. You are listening to me, but are you picking up any other sounds besides the sound of my voice as you listen to me? Are you aware of your reactions as you listen to me? If you aren’t, you’re going to be brainwashed. Or else you are going to be influenced by forces within you of which you have no awareness at all. And even if you’re aware of how you react to me, are you simultaneously aware of where your reaction is coming from? Maybe you are not listening to me at all; maybe your daddy is listening to me. Do you think that’s possible? Of course it is. Again and again in my therapy groups I come across people who aren’t there at all. Their daddy is there, their mommy is there, but they’re not there. They never were there. “I live now, not I, but my daddy lives in me.” Well, that’s absolutely, literally true. I could take you apart piece by piece and ask, “Now, this sentence, does it come from Daddy, Mommy, Grandma, Grandpa, whom?”
Who’s living in you? It’s pretty horrifying when you come to know that. You think you are free, but there probably isn’t a gesture, a thought, an emotion, an attitude, a belief in you that isn’t coming from someone else. Isn’t that horrible? And you don’t know it. Talk about a mechanical life that was stamped into you. You feel pretty strongly about certain things, and you think it is you who are feeling strongly about them, but are you really? It’s going to take a lot of awareness for you to understand that perhaps this thing you call “I” is simply a conglomeration of your past experiences, of your conditioning and programming.
That’s painful. In fact, when you’re beginning to awaken, you experience a great deal of pain. It’s painful to see your illusions being shattered. Everything that you thought you had built up crumbles and that’s painful. That’s what repentance is all about; that’s what waking up is all about. …’
Here’s that link again: Awareness, Anthony de Mello