The Way to Love by Anthony De Mello

Untitled #49 Drawing by Ary van Baalen

<Untitled #49 Drawing by Ary van Baalen>

This book, The way to love by Anthony de Mello, talks about illusion of ourselves - the part of us being in our head too much and being suffered.

The negative feelings of anxiety, depression, hatred, envy and anger can be explained not by blaming specific situation or someone but ourselves. The author talks about the 'attachment' we have in our head filter the world and people we see which cause negative feelings. So we need to examine and investigate ourselves what attachment, belief, ideas we have. Ultimately, the true freedom can be achieved by letting go of meeting someone's expectation, and focus on living true to ourselves. 

There's a part he explains about layers that we have between reality and us. The layer make us dull and insensitive to things, people and anything. The layers can be made of belief that we are grown up with, ideas we have for specific people, habits of looking at things same way everyday and attachments to objects or people and fears. Because of these elements, we can't see true reality and world as it is. 

So, the question here is how can we get rid of these unnecessary layers?

First, realize that we are surrounded by prison walls of belief, ideas, habits and fears. When we are used to how we think and live, we become conformists. We need to be able to see the prison walls exist in the first place.

Second, contemplate on the walls. Take time and observe belief, ideas, habits, attachment and fears. Look at them and it will crumble.

Third, spend some time looking at things and people around you with new perspective as you see them like the first time. The fresh perspective, feeling can make you feel alive.

Fourth, sit down and observe how our mind works like a movie. It's like watching the whole movie and we will find it so much absorbing than any movie. It's so much more life giving and liberating. 

I guess experienced meditators can relate to this part.

There's another part about building compassion. "If you have someone you want to avoid, think this way. This person is crippled, blinded, lame not as stubborn and malicious as we think." Think of this person's encounter as an opportunity where you can build compassion for seeing weakness of human nature. It's nothing personal but that poor person just simply can't see it nor have awareness of it. 

There are many tidbits in The book worth pondering.