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The Good News About Human Psychology According to Anthony de Mello, S.J.

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From what I was told at the time about Workshop I in Denver, it was the kind of counseling session that the author of this quoted passage refers to. But Workshop II was not. In Jesuit parlance about retreats, Workshop II was a preached retreat. However, anyone reading the following notes will see how strongly oriented toward the psychological Anthony de Mello's thought was in July 1980. (In the following notes, I have omitted the instructions he occasionally gave the retreatants of fantasy exercises for them to do as homework during the retreat. I have not checked the spelling of names or the titles of books in the following notes.)

My Notes from Anthony de Mello's July 1980 Workshop in Denver, Colorado (USA)

July 14, 1980

Workshop aim: to lose the self, to die to self.

But there is nothing that we can do directly to lose the self.

Hence, asceticism for the sake of asceticism does not lead to losing the self.

Therefore, no method, no technique for losing the self.

Self-denial has been interpreted to mean going against one's needs.

But there is no self, says Tony de Mello.

Mystics realize this.

"I live now not I" = existential sense of mystic.

The "not I" part of this expression = loss of self.

The is-not-ness of the self.

Waiting is an essential part of mysticism -- "wait for the promise of my Father" -- "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" -- you do not do something; you receive.

Who am I?

See Nasrud-Din stories.

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www.d.umn.edu/~tfarrell

Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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