Perceptions [vs. Abstractions]
Helplessness [vs. Manipulation]
Present [vs. Planning, based on learning from the past]
Aimlessness, purposelessness [vs. Purpose, aim]
Live life [vs. Make the most of life]
In terms of the level or moments of consciousness that Bernard Lonergan discusses in his great book INSIGHT: A STUDY OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING, 5th ed. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1992; orig. 1957), the Sensual orientation mentioned here involves the empirical level of consciousness, whereas Discerning shape and form would involve the intelligent level of consciousness and then probably also the rational level of consciousness (judging the adequacy of the conceptual constructs worked out at the intelligent level of consciousness). In a similar way, Perceptions involve the empirical level of consciousness, whereas Abstractions involve the intelligent level of consciousness.
Next, I would draw your attention to the contrasts that he works with of Aimlessness, purposelessness versus Purpose, aim. In the SPIRITUAL EXERCISES of Ignatius Loyola, we find the famous statement titled Principle and Foundation (standardized paragraph number 23), in which Ignatius Loyola articulates his understanding of the Purpose and aim of Christian life. In short, he does not advocate the position of Purposelessness that Anthony de Mello, S.J., advocates.
I should also mention that John Milton announces that the Purpose of his famous poem
Among Christians today, this failure to adjust their expectations for their lives to embody the spirit of purposelessness is probably rooted in the fictional hero story about the death of the historical Jesus and to the valorization of dying a martyr's death (i.e., a hero's death) for one's religious faith, as though one's religious faith were worth dying for. But the crucifixion of the historical Jesus was not a heroic death. That's just an understandable fiction that his bereaved followers made up afterward about his purposeless death. He was probably crucified by nervous local authorities of the
Digression: In his seminal book THE DUALITY OF HUMAN EXISTENCE: AN ESSAY ON PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION (Chicago, Illinois (USA): Rand McNally, 1966), David Bakan works with the contrast agent/agency versus communion that parallels the contrast of active way of living versus passive and receptive way of life with which Anthony de Mello works. In her 700-page textbook THE PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER, 3rd ed. (
Digression: In effect, the late Canadian Jesuit theologian Frederick E. Crowe, S.J., has articulated a careful formal defense of the training or forming model in his book OLD THINGS AND NEW: A STRATEGY FOR EDUCATION, Supplementary Issue of the LONERGAN WORKSHOP periodical, Volume 5, edited by Fred Lawrence (Atlanta, Georgia (USA): Scholars Press, 1985). In effect, John Bradshaw delineates and celebrates the growth model of psychological development, but without adverting to spiritual growth or mystic experience, in his fine book RECLAIMING VIRTUE: HOW WE CAN DEVELOP THE MORAL INTELLIGENCE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR THE RIGHT REASON (New York, New York (USA): Bantam Dell/ Random House, 2009). As John Bradshaw himself explains, his subtitle is his paraphrase of a point that Aristotle makes in his treatise NICOMACHEAN ETHICS. For a fine new translation of Aristotle's famous treatise, see ARISTOTLE'S NICOMACHEAN ETHICS: A NEW TRANSLATION by Robert C. Bartlett and Susan D. Collins (
Digression: Concerning the death of the historical Jesus, see Paula Frederiksen's fine book JESUS OF NAZARETH: KING OF THE JEWS (New York, New York (USA): Alfred A. Knopf/ Random House, 1999) and John Dominican Crossan's incisive book WHO KILLED JESUS? EXPOSING THE ROOTS OF ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE GOSPEL STORY OF THE DEATH OF JESUS (San Francisco, California (USA): HarperSanFrancisco/ Harper Collins, 1995). Concerning the heroic orientation of Christianity, see Brian S. Hook and R. R. Reno's book HEROISM AND CHRISTIAN LIFE: RECLAIMING EXCELLENCE (Louisville, Kentucky (USA): Westminster John Knox Press, 2000), David A. deSilva's book THE HOPE OF GLORY: HONOR DISCOURSE AND NEW TESTAMENT INTERPRETATION (Collegeville, Minnesota (USA): A Michael Glazier Book/ The Liturgical Press, 1999), and Jerome H. Neyrey's book HONOR AND SHAME IN THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (Louisville, Kentucky (USA): Westminster John Knox Press, 1998). End of digressions.
Some Definitions of Terms and Issues
Before I proceed further to discuss Jiddu Krishnamurti and Anthony de Mello, S.J., I need to define and explain certain terminology.
The abbreviation "S.J." after Anthony de Mello's name indicates that he was a member of the religious order in the Roman Catholic Church known formally as the Society of Jesus (abbreviated as "S.J."), known popularly as the Jesuits. For the purposes of governing, the Society of Jesus is divided into provinces based on regional geography, and each province has a religious superior known as the provincial. Anthony de Mello, for example, was a member of the
Now, regarding the name of the religious order in the Roman Catholic Church known as the Society of Jesus, couldn't all so-called Christians claim to be in the "society" of Jesus, to be "companions" of Jesus, people who keep "company" with Jesus -- who could also aptly be described as "Jesuits"? No doubt they could. No doubt the founder of the religious order known historically as the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), constructed a presumptuous, arrogant, grandiose, pompous name for the religious order he founded. Shame on him! After all, the members of the religious orders in the Roman Catholic Church founded by St. Benedict, St. Dominic, and St. Francis of