(4) Anthony de Mello's View of How Change Occurs (When It Does Occur)
In the posthumously published book THE WAY TO LOVE (1992), Anthony de Mello explains and delineates his view of how deep change proceeds to occur in a person, when it does occur.
Pages 53-54: "There are two sources for change within you. One is the cunningness of your ego that pushes you into making efforts to become something other than you are meant to be so that it can give itself a boost, so that it can glorify itself. The other is the wisdom of Nature. Thanks to this wisdom you become aware, you understand it. That is all you do, leaving the change -- [the] type, the manner, the speed, the time of change -- to Reality and to Nature."
Pages 56-57: "Think of some change that you wish to bring about in your life or in your personality. Are you attempting to force this change on your nature through effort and through the desire to become something that your ego has planned? . . . Or are you content to study, observe, understand, be aware of your present state and problems, without pushing, without forcing things that your ego desires, leaving to Reality to effect changes according to Nature's plans, not yours?"
Pages 59-63: "You are always dissatisfied with yourself, always wanting to change yourself. So you are full of violence and self-intolerance which only grows with every effort that you make to change yourself. So any change you achieve is always accompanied by inner conflict. And you suffer when you see others achieve what you have not and become what you are not.
"Now suppose you desisted from all efforts to change yourself, and from all self-dissatisfaction, would you then be doomed to go to sleep having passively accepted everything in you and around you? There is another way besides laborious self-pushing on the one hand and stagnant acceptance on the other. It is the way of self-understanding. This is far from easy because to understand what you are requires complete freedom from all desire to change what you are into something else.
"If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself, to study every one of your reactions to people and things, without judgment or condemnation or desire to reform yourself, your observation will be nonselective, comprehensive, never fixed on rigid conclusions, always open and fresh from moment to moment. Then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you: You will be flooded with the light of awareness, you will become transparent and transformed.
"[T]he transforming light of awareness brushes aside your scheming, self-seeking ego to give Nature full rein to bring about the kind of change that she produces in the rose: artless, graceful, unself-conscious, wholesome, untainted by inner conflict.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).