Who is Anthony de Mello
Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) was an Indian Jesuit and therapist known for his teachings on spirituality and self-awareness. Born in Bombay, India, De Mello became an internationally recognized spiritual leader and writer for his focus on the union of faith and psychology.
De Mello trained as a psychologist and therapist before dedicating himself to religious life, and applied his knowledge of psychology to his spiritual teaching. In his lectures and writings, he advocated a focus on self-awareness and deep self-understanding as a path to happiness and personal fulfillment.
De Mello is known for his focus on freeing the mind from limiting thought patterns and overcoming illusion and ignorance. His teachings are based on the idea that happiness and personal fulfillment depend on awakening to reality and understanding the true nature of oneself and the world around us.
His best known book, “Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality”, is a profound exploration of the nature of reality and how our limited perception of it can prevent us from happiness and personal fulfillment. Other works include “The Song of the Bird” and “The Way to Love”.
Despite his passing in 1987, De Mello’s teachings continue to inspire and guide people around the world in their search for understanding and inner happiness. His legacy has been described as a unique combination of spiritual, psychological and philosophical orientation that has been influential in contemporary spirituality and transpersonal psychology.
The concept of Happiness
Happiness is a positive emotional state characterized by feelings of satisfaction, joy, well-being and fulfillment. It is a sensation that can be experienced at specific moments or as a general and sustained state over time. Happiness is subjective and can be perceived and experienced differently by each person.
Some factors that can contribute to happiness include the realization of goals, positive relationships with others, health, purpose and meaning in life, and a positive attitude toward life in general. However, it is important to keep in mind that happiness does not depend exclusively on external factors and that it can also be cultivated and fostered through internal practices, such as meditation, gratitude and self-awareness.
The Absence of Desire
According to some Eastern philosophies, such as Buddhism, happiness is seen as the absence of desire and freedom from ignorance and anxiety. The idea is that desires and attachments are the root of dissatisfaction and suffering, and that true happiness can only be found through the renunciation of these desires and attachments. Instead of seeking happiness through external objects or experiences, a state of inner balance and harmony is sought.
Anthony de Mello considered the absence of desire to be an important aspect on the road to happiness and self-fulfillment. According to him, desires and expectations are a constant source of dissatisfaction and suffering, and freeing oneself from them is essential to find inner peace.
De Mello taught that human beings are driven by the desire to be happy, but that this quest can be illusory and often leads to an endless cycle of dissatisfaction. The absence of desire, on the other hand, can free us from this cycle and allow us to find happiness in the present moment.
For De Mello, the absence of desire does not mean renouncing the pleasures of life or becoming an ascetic, but simply recognizing that true happiness cannot be found in external things, but in the discovery of one’s true nature and in the deep understanding of reality.
In short, desirelessness according to Anthony de Mello is a state of mind in which one is free from the influence of desires and expectations, allowing one to find happiness and self-fulfillment in the present moment.
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