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The Four Steps to Wisdom

The Four Steps to Wisdom

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Published by K.PANDU RANGA REDDY
The Four Steps to Wisdom is an article by Anthony De Mello who, until his sudden death on June 2, 1987, was the director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling near Poona, India.

Author of five best selling books, renowned worldwide for his
workshops, retreats, and prayer courses, he aimed simply to teach people HOW TO PRAY, how to WAKE UP AND LIVE.
The Four Steps to Wisdom is an article by Anthony De Mello who, until his sudden death on June 2, 1987, was the director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling near Poona, India.

Author of five best selling books, renowned worldwide for his
workshops, retreats, and prayer courses, he aimed simply to teach people HOW TO PRAY, how to WAKE UP AND LIVE.

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Published by: K.PANDU RANGA REDDY on Jan 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/09/2013

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The Four Steps To WisdomBy Anthony de Mello, SJ
 The first thing you need to do is get in touchwith negative feelings that you're not evenaware of. Lots of people have negative feelingsthey're not aware of. Lots of people aredepressed and they're not aware they aredepressed. It's only when they make contactwith joy that they understand how depressedthey were. You can't deal with a cancer thatyou haven't detected. You can't get rid of bollweevils on your farm if you're not aware of their existence. The first thing you need isawareness of your negative feelings. Whatnegative feelings? Gloominess, for instance. You're feeling gloomy and moody. You feel self-hatred or guilt. You feel that life is pointless,that it makes no sense; you've got hurtfeelings, you're feeling nervous and tense. Getin touch with those feelings first. The second step (this is a four-step program) isto understand that the feeling is in you, not inreality. That's such a self-evident thing, but doyou think people know it? They don't, believeme. They've got Ph.D.s and are presidents of universities, but they haven't understood this. They didn't teach me how to live at school. They taught me everything else. As one man
 
said, "I got a pretty good education. It took meyears to get over it." That's what spirituality isall about, you know: unlearning. Unlearning allthe rubbish they taught you.Negative feelings are in you, not in reality. Sostop trying to change reality. That's crazy! Stoptrying to change the other person. We spendall our time and energy trying to changeexternal circumstances, trying to change ourspouses, our bosses, our friends, our enemies,and everybody else. We don't have to changeanything. Negative feelings are in you. Noperson on earth has the power to make youunhappy. There is no event on earth that hasthe power to disturb you or hurt you. No event,condition, situation, or person. Nobody told youthis; they told you the opposite. That's whyyou're in the mess that you're in right now. That is why you're asleep. They never told youthis. But it's self-evident.Let's suppose that rain-washes out a picnic.Who is feeling negative? The rain? Or YOU?What's causing the negative feeling? The rainor your reaction? When you bump your kneeagainst a table, the table's fine. It's busy beingwhat it was made to Be -- a table. The pain is inyour knee, not in the table. The mystics keeptrying to tell us that reality is all right. Reality is
 
not problematic. Problems exist only in thehuman mind. We might add: in the stupid,sleeping human mind. Reality is notproblematic. Take away human beings fromthis planet and life would go on, nature wouldgo on in all its loveliness and violence. Wherewould the problem be? No problem. Youcreated the problem. You are the problem. Youidentified with "me" and that is the problem. The feeling is in you, not in reality. The third step: Never identify with that feeling.It has nothing to do with the "I." Don't defineyour essential self in terms of that feeling.Don't say, "I am depressed." If you want to say,"It is depressed," that's all right. If you want tosay depression is there, that's fine; if you wantto say gloominess is there, that's fine. But not:I am gloomy. You're defining yourself in termsof the feeling. That's your illusion; that's yourmistake. There is a depression there right now,there are hurt feelings there right now, but letit be, leave it alone. It will pass. Everythingpasses, everything. Your depressions and yourthrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are the swings of the pendulum. If youseek kicks or thrills, get ready for depression.Do you want your drug? Get ready for thehangover. One end of the pendulum swings tothe other.

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