This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
If we really dropped illusions for what they can give us or deprive us
of, we would be alert. The consequence of not doing this is terrifying
and unescapable. We lose our capacity to love. If you wish to love, you
ust learn to see again. !nd if you wish to see, you ust learn to give
up your drug. It"s as siple as that. #ive up your dependency. Tear
the tentacles of society that have enveloped and suffocated your being.
$ou ust drop the. %&ternally, everything will go on as before, but
though you will continue to be in the world, you will no longer be of
it. In your heart, you will now be free at last, if utterly alone. $our
dependence on your drug will die. $ou don"t have to go to the desert'
you"re right in the iddle of people' you"re enjoying the iensely.
(ut they no longer have the power to a)e you happy or iserable.
what aloneness eans. In this solitude your dependence dies. The
capacity to love is born. *ne no longer sees others as eans of
satisfying one"s addiction. *nly soeone who has attepted this )nows
the terrors of the process. It"s li)e inviting yourself to die. It"s
li)e as)ing the poor drug addict to give up the only happiness he has
ever )nown. +ow to replace it with the taste of bread and fruit and the
clean taste of the orning air, the sweetness of the water of the
ountain strea, While he is struggling with his withdrawal syptos
the eptiness he e&periences within hiself now that his drug is gone,
nothing can fill the eptiness e&cept his drug. -an you iagine a life
in which you refuse to enjoy or ta)e pleasure in a single word of
appreciation or to rest your head on anyone"s shoulder for support,
Thin) of a life in which you depend on no one eotionally, so that no
one has the power to a)e you happy or iserable anyore. $ou refuse to
need any particular person or to be special to anyone or to call anyone
your own. The birds of the air have their nests and the fo&es their
holes, but you will have nowhere to rest your head in your journey
through life. If you ever get to this state, you will at last )now what
it eans to see with a vision that is clear and unclouded by fear or
desire. %very word there is easured. To see at last with a vision that
is clear and unclouded by fear or desire. $ou will )now what it eans
love. (ut to coe to the land of love, you ust pass through the pains
of death, for to love persons eans to die to the need for persons, and
to be utterly alone.
+ow would you ever get there, (y a ceaseless awareness, by the infinite
patience and copassion you would have for a drug addict. (y developing
a taste for the good things in life to counter the craving for your
drug. What good things, The love of wor) which you enjoy doing for the
love of itself' the love of laughter and intiacy with people to who
you do not cling and on who you do not depend eotionally but whose
copany you enjoy. It will also help if you ta)e on activities that you
can do with your whole being, activities that you so love to do that
while you"re engaged in the success, recognition, and approval siply
do not ean a thing to you. It will help, too, if you return to nature.
Send the crowds away, go up to the ountains, and silently coune with
trees and flowers and anials and birds, with sea and clouds and s)y
stars. I"ve told you what a spiritual e&ercise it is to ga.e at things,
to be aware of things around you. +opefully, the words will drop, the
concepts will drop, and you will see, you will a)e contact with
reality. That is the cure for loneliness. #enerally, we see) to cure
loneliness through eotional dependence on people, through
gregariousness and noise. That is no cure. #et bac) to things, get bac)
to nature, go up in the ountains. Then you will )now that your heart
has brought you to the vast desert of solitude, there is no one there
your side, absolutely no one.
!t first this will see unbearable. (ut it is only because you are
unaccustoed to aloneness. If you anage to stay there for a while, the
desert will suddenly blosso into love. $our heart will burst into
!nd it will be springtie forever' the drug will be out' you"re free.
Then you will understand what freedo is, what love is, what happiness
is, what reality is, what truth is, what #od is. $ou will see, you will
)now beyond concepts and conditioning, addictions and attachents. /oes
that a)e sense,
Let e end this with a lovely story. There was a an who invented the
art of a)ing fire. +e too) his tools and went to a tribe in the north,
where it was very cold, bitterly cold. +e taught the people there to
a)e fire. The people were very interested. +e showed the the uses to
which they could put fire 00 they could coo), could )eep theselves
war, etc. They were so grateful that they had learned the art of
fire. (ut before they could e&press their gratitude to the an, he
disappeared. +e wasn"t concerned with getting their recognition or
gratitude' he was concerned about their well being. +e went to another
tribe, where he again began to show the the value of his invention.
1eople were interested there, too, a bit too interested for the peace
ind of their priests, who began to notice that this an was drawing
crowds and they were losing their popularity. So they decided to do
with hi. They poisoned hi, crucified hi, put it any way you li)e.
they were afraid now that the people ight turn against the, so they
were very wise, even wily. /o you )now what they did, They had a
portrait of the an ade and ounted it on the ain altar of the
The instruents for a)ing fire were placed in front of the portrait,
and the people were taught to revere the portrait and to pay reverence
to the instruents of fire, which they dutifully did for centuries. The
veneration and the worship went on, but there was no fire.
Where"s the fire, Where"s the love, Where"s the drug uprooted fro your
syste, Where"s the freedo, This is what spirituality is all about.
Tragically, we tend to lose sight of this, don"t we, This is what 2esus
-hrist is all about. (ut we overephasi.ed the 3Lord, Lord,4 didn"t we,
Where"s the fire, !nd if worship isn"t leading to the fire, if
isn"t leading to love, if the liturgy isn"t leading to a clearer
perception of reality, if #od isn"t leading to life, of what use is
religion e&cept to create ore division, ore fanaticis, ore
antagonis, It is not fro lac) of religion in the ordinary sense of
word that the world is suffering, it is fro lac) of love, lac) of
awareness. !nd love is generated through awareness and through no other
way, no other way. 5nderstand the obstructions you are putting in the
way of love, freedo, and happiness and they will drop. Turn on the
light of awareness and the dar)ness will disappear. +appiness is not
soething you acquire' love is not soething you produce' love is not
soething that you have' love is soething that has you. $ou do not
the wind, the stars, and the rain. $ou don"t possess these things' you
surrender to the. !nd surrender occurs when you are aware of your
illusions, when you are aware of your addictions, when you are aware of
your desires and fears. !s I told you earlier, first, psychological
insight is a great help, not analysis, however' analysis is paralysis.
Insight is not necessarily analysis. *ne of your great !erican
therapists put it very well: 3It"s the "!ha" e&perience that counts.4
6erely analy.ing gives no help' it just gives inforation. (ut if you
could produce the 3!ha4 e&perience, that"s insight. That is change.
Second, the understanding of your addiction is iportant. $ou need
!las, so uch tie that is given to worship and singing praise and
singing songs could so fruitfully be eployed in self understanding.
-ounity is not produced by joint liturgical celebrations. $ou )now
deep down in your heart, and so do I, that such celebrations only serve
to paper over differences. -ounity is created by understanding the
bloc)s that we put in the way of counity, by understanding the
conflicts that arise fro our fears and our desires. !t that point
counity arises. We ust always beware of a)ing worship just another
distraction fro the iportant business of living. !nd living doesn"t
ean wor)ing in governent, or being a big businessan, or perforing
great acts of charity. That isn"t living. Living is to have dropped all
the ipedients and to live in the present oent with freshness. 3The
birds of the air . . . they neither toil nor spin4 00 that is living. I
began by saying that people are asleep, dead. /ead people running
governents, dead people running big business, dead people educating
others' coe alive7 Worship ust help this, or else it"s useless. !nd
increasingly 00 you )now this and so do I 00 we"re losing the youth
everywhere. They hate us' they"re not interested in having ore fears
and ore guilts laid on the. They"re not interested in ore serons
e&hortations. (ut they are interested in learning about love. +ow can I
be happy, +ow can I live, +ow can I taste these arvelous things that
the ystics spea) of, So that"s the second thing 00 understanding.
Third, don"t identify. Soebody as)ed e as I was coing here today,
you ever feel low,4 (oy, do I feel low every now and then. I get y
attac)s. (ut they don"t last, they really don"t. What do I do, 8irst
step: I don"t identify. +ere coes a low feeling. Instead of getting
tense about it, instead of getting irritated with yself about it, I
understand I" feeling depressed, disappointed, or whatever. Second
step: I adit the feeling is in e, not in the other person, e.g., in
the person who didn"t write e a letter, not in the e&terior world'
in e. (ecause as long as I thin) it"s outside e, I feel justified in
holding on to y feelings. I can"t say everybody would feel this way'
fact, only idiotic people would feel this way, only sleeping people.
Third step: I don"t identify with the feeling. 3I4 is not that feeling.
3I4 a not lonely, 3I4 a not depressed, 3I4 a not disappointed.
/isappointent is there, one watches it. $ou"d be aa.ed how quic)ly it
glides away. !nything you"re aware of )eeps changing' clouds )eep
oving. !s you do this, you also get all )inds of insights into why
clouds were coing in the first place.
I"ve got a lovely quote here, a few sentences that I would write in
gold. I pic)ed the up fro !. S. 9eil:s boo) Suerhill. I ust give
you the bac)ground. $ou probably )now that 9eill was in education for
forty years. +e developed a )ind of averic) school. +e too) in boys
girls and just let the be free. $ou want to learn to read and write,
fine' you don"t want to learn to read and write, fine. $ou can do
anything you want with your life, provided you don"t interfere with the
freedo of soeone else. /on"t interfere with soeone else"s freedo'
otherwise you"re free. +e says that the worst ones cae to hi fro
convent school. This was in the old days, of course. +e said it too)
the about si& onths to get over all the anger and the resentent that
they had repressed. They"d be rebelling for si& onths, fighting the
syste. The worst was a girl who would ta)e a bicycle and ride into
town, avoiding class, avoiding school, avoiding everything. (ut once
they got over their rebellion, everybody wanted to learn' they even
began protesting, 3Why don"t we have class today,4 (ut they would only
ta)e what they were interested in. They"d be transfored. In the
beginning parents were frightened to send their children to this
they said, 3+ow can you educate the if you don"t discipline the,
$ou"ve got to teach the, guide the.4 What was the secret of 9eill"s
success, +e"d get the worst children, the ones everybody else had
despaired of, and within si& onths they"d all be transfored. Listen
what he said 00 e&traordinary words, holy words. 3%very child has a god
in hi. *ur attepts to old the child will turn the god into a devil.
-hildren coe to y school, little devils, hating the world,
destructive, unannerly, lying, thieving, bad tepered. In si& onths
they are happy, healthy children who do no evil.4 These are aa.ing
words coing fro a an whose school in (ritain is regularly inspected
by people fro the 6inistry of %ducation, by any headaster or
headistress or anyone who would care to go there. !a.ing. It was his
charisa. $ou don"t do this )ind of thing fro a blueprint' you"ve got
to be a special )ind of person. In soe of his lectures to headasters
and headistresses he says, 3-oe to Suerhill and you"ll find that
the fruit trees are laden with fruit' nobody"s ta)ing the fruits off
trees' there"s no desire to attac) authority' they"re well fed and
there"s no resentent and anger. -oe to Suerhill and you"ll never
find a handicapped child with a nic)nae ;you )now how cruel )ids can
when soeone staers<. $ou"ll never find anyone needling a staerer,
never. There"s no violence in those children, because no one is
practicing violence on the, that"s why.4 Listen to these words of
revelation, sacred words. We have people in the world li)e this. 9o
atter what scholars and priests and theologians tell you, there are
have been people who have no quarrels, no jealousies, no conflicts, no
wars, no enities, none7 They e&ist in y country, or, sad to say, they
e&isted until relatively recently. I"ve had 2esuit friends go out to
live and wor) aong people who, they assured e, were incapable of
stealing or lying. *ne Sister said to e that when she went to the
northeast of India to wor) aong soe tribes there, the people would
loc) up nothing. 9othing was ever stolen and they never told lies until
the Indian governent and issionaries showed up.
%very child has a god in hi' our attepts to old the child will turn
the god into a devil.
There"s a lovely Italian fil directed by 8ederico 8ellini, = >?@ In
scene there"s a -hristian (rother going out on a picnic or e&cursion
with a group of eight to ten year old boys. They"re on a beach, oving
right on ahead while the (rother brings up the rear with three or four
of the around hi. They coe across an older woan who"s a whore, and
they say to her, 3+i,4 and she says, 3+i.4 !nd they say, 3Who are you,4
!nd she says, 3I" a prostitute.4 They don"t )now what that is but they
pretend to. *ne of the boys, who sees a bit ore )nowing than the
others, says, 3! prostitute is a woan who does certain things if you
pay her.4 They as), 3Would she do those things if we paid her,4 3Why
not,4 the answer cae. So they ta)e up a collection and give her the
oney, saying, 3Would you do certain things now that we"ve given you
oney,4 She answers, 3Sure, )ids, what do you want e to do,4 The only
thing that occurs to the )ids is for her to ta)e her clothes off. So
does. Well, they loo) at her' they"ve never seen a woan na)ed before.
They don"t )now what else to do, so they say, 3Would you dance,4 She
says, 3Sure.4 So they all gather round singing and clapping' the whore
is oving her behind and they"re enjoying theselves iensely. The
(rother sees all this. +e runs down the beach and yells at the woan.
gets her to put her clothes on, and the narrator says, 3!t that oent,
the children were spoiled' until then they were innocent, beautiful.4
This is not an unusual proble. I )now a rather conservative issionary
in India" a 2esuit. +e cae to a wor)shop of ine. !s I developed this
thee over two days, he suffered. +e cae to e the second night and
said, 3Tony, I can"t e&plain to you how uch I" suffering listening to
you.4 I said, 3Why, Stan,4 +e said, 3$ou"re reviving within e a
question that I suppressed for twenty five years, a horrible question.
!gain and again I as)ed yself: +ave I not spoiled y people by a)ing
the -hristian,4 This 2esuit was not one of your liberals, he was an
orthodo&, devout, pious, conservative an. (ut he felt he spoiled a
happy, loving, siple, guileless people by a)ing the -hristian.
!erican issionaries who went to the South Sea Islands with their
were horrified to see woen coing bare breasted to church. The wives
insisted that the woen should be ore decently dressed. So the
issionaries gave the shirts to wear. The following Sunday the woen
cae wearing their shirts but with two big holes cut out for cofort"
for ventilation. They were right' the issionaries were wrong.
9ow . . . bac) to 9eill. +e says, 3!nd I a no genius, I a erely a
who refuses to guide the steps of children.4 (ut what, then, of
sin, 9eill says that every child has a god in hi' our attepts to old
hi will turn the god into a devil. +e lets children for their own
values, and the values are invariably good and social. -an you believe
that, When a child feels loved ;which eans: when a child feels you"re
on his side<, he"s *.A. The child doesn"t e&perience violence anyore.
9o fear, so no violence. The child begins to treat others the way he
been treated. $ou"ve got to read that boo). It"s a holy boo), it really
is. Bead it' it revolutioni.ed y life and y dealings with people. I
began to see iracles. I began to see the self dissatisfaction that had
been ingrained in e, the copetition, the coparisons, the that"s
notgoodenough, etc. $ou ight object that if they hadn"t pushed e, I
wouldn"t have becoe what I a. /id I need all that pushing, !nd
who wants to be what I a, I want to be happy, I want to be holy, I
to be loving, I want to be at peace, I want to be free, I want to be
/o you )now where wars coe fro, They coe fro projecting outside of
us the conflict that is inside. Show e an individual in who there is
no inner self conflict and I"ll show you an individual in who there is
no violence. There will be effective, even hard, action in hi, but no
hatred. When he acts, he acts as a surgeon acts' when he acts, he acts
as a loving teacher acts with entally retarded children. $ou don"t
blae the, you understand' but you swing into action. *n the other
hand, when you swing into action with your own hatred and your own
violence un0addressed, you"ve copounded the error. $ou"ve tried to put
fire out with ore fire. $ou"ve tried to deal with a flood by adding
water to it. I repeat what 9eill said: 3%very child has a god in hi.
*ur attepts to old the child will turn the god into a devil. -hildren
coe to y school, little devils, hating the world, destructive,
unannerly, lying, thieving, bad tepered. In si& onths they are
healthy children who do no evil. !nd I a no genius, I a erely a an
who refuses to guide the steps of children. I let the for their own
values and the values are invariably good and social. The religion that
a)es people good a)es people bad, but the religion )nown as freedo
a)es all people good, for it destroys the inner conflict CI"ve added
the word 3inner4D that a)es people devils.4
9eill also says, 3The first thing I do when a child coes to Suerhill
is destroy its conscience.4 I assue you )now what he"s tal)ing about,
because I )now what he"s tal)ing about. $ou don"t need conscience when
you have consciousness' you don"t need conscience when you have
sensitivity. $ou"re not violent, you"re not fearful. $ou probably thin)
this is an unattainable ideal. Well, read that boo). I have run into
individuals, here and there, who suddenly stuble upon this truth: The
root of evil is within you. !s you begin to understand this, you stop
a)ing deands on yourself, you stop having e&pectations of yourself,
you stop pushing yourself and you understand. 9ourish yourself on
wholesoe food, good wholesoe food. I" not tal)ing about actual food,
I" tal)ing about sunsets, about nature, about a good ovie, about a
good boo), about enjoyable wor), about good copany, and hopefully you
will brea) your addictions to those other feelings.
What )ind of feeling coes upon you when you"re in touch with nature,
when you"re absorbed in wor) that you love, *r when you"re really
conversing with soeone whose copany you enjoy in openness and
without clinging, What )ind of feelings do you have, -opare those
feelings with the feelings you have when you win an arguent, or when
you win a race, or when you becoe popular, or when everybody"s
applauding you. The latter feelings I call worldly feelings' the forer
feelings I call soul feelings. Lots of people gain the world and lose
their soul. Lots of people live epty, soulless lives because they"re
feeding theselves on popularity, appreciation, and praise, on 3I"
*.A., you"re *.A.,4 loo) at e, attend to e, support e, value e, on
being the boss, on having power, on winning the race. /o you feed
yourself on that, If you do, you"re dead. $ou"ve lost your soul. 8eed
yourself on other, ore nourishing aterial. Then you"ll see the
transforation. I"ve given you a whole progra for life, haven"t I,
!nthony de 6ello, S2