Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Way to Love (2) - The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello (part two)

In my post Love (lost) I told you that the love I knew was all in my head. It must be so otherwise everyone my love meets would fall in love with her. In fact, my friends would have varying reactions to her from ‘She’s bad news’ to ‘I don’t know what you see in her’ to ‘She’s kinda cute’. When things were going ‘well’ and I was sitting on top of the world, it was all in my head. And when things broke down and I was filled with negative emotions, they were all in my head too. Feelings of anger, betrayal, jealousy, revenge rose and fell in me like a stormy sea. But reading de Mello I found, if not immediate peace and calm, then at least the direction to and the sight of peace and calm. And that is a lot when you are emotionally cast adrift on that cruel sea.

Now keep looking at this unpleasant situation or person until you realize that it isn’t they who are causing the negative emotions. They are just going their way, being themselves, doing their thing whether right or wrong, good or bad. It is your computer that, thanks to your programming, insists on your reacting with negative emotions.

And the clinching argument:

You will see this better if you realize that someone with a different programming when faced with this same situation or person or event would react quite calmly, even happily… The way to be in charge of this situation is to be in charge of yourself, which you are not. How does one achieve this mastery? All you have to do is to understand there are people in the world who, if they were in your place, would not be negatively affected by this person. They would be in charge of the situation, above it, not subject to it as you are. Therefore your negative feelings are caused, not by this person, as you mistakenly think, but by your programming.

Yes, someone with better relationship skills, someone with more clarity, someone with better self-control, someone with better understanding, someone who loves from a position of independence and non-attachment, someone who loves truly – such a person would react very differently than I did.
Thus there are no excuses – the answer lies within. We must change the programming. Our pain is the light showing us the way we need to change. We must become that person who is master of himself and the situation. Then, one day, we will know the way to love.

More to come in part three

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond