Wise Words from a Modern Christian Mystic

Some quotes on Waking Up, from Anthony de Mello, SJ:

Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence.


Most people tell you they want to get out of kindergarten, but don’t believe them. Don’t believe them! All they want you to do is to mend their broken toys. “Give me back my wife. Give me back my job. Give me back my money. Give me back my reputation, my success.” This is what they want; they want their toys replaced. That’s all. Even the best psychologist will tell you that, that people don’t really want to be cured. What they want is relief; a cure is painful.


Waking up is unpleasant, you know. You are nice and comfortable in bed. It’s irritating to be woken up. That’s the reason the wise guru will not attempt to wake people up. I hope I’m going to be wise here and make no attempt whatsoever to wake you up if you are asleep. It is really none of my business, even though I say to you at times, “Wake up!” My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine; if you don’t, too bad! As the Arabs say, “The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens.”

There’s a Methodist church here in Boulder that offers a Wednesday night meditation class, and they are reading de Mello. For a Catholic friar living in India, he sure liked to talk about Awareness and Sadhana… which is a good thing, of course.


3 thoughts on “Wise Words from a Modern Christian Mystic

  1. Ogmin says:

    Howdy Michael,

    Great stuff. I like a teacher who is confident enough in realization of the all-good nature of the source and goal to go beyond the predictable outlines and dare to turn up the heat and maybe quicken the path. Love and light talk has its place no doubt but there comes a time for any serious student to bear down and get in touch with the present dukkha and darkness obscuring the light. Hell, its only mind, eh!. But like he says, who really wants to know? Looking at the ten oxherding pictures the other day with a friend elicited the comment that you only find the ox if you have an uncommon need, desire, aspiration or curiosity. It is not at casual affair. Bless the good man de Mello for daring to go beyond being merely a mellow messenger, something Christ was definitely Not. As in the Black Uhuru song, we are called to transcend the ‘living dead’.


  2. adreampuppet says:

    Craig, you are the best. Not only do you have a wonderful way with words, but you have the learning and experience to back them up. Thanks for blessing my blog with your presence, my friend.

  3. Mosenohi faith says:

    Thanx Graig i like the way u motivate us can u plz hlp me or give me advice what must i do to be motivational speaker

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