Quotes from Tony

Anthony DeMello

This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words, that lies beyond the reach of words.

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.

Happiness is your natural state. You don’t have to do anything to acquire it, because you have it already.

Here’s the problem: You are holding on to a false belief that without a change in this particular person, or achieving a particular result, or acquiring a particular thing, you will not be happy.

We say, I refuse to be happy until my neurosis goes. I have good news for you: You can be happy right now, with the neurosis.

There’s only one reason why you’re not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it’s because you’re focused on what you don’t have.

When your falsehoods clash with the truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise there is no suffering.

What do you need to do to change yourself? I’ve got a big surprise for you. You don’t have to do anything. The more you do, the worse it gets.

Eternity is right now.

Transformation is the consequence not of something done, but of something dropped.

If you’re ready to listen and if you’re ready to be challenged, then the most important thing of all becomes self-observation.

Real change will come when it is brought about, not by your ego, but by reality. Awareness releases reality to change you.

Spirituality is about unlearning almost everything you’ve been taught.

Don’t fret about enlightenment. No matter which direction you turn, you are homeward bound.

The greatest learning lies in accepting life exactly as it comes to us.

Think of the butterfly in a caterpillar: the eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being.

People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favor progress, provided they can have it without change.

The one who would be constant in happiness must frequently change.

Suppose somebody showed how we could truly love one another and be at peace. What could be more practical than that?

As one man said, I got a pretty good education and it took me years to get over it. That’s what spirituality is all about: Unlearning all the rubbish they taught you.

One always treads with a joyful step when one has dropped the burden called the ego.

We see people and things not as they are, but as we are.

Thought can organize the world so well that you are no longer able to see it.

I can speak to you, not of the truth, but of obstacles to the truth. Those I can describe for you.

When you get rid of your fear of failure, your tensions about succeeding … you can be yourself. Relaxed. You’ll no longer be driving with your brakes on.

The genius of a composer is found in the notes of his music; but analyzing the notes will not reveal his genius. The poet’s greatness is contained in his words; yet the study of his words will not disclose his inspiration. God reveals himself in creation; but scrutinize creation as minutely as you wish, you will not find God, any more than you will find the soul through careful examination of your body.

The atheist makes the mistake of denying that of which nothing may be said… and the theist makes the mistake of affirming it.

You are never in love with anyone. You’re only in love with your prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person. Take a minute to think about that.

What’s the earthly use of putting a man on the moon when we cannot live on the earth?

You want to hope for something better than what you have right now, don’t you? But then, you forget that you have it all right now anyway, and you don’t know it. Isn’t the future just another trap? Why not concentrate on the now instead of hoping for better times in the future? Why not understand the now instead of forgetting it?

How does one cope with evil? Not by fighting it but by understanding it. In understanding, it disappears. How does one cope with darkness? Not with one’s fist. You don’t chase darkness out of the room with a broom, you turn on a light. The more you fight darkness, the more real it becomes to you, and the more you exhaust yourself. But when you turn on the light of awareness, it melts.

To know reality, you have to know beyond knowing.

Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.

Every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description.

No one can help the fish to find the ocean.

We’re all asses; we’re lunatics. The only reason we’re not locked up in an institution is that there are so many of us.

Is there life before death? — that is the question!

Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one’s awareness of one’s ignorance.

When you come to see you are not as wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you are wiser today.

Can one talk about the ocean to a frog in a well or about the divine to people who are restricted by their concepts?

These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness, and worship without awareness.

When you feel guilty, it is not your mistakes you hate but yourself.

The tragedy of an attachment is that if its object is not attained it causes unhappiness. But if its object is attained, neither does it cause happiness. It merely produces a flash of pleasure followed by the anxiety that you may lose the object of your attachment.

… the greatest learning lies in accepting life exactly as it comes to us.

To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything … you have it already. It’s your natural state. Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop illusions to regain happiness. Life is easy; it’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. 

“You are so proud of your intelligence,” said the master to the novice . “You are like a like a  condemned man proud of the vastness of his prison cell.”

Certainty is the culprit. The spiritual person knows uncertainty—a state of  mind unknown to the religious fanatic.

Have you ever attempted to organize something like peace? The moment you do, you have power conflicts and group wars within the organization. The only way to have peace is to let it grow wild.

Can you imagine leaving others free to be themselves: to think their own thoughts, indulge their own tastes, follow their own inclinations, and behave in ways that they decide are to their liking.

When you awaken, when you understand, when you see, the world becomes right.

The lovely thing about Jesus was that he was so at home with sinners. He understood he wasn’t better than they were.

Buddha said, ‘Do not accept my words … analyze them the way a goldsmith analyzes the quality of gold.