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from The Way to Love by Anthony De Mello . . .
To find the kingdom of joy is the easiest thing in the world but also the most difficult. Easy because it is all around you and within you, and all you have to do is reach out and take possession of it.
Difficult because if you wish to possess the kingdom you may possess nothing else. That is, you must drop all inward leaning on any person or thing, withdrawing from them forever the power to thrill you, or excite you, or to give you a feeling of security or well-being.
For this, you first need to see with unflinching clarity this simple and shattering truth: Contrary to what your culture and religion have taught you, nothing, but absolutely nothing can make you happy.
The moment you see that, you will stop moving from one job to another, one friend to another, one place, one spiritual technique, one guru to another. None of these things can give you a single minute of happiness. They can only offer you a temporary thrill, a pleasure that initially grows in intensity, then turns into pain if you lose them and into boredom if you keep them. Think of the numberless persons and things that so excited you in the past. What happened?
In every single instance they ended up by causing you suffering, or boredom, did they not? It is absolutely essential that you see this because till you do, there is no question of your ever finding the kingdom of joy.
Most people are not prepared to see the kingdom of joy till they have suffered repeated disillusionment and sorrow. And even then, only one in a million has the desire to see. They just keep going at it pathetically knocking at the door of other people, begging bowl in hand, craving affection and approval and guidance and power and honor and success. For they obstinately refuse to understand that happiness is not in these things.
If you search within your heart you will find something there that will make it possible for you to understand: a spark of disenchantment and discontent, which if fanned into flame will become a raging forest fire that will burn up the whole of the illusory world you are living in, thereby unveiling to your wondering eyes the kingdom that you have always lived in unsuspectingly.
Have you ever felt disgusted with life, sick at heart of constantly running away from fears and anxieties, weary of your begging rounds, exhausted from being dragged about helplessly by your attachments and addictions?
Have you ever felt the utter meaninglessness of working for a degree, then finding a job, then settling down to a life of boredom; or, if you are an achiever, settling down to a life of emotional turmoil caused by the things that you are chasing after?
If you have, and is there a single human being who hasn’t, the divine flame of discontent has arisen within your heart. Now is the time to feed it before it gets stamped out by the routine chores of life.