From The Way to Love by Anthony De Mello . . .

You falsely think that your fears protect you, that your beliefs have made you what you are, and that your attachments make your life exciting and secure. You fail to see that they are actually a screen between you and life’s symphony.  It is quite impossible, of course, to be fully  conscious of every note in life’s symphony. But if your spirit becomes unclogged and your senses open you will begin to perceive things as they really are and to interact with reality and you will be entranced by the harmonies of the universe.  Then you will understand what God is, for you will at last know what love is.

Look at it this way: You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. If you wish to see them as they are you must attend to your attachments and the fears that your attachments generate because when you look at life it is these attachments and fears that will decide what you will notice and what you block out. Whatever you notice then commands your attention. And since your looking has been selective you have an illusory version of the things and people around you. The more you live with this distorted version the more you become convinced that it is the true picture of the world because your attachments and fears continue to process incoming data in a way that will reinforce your picture.

This is what gives origin to your beliefs: they are fixed, unchanging ways of looking at a reality which is not fixed and unchanging at all but in movement and change. So, it is no longer the real world that you interact with and love but a world created by your head. It is only when you drop your beliefs, your fears and the attachments that breed them that you will be freed from the insensitivity that makes you so deaf and blind to yourself and to the world.

Think of yourself listening to an orchestra in which the sound of the drum is so loud that nothing else can be heard. To enjoy the symphony, you must be responsive to every instrument in the orchestra. To be in the state called love you must be sensitive to the uniqueness and beauty of every single thing and person around you. You can hardly be said to love what you do not even notice; and if you notice only a few beings to the exclusion of others, that is not love at all, for love excludes no one at all; it embraces the whole of life; it listens to the symphony as a whole, not to just one or the other of the musical instruments. Stop for a while now to see how your attachments drain life’s symphony no less than the politician’s attachment to power and the business­ man’s attachment to money have hardened them to the melody of life.