From Awareness by Anthony De Mello . . .

Wake up. Put on a new mind. All is well. We are surrounded by a loving, joyful force and the only tragedy is that we are blind to it. Life is a banquet and the tragedy is that most people are starving to death. There’s a story about some people who were on a raft off the coast of Brazil perishing from thirst. They had no idea that the water they were floating on was fresh water. The river was coming out into the sea with such force that it went out for a couple of miles, so they had fresh water right there where they were. But they had no idea.

In the same way, we’re surrounded with joy, with happiness, with love. but most people have no idea of this whatsoever. The reason: They’ve been brainwashed by society into believing things that are not real or true. We’ve been hypnotized; we’re asleep. Imagine a stage magician who hypnotizes someone so that the person sees what is not there and does not see what is there. We can wake up!

That’s what it’s all about: waking up from a bad dream. Jesus said, “Repent and accept the good news. By repent, he meant, “Wake up! There’s nothing to fear. All is well, here and now. ” He meant neither is there any need to suffer from the pain of the past, from your past mistakes and the past mistakes of others. Why anguish over mistakes and failings that were committed when either you or someone else was lost in a hypnotic state induced by a misguided social system that programs people to see a threatening world? Why would you want to identify with a program as depressing as that?

Wake up! Wake up! All is well. Put on a new mind. Take on a new way of looking at things! For “the kingdom is here!”

So, the first thing you need to do in order to wake up is to face the fact that YOU DON’T LIKE BEING ROUSED FROM YOUR SLEEP. You’d much rather have all of the things which society hypnotized you into believing are so precious, so important, so necessary for your life and your survival. Ideas that make you worry over success, fame, money . . . over being accepted, being approved of and fitting in. Ideas about what love is, about what freedom is, about what peace and happiness is.

Second, UNDERSTAND that maybe you’ve got the wrong ideas and it is these ideas that are influencing your life and making it the mess that it is and causing you to feel unhappy and unfulfilled and to remain asleep.

It isn’t easy to listen to someone like me who challenges the programmed ideas that are so ingrained in people, but challenging that programming is where happiness begins; it’s where enlightenment begins; it’s where your eyes begin to open to the divinity surrounding you. Awakening is in direct proportion to the amount of truth you can take without running away. For that, what you need most is the readiness to see something new.