from Awareness by Anthony De Mello . . .

The first thing I want you to understand (if you really want to wake up) is that you don’t want to wake up.

No one does.

The first step to waking up is to be honest, to admit to yourself that you don’t like it. You don’t want to be happy. You don’t want to make happiness first and foremost in your life. We want other things first. Or to put it more accurately: We don’t want to be unconditionally happy.

I’m ready to be happy provided I have this and that and the other thing. But this is really to say to our friend or to our God or to anyone, “You are my happiness. If I don’t get you, I refuse to be happy.”

It’s so important to understand that. We cannot imagine being happy without those conditions. We cannot conceive of being happy without them.

We’ve been taught to place our happiness in them.

Here’s a test that reveals it. Think of someone you love very much, someone you’re close to, someone who is precious to you.  Now in your mind imagine saying to this person, “I’d rather have happiness than have you.”

“I’d rather be happy than have you.

“Given a choice, no question, I’d choose happiness.”

Most people feel selfish in saying this.  Imagine the person you love so much saying to you, “How could you be so selfish to choose happiness over me?”

Would you not feel like responding, “Pardon me, but how could you be so selfish to demand I choose you above my own happiness?!”