Niether is Renunciation The Solution
The following is the 6th chapter in AWARENESS: A de Mellow Spirituality Conference in His Own Words
by Fr. Anthony de Mello, S.J. edited by J. Francis Stroud, S.J., Copyright © 1990 by the Center for Spiritual Exchange
“Anytime you’re practicing renunciation, you’re deluded. How about that! You’re deluded. What are you renouncing? Anytime you renounce something, you are tied forever to the thing you renounce. There’s a guru in India who says, ‘Every time a prostitute comes to me, she’s talking about nothing but God. She says I’m sick of this life that I’m living. I want God. But every time a priest comes to me he’s talking about nothing but sex.’ Very well, when you renounce something, you’re stuck to it forever. When you fight something, you’re tied to it forever. As long as you’re fighting it, you are giving it power. You give it as much power as you are using to fight it. This includes communism and everything else. So you must ‘receive’ your demons, because when you fight them, you empower them. Has nobody ever told you this? When you renounce something, you’re tied to it. The only way to get out of this is to see through it. Don’t renounce it, see through it. Understand its true value and you won’t need to renounce it; it will just drop from your hands. But of course, if you don’t see that, if you’re hypnotized into thinking that you won’t be happy without this, that, or the other thing, you’re stuck. What we need to do for you is not what so-called spirituality attempts to do—namely, to get you to make sacrifices, to renounce things. That’s useless. You’re still asleep. What we need to do is to help you understand, understand, understand. If you understood, you’d simply drop the desire for it. This is another way of saying: If you woke up, you’d simply drop the desire for it.”
This reminds me of, how in meetings, people talk about having the desire to drink leaves almost at once. I think this comes from understanding and understanding comes from hearing others stories. That’s just me though. And, of course, it takes a lifetime to stop being an asshole.
I have just passed my year mark. It was after an office party at this time of year that I decided to check myself in to AA 365 days ago. I attend a weekly closed mixed discussion meeting and have just met someone who might be a friend. I try to speak up even though I am shy about it. I was invited to chair a meeting. I said yes. I stammered and sputtered through the whole thing but was glad I challenged myself and gladder still I didn’t disappoint the regular leader. I make coffee if it’s not made. I buy cookies once in a while. I mostly listen and keep an open mind. And understand.
Don’t forget to drive your own car to your friends and relatives homes and leave if you have to. Nothing is more important than your sobriety.