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The way to Love is a collection of meditations written by Anthony De Mello just before his death. This book is deceivingly very small. But readers should not let its size discourage them fro even one moment. It is actually said to be a composition on Anthony de Mello's last words that are filled with wisdom. It can be used appropriately for personal contemplations for readers like you and I. He selects pieces from the Gospels in the bible and weaves a book that is all about living a life in love.
Personally, I can say the book is extraordinary. Religious life is just a name, but it is simply a life. Anthony de Mello, in my opinion, represents the best of the Christian tradition fro all of us to benefit from.
Although Tony de Mello uses quotes from the New Testament, he uses very little religious language in this particular book. But all the same I found the book full of insight and wisdom. He simply addresses the problems all humans face and gives practical approaches of how to free ourselves from suffering by letting go of our natural beliefs and attachments. He says "we are free to live fully in the moment like the birds in the sky."
We can all find freedom to love everyone unconditionally. We can only love others unconditionally this by recognizing that most of what we think of as love is actually selfish and at times possessive. This then brings out a different perspective of true happiness. It seems so simple and so easily attainable. I must be honest and say that I have never read a book that puts the essence of the teaching of Jesus Christ so succinctly. This book gives simple and thought provoking principles that open our eyes to the world around us.
Each chapter challenges our goals, reasoning, thoughts as well as beliefs that we all need to be happy. We should spend time contemplating these principles and experience the freedom that comes out of anxiety and boredom in our lives. It prompts us of a new level of thinking that awakens our society; religion and family have all taught us. Each one will find this book well written just as I did. Above all it is easy to follow because it is organized in short chapters that have a particular theme that is essential in escaping from desire and fear.
I can also say that the book explains much more than awareness and links in with the teachings of Jesus which include how to be happy. In fact, Mello says that we are all happy. It's us who just let other things get in the way of our happiness. Though this sounds a little crazy, it works. Just as he says, "...the path to happiness is here, if you have courage to drop your addictions, your attachments...and truly love..." we all know what makes us happy, and why should we let other things come between this happiness?
The thirty one brief chapters provide twenty to thirty minutes of serious meditations which can be used everyday if needed, over a month. Anthony de Mello's wisdom from the east together with his Jesuit background gives an interpretation of the real way to love. This is different and enlightening as compared to the Christian theologians of all time that we have read previously.
Each meditation is based on a bible verse. But the content is acceptable in all other religions or humanistic backgrounds. Although this is a pocket sized book, one carries it throughout the day to use appropriately at any moment. One will always gain something new from the book every time you read the book. This is truly Anthony De Mello's mediation.
The title "the way to love" could also have been called "the key to happiness" in my own opinion. This is because the real key to happiness is contained in these meditations. The question that I asked myself was what is this key? I think we should all know that our happiness comes from within us and partly from the environment. This book contains many inspirational messages and focuses on the idea that happiness is an innate state and we can always choose to return to that state at any given time. The book as well inspires readers to deeply contemplate.
I also found that the book is most helpful in taking new approaches to life. It helps one to get rod of unwanted thoughts and habits. It is a book that can be used as a meditation for daily experiences.
Anthony De Mello engages our minds and hearts deeply in the general process of explaining love and happiness, showing how our views are about love. He shows how to progress slowly, mature in our general spiritual life.
"...If you wish to love, you must learn to see again..." This sentence comes directly from this book. Therefore, innate human wisdom is not something that is directly copyrighted. It is not something that only a few selected teachers or writers have a right to express. Wisdom comes from us and is expressed by all of us. Each one of us has a right to express our own wisdom.
Unlike other spiritual leaders, Anthony Mello is best known for his inspiring compilation of wisdom which he expresses in this book pretty well. Other leaders will tell you about dos and don'ts which later enslave you. What he emphasizes throughout is the importance of learning to see. This is actually what we all avoid in life. We live with our own illusions and our attachments in spite of that real fact that they cause us endless suffering
So, why should we open our eyes and see? I believe the logic is simple! According to Mello, when we open our eyes we see thing as they are. We can see the place of love in life. Therefore life without love is not worth much. We always want to be desperately loved without us really loving. "We may think we love somebody but if we don't see them as they are, we cannot possibly love them." argues De Mello.
The reason we cannot love, according to Mello is because we cannot and do not want to see. Seeing goes beyond the physical aspect and also the intellectual perception. Most of the time what we think we love is typically an image, a beautiful picture we carry in our heads about the person we love. He goes on to say that "the finest act of love that you can perform is not an act of service but contemplation. When you serve people you help, support, comfort, alleviate pain. When you see them in their inner beauty and goodness you transform and create."
"Think of the terror that comes to a rich man when he sets out to really see the pitiful condition of the poor" Says De Mello. This terror to Mello has to do with the destruction of the illusions that we value most and the images which make up our world and in which our lives are based.
This is a book that I highly recommend readers to read again and again. It is one of those meditations that we all can use in our reasoning and general life assumptions.