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A rediscovery of Life- Anthony de Mello review

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Anthony de Mello is an indian Jesuitian Priest. The talk I am reviewing is held in front of a fairly young adience, not necessarily your typical church audience. 

He starts off by explaining the importance of listening. He found out that it doesnt make sense to try to teach somebody who doesnt want to listen.

He uses a lot of stories and metaphors to get his point across. He tells the story of an indian guy who only has 6 months to live. Those 6 months were the happiest time of his life.

Anthony de Mello emphasises that your life is in a mess if you dont enjoy every second of it. Every upset and every form of negativity inside of you means that your life is in a mess.

He tells another story of guy who goes to a tribe in South Africa. The land of that tribe has a lot of diamonds, the natives dont know how precious they are. So they give him a basket full of those diamonds. He sells the diamonds and uses the money to buy the land from the tribe and becomes the richest man in the world afterwards. ADM says we often dont know what precious things we already posses. A metaphor for our life and that we dont know how precious that alone is. 

"The more occupied we are with something, the more we forget" is what we says.

A fisherman finds a box on the beach one night. It is full of flat stones. He playfully throws them in the water not really checking what they are. When the sun begins to rise, he sees that those are diamonds.He only has a few left. A metaphor to that we often dont know how precious our life is, so we throw it away beeing upset, refusing to listen and beeing unhappy.

A man is standing in the ocean. There are waves that make beeing there inconvinient. He asks people to make the waves stop somehow. He could just get out of the water but he refuses to. 

ADM says that we often want to stay in our bad state. We want to be miserable. 

You dont have to do anything to be happy. A crazy thought, ADM says. Beeing happy is crazy for the average person.

He also talks about dependance in relationship. Beeing attached to another person leads to beeing unhappy. True love is not beeing attached to somebody. "I dont want to be happy. I wanna be miserable with you."


"The route to sorrow is desire, so we must be desirelessness"

"The route to sorrow is attachment, so we must be attachmentless"

He tells another story of an african tribe that had no fear about things that didnt happen. Why would they worry about something that is not? Its like fish that is afraid of drowning. 

Beeing upset doesnt do anything. Because reality is not upsetting. It is the human that is making us upset, or our "programming" as he calls it.

Then he goes back to the attachment topic. We should not be attached to be people. Even if they die, there is no real reason for suffering. I would probably disagree with that, it is a nice thought to be so unattached and present in the moment, but if we are honest...I dont think any of us would proceed that event like ADM tells us to. 

"We shall never be upset. Reality is not upsetting. The human mind is what is making you upset."

If a person is making you upset, that means you are punishing yourself for other people's mistakes. That doesnt make any sense for ADM. In that context he tells a story about a man who always bought his newspaper from an unfriendly kiosk. When he was ask why he does that he answered that the unfriendly kiosk owner doesnt get to decide where he buys his newspaper. He just didnt get upset about it.

Another story about beeing not attached: A man gives another man a diamond. The man becomes rich, but quickly is in doubt about himself and the situation. He returns to the other man and says "could you give me the riches that made you give this away so easily?" Meaning: We are already happy if we are unattached to all external things. Attachment is a false belief emphasises ADM.


In my personal opinion "A rediscovery of life" is somehow similar to Eckhart Tolle's teachings. Both is about letting go and not beeing attached to what is externally happening to you. Also the programming of the mind is not to be trusted and therefore also our emotions. I think Eckhart Tolle is a little more practical because you also have the act of mediation coming with it. ADM also makes it seem like what he preaches is super easy to apply but I want to see someone not beeing upset when somebody close dies. I also dont really relate to his persona to be honest and his clownish tonality and way of presenting things, but he might be just a really happy guy. ShinChoc can really relate to the guy, which is good for him but probably wouldnt have watched reviewed the whole video without his recommendation. I will try to be less attached to the outcome and the result while learning game and try to not be emotional about everything. Also I will try to be less upset about external influences like noise or people beeing rude. Things you get a lot here in China. So I guess in the end the video did something for me and I should thank ShinChoc for that. It had some impact but nmaybe not the same as for him.

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Great review!

I've found that different books can have different impacts on us, even when it's the same information.  For whatever reason the same message from a different source can have a much bigger impact.

I've been amazed at how many people found Ekhart Tolle to be transformational, but I've never been impressed with him at all.

Thanks for taking the time to write this up!  Also, please link the video you watched here so others can check it out.

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