Reader comment on Anthony De Mello's passage ...

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    On Mar 12, 2019 David Doane wrote:

    First, happiness isn't caused in a linear cause and effect way. Happiness is a byproduct of a way of being that is unselfconscious right action. Unselfconscious right action is action done because it is right, not for acclaim, not for secondary gain, but because it is right. When engaged in right action I am not self conscious, I am one with myself, I am whole. When I am whole, I am holy. Right action is its own reward, and the reward is happiness -- a reward that is enjoyed, not sought. Second, holiness is effortless in the sense that I am holy by nature, but that gets lost very early in life and then it takes effort to regain and maintain, which we do for moments at a time. Holiness, like happiness, is the byproduct of living unselfconscious right action which takes effort that feels effortless because it is coming from being whole and the effort flows smoothly. Third, holiness can be desired, it can't be directly created or controlled. It's a byproduct or outcome. My actions contribute to outcome, and I control my actions at least to some degree, but I don't control outcome. Understanding is overrated -- what makes a real difference is action, and right action increases the chance of whole and holy outcome. I observe the opposite of a virtue in myself when my action is self conscious and goal directed, done to gain for me some favor or outcome that I desire. What helps me go past the cunningness of my ego and toward the wisdom of nature is to remind myself that my responsibility is to engage in unselfconscious right action and leave outcome to forces much bigger than myself.


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