Spirituality means waking up. Most people, even though they don’t know it, are asleep. They’re born asleep, they live asleep, they marry in their sleep, they breed children in their sleep, they die in their sleep without ever waking up. They never understand the loveliness and the beauty of this thing that we call human existence. You know all mystics -- Catholic, Christian, non-Christian, no matter what their theology, no matter what their religion -- are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.
Last year on Spanish television I heard a story about this gentleman who knocks on his son’s door. "Jaime," he says, "wake up!" Jaime answers, "I don’t want to get up, Papa."
The father shouts, "Get up, you have to go to school." Jaime says, "I don’t want to go to school." "Why not?" asks the father. "Three reasons," says Jaime. First, because it’s so dull; second, the kids tease me; and third, I hate school. And the father says, "Well, I am going to give you three reasons why you must go to school. First, because it is your duty; second, because you are forty-five years old, and third, because you are the headmaster." Wake up! Wake up! You’ve grown up. You’re too big to be asleep. Wake up! Stop playing with your toys.
Most people tell you they want to get out of kindergarten, but don’t believe them. Don’t believe them! All they want you to do is to mend their broken toys. "Give me back my wife. Give me back my job. Give me back my money. Give me back my reputation, my success." This is what they want; they want their toys replaced. That’s all. Even the best psychologist will tell you that, that people don’t really want to be cured. What they want is relief; a cure is painful.
Waking up is unpleasant, you know. You are nice and comfortable in bed. It is irritating to be woken up. That’s the reason the wise guru will not attempt to wake people up. I hope I’m going to be wise here and make no attempt whatsoever to wake you up if you are asleep. It is really none of my business, even though I say to you at times, "Wake up!" My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it fine; if you don’t, too bad! As the Arabs say, "The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens.
Father Anthony de Mello was author of many books. Excerpt above was taken from here.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the notion that we find cure painful and prefer temporary relief instead? Can you share an experience of committing to unpleasant cure over comfortable temporary relief? What helps you be aware of this distinction?
I think the author's assertion that other mystics/religions believe all is well is a bit misleading. As we see in the bible:
"But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes mainfest is light. Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.' " (Ephesians 5:13)
Stay woke :)
Only salvation can be said to cure ~ A Course in Miracles.
So true. Even when people get unwell , they only look for a relief rather than a cure.
Relief is immediate but the Cure may be time consuming and may be painful too.
We are only looking for shortcuts rather than the mental or physical discipline required for the cure.
Its almost like saying “ O God , I would love to go heaven buutt can you make someone else die for me”
cure is better than relief.
Relief gives momentary pleasure and infact the truth is we all are really running after it only. cure is permanent, but takes time and is painful. humans have lost the wisdom of identifying the relief and cure, but once a person does so, i m sure, they go into cure zone.
I don't agree with the aulthor that people don't want to be cured. People do want to be cured. Cure feels good. And being cured is passive, and people do want to passively be cured and feel good. What people don't want is to change, and cure requires change. Cure can be painful, but not necessarily; temporary relief can be pain free, but not necessarily. I've done some curing in speaking my truth, which has been change for me. Relief would have been to keep my truth to myself, which I found out was not a relief at all. Many times we want relief and cure without change. In our culture, we often seek relief and cure through drugs, legal and illegal ones. Drug use is usually an example of seeking relief and cure through an alternative to change. Alternatives to change at best provide relief, not cure, and the relief is typically temporary and often make matters worse. Learning such lessons helps me prefer change that cures to alternatives to change that at best provide temporary relief.[Hide Full Comment]
Wake up from your sleep is a message that comes from all spiritual wisdom traditions. My dad used to sing the song of awakening in Hindi every morning reminding him and us to wake up." Utha jaga musafir bhore bhai, aba rayan kahanataka sovat hai. Jo sovat hai vo kohovat hai, jo jagat hai so pavat hai." Wake up O traveler ! Morning has dawned.Wake up! There is no more night. Why do you keep on sleeping? The one who sleeps loses; the one who wakes up gains." This message has helped me through out my life. When I am not awake I fall down. I hurt mtself and others in my life. The falling down is a wake up call for me. I wake up from my sleep state, learn from my mistake and walk on the right path. Life is a journey, a process. It's all about choice making. When I am awake I make wise choices. As I am getting older my awakend state is getting longer with a few occasional short naps.
I love the Arabs saying: "The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in marshes and flowers in the garden." It boils down to choce making. Wise choice making is like the rain growing flowers in the garden of life.
May we ramain awake and receive the blessings "All is well!"
Jagdish P Dave