Thursday, March 19, 2009

hey knucklehead! I'm an about you?

People tell you, "I think you're very charming," so I feel wonderful. I get a positive stroke (that's why they call it I'm O.K., you're O.K.). I'm going to write a book someday and the title will be I'm an Ass, You're an Ass. That's the most liberating, wonderful thing in the world, when you openly admit you're an ass. It's wonderful. When people tell me, "You're wrong." I say, "What can you expect of an ass?"
Disarmed, everybody has to be disarmed. In the final liberation, I'm an ass, you're an ass. Normally the way it goes, I press a button and you're up; I press another button and you're down. And you like that.
How many people do you know who are unaffected by praise or blame? That isn't human, we say. Human means that you have to be a little monkey, so everybody can twist your tail, and you do whatever you ought to be doing. But is that human? If you find me charming, it means that right now you're in a good mood, nothing more. It also means that I fit your shopping list. We all carry a shopping list around, and it's as though you've got to measure up to this list--tall, um, dark, um, handsome, according to my tastes. "I like the sound of his voice." You say, "I'm in love." You're not in love, you silly ass. Any time you're in love—I hesitate to say this--you're being particularly asinine. Sit down and watch what's happening to you. You're running away from yourself. You want to escape. Somebody once said, "Thank God for reality, and for the means to escape from it." So that's what's going on.
We are so mechanical, so controlled. We write books about being controlled and how wonderful it is to be controlled and how necessary it is that people tell you you're O.K. Then you'll have a good feeling about yourself. How wonderful it is to be in prison! Or as somebody said to me yesterday, to be in your cage. Do you like being in prison? Do you like being controlled?
Let me tell you something: If you ever let yourself feel good when people tell you that you're O.K., you are preparing yourself to feel bad when they tell you you're not good. As long as you live to fulfill other people's expectations, you better watch what you wear, how you comb your hair, whether your shoes are polished--in short, whether you live up to every damned expectation of theirs.
Do you call that human?
Anthony de Mello, an excerpt from his book, Awareness.


Anonymous said...

We all can be asses, sometimes I wish I could be an ass at the right time not hours after the incident.
I still think your a nice ass


Awareness said...

Why thank you Mavis! We can only continuing practising our ass like ways and hope we get it right every once in a while.

Have a great day!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Ok this is too funny...I often read blogs via my Reader and don't actually open the its just text. Just now I opened what I thought was the blog of my friend Gary and as I read here i kept thinking to myself...this seems like something Dana would post, this is so unlike Gary, but its so good! When I got to the bottom I was you quoting your "friend". What a great reminder to all of us...very liberating to think we are all a bunch of asses.

kenju said...


"As long as you live to fulfill other people's expectations, you better watch what you wear, how you comb your hair, whether your shoes are polished--in short, whether you live up to every damned expectation of theirs."

I have done this all my life; I grew up being taught it was the way to be. About 3-4 years ago, I said to myself....Grow up and quit that. It's hard to get out of the habit, but I'm getting there little by little!!

Scarlet said...

I guess I've never really cared.
I mean, to some extent, we ALL search for approval.
But no, for the most part, I live my life for me.
And yeah, I AM an ass.
Stubborn, pig-headed, opinionated, mouthy and loud.
Those are some of my finer qualities .... lol :)

Independent Chick said...

I'm an ass....

Awareness said... glad to be predictably an ass. :) It is liberating!

Judy....glad to know you've embraced your ass-ness. We are taught the opposite arent we...always trying to please, reacting to compliments and put external locus of does take a concerted effort to move that internally doesn't it. I'm like you....just learning how to do that.

Scarletina...You go girl. All tremendous qualities. lol!

IC...I know you are but what am I? ;)

much2ponder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
much2ponder said...

Well Dana, if I wasn't awake before, I think I am awake now. LOL! Love this post. Food for thought and a good reminder. I work in a prison, but do not want to live my life in one. So, I pose this question. Since we are little monkey-asses and have been pretty much trained/conditioned from birth to use other people's view of us as a reflection of who we really do we break free of this prison?

Awareness said...

m2p...I believe the main message in de Mello's words is that we have to be a little bit more selfish and think of ourselves and our own happiness as well and to know that we will mess up just like everyone to forgive embrace the fact that we are all asses.

We tend to get so bound up in doing what is right and what is expected that we can't seem to get it right. By so doing, we mess it up anyways. Do you know what I mean?