“Take a look at the world and see the unhappiness around you and in you. Do you know what causes this unhappiness? You will probably say loneliness or oppression or war or hatred or atheism. And you will be wrong. There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.
Because of these false beliefs you see the world and yourself in a distorted way. Your programming is so strong and the pressure of society so intense that you are literally trapped into perceiving the world in this distorted kind of way. There is no way out, because you do not even have a suspicion that your perception is distorted, your thinking is wrong, and your beliefs are false.
Look around you and see if you can find a single genuinely happy person—fearless, free from insecurities, anxieties, tensions, worries. You would be lucky if you found one in a hundred thousand. This should lead you to be suspicious of the programming and the beliefs that you and they hold in common. But you have also been programmed not to suspect, not to doubt, just to trust the assumptions that have been put into you by your tradition, your culture, your society, your religion. And if you are not happy, you have been trained to blame yourself, not your programming, not your cultural and inherited ideas and beliefs. What makes it even worse is the fact that most people are so brainwashed that they do not even realize how unhappy they are.”
Fr. Anthony DeMello, S.J., in “Awareness”
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Jeff Maziarek, author of Spirituality Simplified and Codi’s Journey, launched Pondercentral.com in April 2007 as a Web-based forum for “PONDER on THIS,” a series of weekday inspirational email messages he began sending to subscribers in March 1999. A FREE service since its inception, “PONDER on THIS” provides subscribers with meaningful content to assist them on their individual paths of spiritual growth. In addition, it benefits subscribers, authors, and publishers by including links to Amazon.com where subscribers can learn more about the book being quoted, and also purchase it.