Dear friends and followers of my brother Tony,
I apologise for this somewhat lengthy post. There is something important I wish to share with you, an important discovery; so please bear with me. And after you have read this piece, I would be more than happy to hear your comments. And if there are none-that will be fine too.
A recent event brought home a truth I had been ignoring. It was blatantly obvious but invisible to me because I was asleep. My ego had taken over the event.
The event I refer to is the removal of video coverage from Tony’s website www.tonydemello.com by an organisation representing Tony’s work. It appears they have the copyright to these videos and have, in their wisdom, blocked them. Tony’s website (which I manage) offers two books for sale. Proceeds after tax will be donated to charity in Tony’s name. Of course, the videos were an encouragement for people to engage with the website and subsequently purchase the book/s thus contributing to a cause dear to me. (Notice the “Me”?)
The videos I uploaded are freely available all over the internet and so, I did not imagine I had to seek permission to upload material from the very man (Tony) who gave us these videos in the first place. It appears I was misguided in my judgement.
My initial reaction- I was outraged! I thought, “How dare these people remove video recordings from the man who recorded them? These are his videos, his production “Then after a couple of days of silent reflection, I realised that this reaction was coming from my ego. Sure, I will work toward keeping Tony’s words and wisdom going for as long as I live. But in so doing, if I adopt a pedantic approach to how the website performs, then I am fanning my ego and ignoring everything Tony stood for.
Tony never asked me to do this work. In fact nobody has ever requested me to do this. I undertook to do this work myself. It would appear no one has been affected by the removal of these videos from Tony’s website, besides me; because I have not received any objections about their removal from anyone to date. But still, I was planning ways and means of getting them re-posted. And I was determined at first, that I (again, here’s my ego) would have it no other way.
Then this morning I meditated on what has happened in the last few days and I remembered a story which I included in Tony’s biography, The Happy Wanderer. This story said it all! It was as if a light got turned on in my head and a voice was saying to me, “Bill, so what if those videos have been banned on Tony’s website? They are available all over the internet aren’t they? So why are you, Bill, claiming credit for so diligently posting them on Tony’s website? So very true!! That was all I needed, to come down to earth and be grateful for what I have. Coupled with this story, I would also like to include a quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti. A correspondent sent it to me without any specific intent: “This is my secret—I don't mind what happens”
After contemplating on the above quote and the story to follow, I am no longer outraged. I am at peace. All shall indeed be well….and I really don’t mind what happens!
Excerpt from The Final Word - Anthony deMello, The Happy Wanderer:
The story you are about to read was one of Tony’s favourites, (the last page of his book, Sadhana ,Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, India) along with a sentence which he took so much consolation from. I had read this story many years ago but only recently, have I come to realise the full impact of its meaning. I want to share it with you, my readers and hope it registers as well with you as it has with me:
Footnote: Re: the underlined sentence above, I asked myself, “How could I have so easily forgotten what I professed only three years ago”?
There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when all the farmer’s neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, ‘Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?’ A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, ‘Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?’ Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this was very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, ‘Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?’ Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg they let him off. Now was that good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?
Everything that seems on the surface to be an evil may be a good in disguise. And everything that seems good on the surface may really be an evil. So we are wise when we leave it to God to decide what is good luck and what bad, and thank him that all things turn out for good with those who love him. Then we shall see something of that marvellous mystical vision of Juliana of Norwich who uttered what for me is the loveliest and most consoling sentence I have ever read: ‘And all thing shall be well; and all thing shall be well; and all manner of thing shall be well!’
Anthony deMello SJ. The Happy Wanderer.
September 4th 1931 – June 1st 1987.