Anthony de Mello on the cure to our ills, and why we don’t really want it

Today, a quick thought from a wise man on why many of us struggle.

Anthony de Mello was a spiritual teacher and Indian Jesuit priest who wrote about the benefits of all religions as opposed to a single Church doctrine.

His book Awareness, which is less a book than a series of transcribed recordings from his seminars, has been cited by many for its deep well of wisdom.

From the early chapters of Awareness comes this passage on why we struggle:

Most people tell you they want to get out of kindergarten, but 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.

In another sound bite a little later in the book, he says,

It’s only when you’re sick of your sickness that you’ll get out of it.

Most people go to a psychiatrist or a psychologist to get a relief.

I repeat: to get a relief.

Not to get out of it.

What do you think?

Are we typically afraid of the cure to our ills?

Is relief really all we want?

Or can short-term relief provide the respite we need to help ourselves find the long-term cure?

The comments are open below. Love to hear your thoughts…