I have no fear of losing you, for you aren’t an object of my property, or anyone else’s. I love you as you are, without attachment, without fears, without conditions, without egoism, trying not to absorb you. I love you freely because I love your freedom, as well as mine. You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. We were brought up to need people. For what? For acceptance, approval, appreciation, applause – for what they call success. Those are words that do not correspond to reality. They are conventions, things that are invented, but we don’t realise that they don’t correspond to reality. What is success? It is what one group decided is a good thing. Another group will decide the same thing is bad.
People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it. Happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the stupidity of society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels! When you come to see you are not as wise today as you thought you were yesterday, you are wiser today. People who want a cure, provided they can have it without pain, are like those who favour progress, provided they can have it without change. 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. Every word, every image used for God is a distortion more than a description. The Rose does not preen herself to catch my eye. She blooms because she blooms. A saint is a saint until he knows he is one. You are so proud of your intelligence,” said the master. “You are like a condemned man, proud of the vastness of his prison cell. As one man said, “I got a pretty good education. It took me years to get over it.” That’s what spirituality is all about, you know: unlearning. Unlearning all the rubbish they taught you. Sinners often speak the truth. And saints have led people astray. Examine what is said, not the one who says it. The only way someone can be of help to you is in challenging your ideas. If you’re ready to listen and if you’re ready to be challenged, there’s one thing that you can do, but no one can help you. What is this most important thing of all? It’s called self-observation. Of what use is it to be tolerant of others if you are convinced that you are right and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong? That isn’t tolerance but condescension.
If what you seek is Truth, there is one thing you must have above all else. “I know. An overwhelming passion for it.”
“No. An unremitting readiness to admit you may be wrong.”
The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis — Richard Rohr