I’ve recently been reading some work by Anthony de Mello, S.J. One of the meditations in his book, Call to Love, caught my eye. In it, de Mello says that in our daily lives, there is a “layer of fat” that clouds how we see and experience things. He emphasizes how important it is for us to remove this fat so that we can see the world for how it really is– hence the “liposuction”.
What is this layer of fat that he is talking about, really? When you are a small child, you just interact with the things around you; kids ‘soak things up like a sponge’. There is just a massive download during this time of pure experience. After we get more and more experiences though, we start relating these experiences to other things. It is the experiences that we have had and the judgments that we make on things that constitutes this “layer of fat”. If we are unaware of this, these experiences and judgments naturally cloud how we see things and what is going on. For example, you may see a person one way due to how they have acted in the past. Although this is natural and can be helpful, it is not accurate. If we want to see the world for what it is, we have to remove that judgment that we have made and experience things for how they are now, as that is the only thing that is real in the moment.
Removing this layer of fat is not easy since using past experience to inform current events is one of the most natural things for humans to do, as well as one of the most helpful in our evolution. Therefore, it cannot and should not be discarded completely. However, it is essential to keep in mind the “layer of fat” that this creates. As long as we are aware of this, we can take the necessary steps to attempt to see things clearly and make the best decision possible for the situation.
It is not so much that we need to change ourselves and go against our nature. Going against nature is futile and will hinder your progress. Just by bringing the awareness into your days, you can begin to see the world more clearly, live in the now, and fully experience your life. After all, this life is meant to be experienced NOW in all of its beauty!