Two further quotes from the book:
“Do you think you help people because you are in love with them?
Well, I 've got news for you. You are never in love with anyone. You’re
only in love with your prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person.
Take a minute to think about that: You are never in love with anyone,
you’re in love with your prejudiced idea of that person. Isn’t that how
you fall out of love? Your idea changes, doesn’t it? “How could you let
me down when I trusted you so much”? you say to someone. Did you
really trust them? You never trusted anyone. Come off it!”
"Think of someone you love very much, someone you’re close to,
someone who is precious to you, and say to that person in your mind,
“I’d rather have happiness than have you”. See what happens. “I’d
rather be happy than have you. If I had a choice, no question about
it, I’d choose happiness”. How many of you felt selfish when you said
this? Many, it seems. See how we’ve been brainwashed? See how
we’ve been brainwashed into thinking, “How could I be so selfish”?
But look at who’s being selfish. Imagine somebody saying to YOU,
“How could you be so selfish that you’d choose happiness over me”?
Would you not feel like responding, “Pardon me, but how could YOU
be so selfish that YOU would demand I choose you above my own
A woman once told me that when she was a child her Jesuit cousin
gave a retreat in the Jesuit church in Milwaukee. He opened each
conference with the words: “The test of love is sacrifice, and the
gauge of love is unselfishness”. That’s marvelous! I asked her,
“Would you want me to love you at the cost of my happiness”? “Yes”,
she answered. Isn’t that delightful? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? SHE
would love me at the cost of HER happiness and I would love her at
the cost of MY happiness, and so you’ve got two unhappy people, but
LONG LIVE LOVE! "
The issue is that de Mello presents love and happiness as being mutually exclusive - it’s either one or the other. I don’t think that is correct at all. And this logic further shows his apparent ability/willingness to completely detach himself from relationships. The Scriptures teach love for all people, for example. They don’t say that we should choose our own happiness over love.