on 5 November 2010
A masterpiece written by a great master and human being. One of, if not the most, important books I've ever read. I keep re-reading it and keep finding sweeter music within its pages. This book is one of the greatest gifts ever given to humanity. Shocking initially, then liberating, then even more liberating, then you become addicted to its message of awareness / love / understanding.
Read it and allow its seed to germinate in you. Keep revising and refreshing its method until you bloom into the wonder and freedom of awareness.
I love the man and I love his message and I continue to be transformed by Awareness.
on 7 July 2006
Quote from book - "Someone once said, `the three most difficult things for a human being are not physical feats or intellectual achievements. They are, first, returning love for hate, second, including the excluded, third, admitting you are wrong.' However these are the easiest things in the world if you haven't identified with the, 'me'."
i.e "It is cold in this room", as opposed to "I am cold" its about trying not to think of things from the ego's perspective and being aware of other factors.
I'll start with saying this book is an excellent read and is full of inspiration for those who are fed up with their position in society and promotes a spirituality that does not depend on anything but the self, however, Anthony tries for the reader not to identify with the "I" nature of our personality by letting go of the selfish nature of the ego or personality. Sometimes points he is trying to make are repeated using different analogies, but because of the very well layered humour this does not distract the reader. Sometimes it can appear that Anthony's writing from a pompous attitude and full of an ego but he knows this and is honest to the reader regarding his harsh nature at times.
This book is for both people who have achieved accolades or gained prestige and for those who have not. Anthony includes a varied scope of topics for discussion by the reader but his overall message (if there is one to be found) is the age-old goal of achieving enlightenment or as he calls it Awareness. It's waking up to reality no matter the situation. It's letting go of concepts society has dispensed on us. It's about getting in touch with our souls.
This book comes highly recommended to those who are affected by so called `labels' that society has placed upon us and for those who are stuck in a rut as it were, and it is recommended to read it again a couple of times because some of the concepts are hard to grasp in the 1st sitting.
At 184 pages it's a good day's reading and has the potential to change your outlook and in turn your life. Read it as soon as you can.
on 11 July 2003
I noticed there were no used copies available.I have 2 but the first just about dropped to bits through use. I first came across this book about 12 years ago and it has been a constant companion through my spiritual life. I guess I am more of a Buddhist than a Christian these days but that is not important and it was not important to Tony de Mello who, though a Catholic priest, readily used Sufi, Buddhist and Jewish wisdom as well as Christian in his books.It's not either /or, folks, we are all trying to get to the same place.I tend to read only a page or 2 at a time and I end up so lost in thought that I put the book down again for a while. Every time I read it,something else comes out of it. I have loads of spiritual and self help books. This is far and away the best of both categories.
on 27 February 2011
This is an amazing book which helps you to stay in touch with the present moment through awareness. This helped me understand how people are asleep and need to wake up out of their illusion. It also helped me come to terms with my own stubborn ways and the resistance that I had put up to not awakening to the truth. De Mello talks about how most people do not want to wake up and how they can but first they must confront their inner-selves as a part of them wants to stay asleep. This book is dazzling in it's writing though, it thrills with each chapter giving great insights and the good thing about this book is that you can open it at any page and gain a truth from it. It is a comforting read for anybody who is alienated and feels that there is something more out there than what they have in their life at the moment.
It is also such an enthralling read that explains what the truth is and how our egos deny it. I haven't found a spiritual book that is crafted with such a flow of heart and soul. It actually can be read in one setting but I like to take my time and read it in bits and ponder and reflect over my life and how I can apply this wisdom to my life.
on 26 August 2009
Though at times his style is quirky, his message is simple, clear and wonderful.
I can't speak for everyone, but for me this book had a profound and instant impact. It's a little like I found the light switch, and with it came both sight and peace of mind.
I had first read Eckhart Tolle, "The Power of Now"; which was an interesting book and one that somewhat ironically started me "thinking." Though I have to confess, I found Eckart Tolle a little cold, pseudo intellectual and if I'm honest tedious in parts.
Awareness, in contrast is lightness. It's filled with the man, his anecdotes, frank reflections and easy lessons that are immediately actionable. Above all else it's a very human book, by a very real, loving and beautifully vulnerable man.
I would urge you to read it. I only hope that I can be wise enough to keep putting into action what Tony has offered me.
on 8 October 2003
If you're everyday consciousness is low ... if you are asleep ... this book will help wake you up.
You will become more conscious ... more awake ... more aware of the effect that your beliefs, values and prejudices have had on your world, those you love, your friends and work colleagues.
Because this book helps you understand yourself better ... your beliefs, values and prejudices and how you handle them and how you handle your frustrations ... you will also gain a deeper understanding of those you have known for years and years ... and those new acquaintances you come into contact with.
on 21 September 2002
This is simply one of the best books I have ever read.
there is no avoiding what he says. you cannot deny it.
he is not "RELIGIOUS" , what he says is true for LIFE and LIVING.
as he said " we don't see things how they are , we see them as
we are "
on 13 January 2011
What Antony de Mello manages to do is change your thought processes not by promoting behavioural changes, its not about adding behaviours as most self help books promote this doesn't last because your 'acting as if' and this doesn't go to your core being. what this book does is reveal the truth about your behaviour so you let it go, its not about adding anything. I've been one of those people manipulated by feelings of guilt, self help books telling you to say No are useless, this does not reveal the truth of why you are saying Yes. However this book gives three reasons for behaviour, 1) we say yes to things we want, its selfish because we gain but its honest. 2) we say yes to help others, this is a more spiritual, but its still selfish because we get the pay off that we are doing something good, which in turn makes us feel good, but its honest. 3)We do things to avoid feeling bad! Hands up? anyone? Thats me! I do things to avoid feeling guilty, i don't even do them because i feel good about it, I do it incase something bad happens if i say no, i take responsibility for the other person, this behaviour is dishonest, im not doing it because i want too. Thank you Antony de Mello your simplicity set me free. Free of all that self consuming guilt that often religion is responsible, you made me aware of my behaviour and from that i am now able to decide whether to say no. You showed me how i will always be a puppet to society if i allow the feelings about myself depend on others and that sets me up to be manipulated by others, press a button with a compliment and i'm up, press a button with a condemnation and i'm down. Attachment to importance on how i am viewed by others leaves me on a rollercoaster of emotion, and fear.
That said there is no biological understanding here, humans do have instincts and are driven to follow them, its the way our brains are made, so this does go against them, we are driven to be amongst our own kind, not alone either, but what Antony de Mello does is offer a way of living amongst others without being a prisoner to the manipulations of society and social interaction, we are brought up to internalise an image of ourselves from the reflection of our parents, but what this book can do is break that way of behaving, for that i am truly grateful. He also has a book called The Prayer of the Frog, a brilliant little book of anedotes that make you think and are are amusing. i also read Dawkins, and understand the physiology and anatomy of the human body, John Bradshaw is pretty good with the psyche, with all this you can reach your own conclusions on how to live, which is important i think i mean its all very well being a mathematical genius but if you don't know how to live whats the point? Although buddism is not a religion but a way of living, Antony de Mello has written more religious type books which i am not a fan of, but in this one he believes it more important to have no concept of God than one that is damaging, i couldn't agree more.