- Paperback: 194 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; (Reissue) edition (3 Dec. 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006275192
- ISBN-13: 978-0006275190
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 151 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Awareness Paperback – 3 Dec 1990
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De Mello's spiritual classic remains at the top of the "Fount" bestsellers more than five years after its original publication.
From the Back Cover
'Awareness' is Anthony de Mello's best-selling guide to the spiritual life, now firmly established as a modern spiritual classic. It uses humour, compassion and insight to help readers into an understanding of the importance of 'awareness' in order to understand ourselves and the world around us.
With anecdotes and stories as well as guidelines and exercises in self-help, this book is filled with real wisdom and practical advice. It tackles the universal issues of change, happiness, suffering and loss and also gives direction on coping with love, anger and fear.
One of the most gifted spiritual teachers of the 20th century, Anthony de Mello was widely known throughout the world for his retreats, workshops and therapy courses before his untimely death in 1987. Also published by Fount is his collection of short story meditations, 'The Heart of the Enlightened'.See all Product description
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If you are a Christian within a particular culture, you may find it unsettling. For example, de Mello refers with approval to some ideas and attitudes of Eastern non-Christian mysticism.
For myself the answer is:
(1) it is wrong - and contrary to the teachings of the Church - to consider that all other religions lack insight or truth. The critical difference is in the question "Is Jesus Christ God?". If you believe Yes, and hold that in mind while reading the book, you will be alright.
(2) The book is not an exposition of Christianity; but it does revive concepts which the Church in practice has neglected, but we're very much alive in other times e.g. the Desert Fathers.
I suggest you read the book and apply the concepts to your own relationship with God. You will find that they are enriching and revealing. If you come across something with which you do not agree, simply reject it and read on.
I have recently sold most of my books as they don't speak to me in the same way and no longer serve me. Most just repeat same old, but this one is for keeps. Not so keen on his other books, apart from Rediscovering life which is also excellent.
I say it is a book to keep coming back to because although it trips along most readably it actually contains profundities that bear revisiting. It's a bit like the lad who complimented his dad on how much he seemed to have learnt during the time his son was at college. This book seems to get smarter in that way too. When I first read it I was all excitement, and kept seeing Gurdjieff in it. Later I concluded that it was essentially Buddhism. Now I bracket it with Advaita/Non-duality. It is all these things and lots more besides.
Apparently Tony de Mello had the same view of much of this stuff, and was in the habit of repeating the Chinese Farmer story rather often, to people he must have known he'd told it too often enough, as if to say "Have you REALLY squeezed all the juice out of this one yet? Or is there more? Have you maybe still missed the main point?"
So if you love this book, and reckon you've got its message, return to it and maybe get even more, and more...
Recommend? Well yes, clearly!
Full of humourous short paradoxical stories and parables that illustrate how to awaken awareness of the reality of life and provide insights into ourselves and a glimpse of the mystery of a higher consciousness that pervades all. De Mello's psychological viewpoint is what really captures the reader's attention. He makes the reader stop and reflect on the stories rather than bombarding him/her with set beliefs. De Mello asks you to enquire into your own being and into the reality of life and its quirkiness and to extract the meaning for yourself.
Such books should be welcomed as useful stepping stones to an awakened awareness of something beyond ourselves. Such books excite interest in the inner life and often provoke further exploration and reading and even the following of a spiritual path. Such books are beacons of light giving a taste of the potential beauty and depth of the inner life that can lead to a more wholesome view of life in every moment.
Worth reading Anthony de Mello's autobiography if you find his many books a thought-provoking read.
Beautifully written with humour and love.
I would definitely recommend reading Anthony de Mello again and again.
One of the most thought provoking books that I have ever read. Written with a humorous style, it is a gentle reminder that we are responsible for our own well-being.
Religion does not necessarily equate with true Christianity, or with true spirituality, or with enlightenment.... it hardly ever does!!
This book can, if read with a truly open mind, be so liberating, it's almost too good too be true! but.. the beauty of it is... IT IS SO TRUE you'll wonder why the 'penny' didn't 'drop' long ago!!! :-)
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