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Awareness
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on 3 September 2017
I bought this from Amazon many years ago, and have just re-read it. Some past comments question the compatibility of de Mello's views with Christianity; and indeed the Church published a warning (but not disapproval).

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.
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on 20 August 2010
The book opens with a thought-provoking and amusing little parable about an eagle who thinks he is a chicken because he was reared as a chicken. Basically he is not aware of who he really is. This whole book is about becoming aware of one's authentic self and opening up to the wonderful world of opportunity available to us for growth in our personal inner life whatever the outward circumstances. By becoming aware and losing all the inner chaff that clouds our vision we gain insight into why circumstances are as they are and learn to modify our reactions as a result of self-awareness. An easy read and a simple message for anyone, whatever their spiritual status or tradition, interested in personal growth. In fact you don't have to be interested in spiritual thought at all.

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.
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on 16 November 2012
This book wasn't written by Tony de Mello as a book. It is edited from one of his spirituality conferences, hence the very direct conversational style. Some regard the tone as a bit hectoring but it just sounds mischievous in the original conference footage (which can be found on Youtube).

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!
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on 18 April 2018
Good 2nd hand copy and good service. As for the book, one of the most profound I have ever read and he has a brilliant sense of humour. If you're searching for something, I couldn't recommend highly enough.
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on 1 April 2014
This book and/or the series of CDs of which it is a transcript, WILL change your life!!! I can guarantee it!
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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on 6 March 2013
De Mello's style is confrontational and urgent. Awareness is about how to find your spiritual core. De Mello urges us to recognise how we are programmed by our societies and cultures to believe certain things which are detrimental to our spiritual well-being. Through stories and a delivery which makes you feel he is in the room talking to you he helps you to better understand yourself and the world and to bring you closer to God. Although de Mello is a Jesuit his teaching touches the core of all religions and can be read and understood by anyone on a spiritual journey.
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on 10 October 2016
Fantastic and Funny.

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.
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on 17 June 2018
One of the first book I've read where I actually learned and understood the meaning of inner peace and how to attain it.

Beautifully written with humour and love.

I would definitely recommend reading Anthony de Mello again and again.
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on 31 May 2017
Loving this. Haven't finished it yet and will no doubt read it several times. He writes with great humour and insite. If this is your thing, it's a must have book.
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on 2 August 2017
in good condition
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