Awareness (2p) This book is writen by Anthony de Mello, the former director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling in Poona, India. He was a member of the Jesuit province of Bombay and he is widely known for his seminars, therapy courses and workshops in English and Spanish speaking countries. He died in 1987. It is a guide to the spiritual life. It tackles all the issues of life, like happiness, love, fear, suffering, hatred... I chose this book because I was recomended by a friend of university to read it. The author writes in second person. So the treatment is very personal with the reader. I think the book is fine to read, it transmits a considerable amount of energy and fosters us to wake up, to be aware of ourselves and of everything around us. The unaware life is a mechanical life. This happens when our ideas are fixed, they never change. Sometimes we are not conscious of how mechanical our life is. When we are unaware of ourselves, we are affected by our actions, in fact, we are enslaved by them. However, when we are aware, we are not controlled by them, we are free from them. The author stresses in the importance of being aware, he manifests that we have to be conscious of everything that is around us. We have to wake up. It's very important that we listen to ourselves when we are hearing to anybody. Otherwise we might be distorting what they say to us, or we might react in all kinds of ways that proceed from our insecurities, or our desire to succeed, need to persuade, irritations, etc. We suffer when we are out of touch with reality, with the truth. The suffering proves that there must be an illness or disease somewhere. It reveals that falsehood is clashing with the truth. In consequence our view is distorted from reality. The same happens that we suffer when illusions clash with reality. We should have a realistic approach in our illusions, be aware of the obstacles of life. Otherwise there is no suffering. I think we had better not fall into what Pedro Nueno (a Spanish author) calls â€œthe founder's feverâ€?. It is a very common mistake among our society and the entrepreneurs. Frequently our assumptions are brainwashed by certain conceived ideas of our society. We often think that our happiness is related to the acquisition of money, commodities, friends, a couple... We are influenced by these conceptions, which also affect to our behaviour in front of our society. We identify ourselves with labels. In the writer's opinion life is hard due to this.
De Mello believes that happiness is inside of us, and not out of us. Usually we look for happiness in material objects that are out of our ourselves. When we acquire these ones we come to the thought that we didn't really want them for a long time. We have to seek for the happiness which is inside us, deep in our soul. This one is permanent. I am not very sure to agree with the author. Does this mean we shouldn't search for goals in life? I think that happiness is on the road too, on the way to the realisation of these ones. And usually searching for goals entails looking for material items. I think these goals (even if we seek for material ones) don't why have to be bad. What doesn't proportione life-lasting happiness are the material items. Material articles don't provide happiness, but it is the search for these ones which may foster blissfulness. I am reffering to all the work behind the achievement of material items. Throughout this process we are able to experience flow, which is the highest state of happiness. This is my point of view. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't look for our inner happiness too. Identifying ourselves with labels is an error, because it might not let us follow our moral principles, nor behave ethically with all the humanity. Maybe I didn't understand well the De Mello's opinion. We usually think that somebody should change, but it is the opposite: We have to change, not them. We are vulnerable to them, we are the ones who suffer because of them. If they would change, would we have improved our capacities? Our negative feelings about the other person are inside us. We are responsible of them, not the other person. We have an expectation about the other person, we are making a demand. We have no right to demand actions or behaviours from other persons. Do we really have? Better if we didn't. This is something I think myself. Criticism allways arises, no matter what person it is. And this happens more frequently in famous personalities. I presume that the more famous is someone, no matter if he/she is a saint or a criminal, the more possibilities to be criticised. When we are angry is because we are afraid of losing our possesions. Fear is the root of violence. The author believes that Truly non violent ones are fearless. To summarize I consider that â€œAwarenessâ€? is a book worth reading for anybody who seeks for spiritual development. It is not too long and the author interacts with the reader, which makes of the reading more amusing. This interaction nurtures a greater impact on the reader as the way it is writen fosters awareness in the reading.