Book Club: Awareness - The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthoney De Mello
Updated: Jul 15
Awareness - The Perils and Opportunities of Reality
Book Review Score: 10/10
Our emotions and actions are guided through our filters, ideas, and preconceptions on reality. These ideas have been trained into us by society for as long as humans have been around. We are taught how to react to other people’s behavior. Our preconceived notions of people and the world do not let us truly see.
This is the issue, there are feelings and then there are emotions. Everybody has feelings, they are a natural physiological response to our reality. These feelings come and go like clouds in the sky. It is our reaction and attachment to these feelings that cause emotions.
If we are unaware, we attach ourselves, our ego, our personality to these emotions. We say “ I am sad, I am happy, I am depressed, I am in love.” We define our whole state of being and self by the emotion we feel.
When we are not aware, we are blind to reality, reacting to everything around us as if it is directly affecting us. Becoming aware is hard. Waking up is a hard thing. It forces us to get outside of ourselves and not think that everything that happens to ‘I’ is reality. Being fully present is a way of awareness.
Demello brings up some really challenging ideas in this book, like meditating on your own death to get a sense of your mentality, or the fact that you do not love the person you love, you love your idea of them. His perspective on thoughts and emotions blew my mind, he reminds us over and over again that we do not have to be attached to them.
In the book, Demello challenges the reader to notice any feeling when it arises, accept it for what it is, and ask ourselves why we feel that way. Do this 1000 times and you will become more aware. Constantly asking yourself why you are attached to a certain feeling will help you to understand yourself more, and be in a more positive mindset. I would recommend this to everybody, but with a warning. For someone who is very attached to who they are and has less of an open mind, this could shake the entire foundation of what you believe, for good or bad.
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality will teach you a lot about yourself. You will understand the stories you tell yourself on a daily basis. Your feelings and emotions become more clear. You question why you are feeling certain ways and why you have particular preconceived beliefs.
I believe this book will benefit anyone struggling with a negative mindset and can show you how to get a different perspective, improving your outlook on life.
It’s a short book and is perfect to read on a kindle. You can highlight the messages that speak to you the most, then go back and re-read whenever you feel necessary. Something I will definitely be doing with this book.
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