Finding a jewel, Awareness by Anthony de Mello S.J.

Few things are as rewarding as finding an unexpected jewel. It might be a film, some material thing -including a jewel- but in my case it was a book.

Anthony de Mello’s The Prayer of the Frog has been on my to read list for years, but it is a long list so I don’t really worry too much about it. A few months ago, I found another book by Anthony de Mello on the Free Bookshelf at my school: Awareness.

Well, I finally picked it up and it gave me a big slap on the face! What an awakening!

The book (published posthumously; de Mello died in ’87 the book was published in ‘90) is basically a transcript of one of his conferences. He shakes you to wake up, to start really seeing, to really listen and observe, to be aware of what we do, including charity work, to not label things, including God. The book is really priceless, with quotes such as:

We see people and things not as they are, but as we are.

Anthony de Mello

De Mello urges the reader to simplify, to understand the difference between desires and preferences. He points to our understanding of the world through our conditioning. The whole book is full of wisdom and urgency. I read the almost 200 pages in a few sittings.

One never quarrels about reality; we only quarrel about opinions, about concepts, about judgements.

Anthony de Mello

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