Book Review: The Awareness: A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words
De Mello, Anthony. Awareness: A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1990. ISBN: 0 00 627519-2
It was quite delicious time that I spent with The Awareness: A de Mello Spirituality Conference in His Own Words in self-reflection and mediation. The book presents the reflections of Fr. Anthony De Mello SJ in his own live words sustaining the spontaneity of the author. In editing J Francis Stroud SJ has done an excellent job not to lose the real sense of Anthony.
The book can be summarized as ‘the message of awareness’ where one seeing the light realizes what we are to ourselves and to others. The author leads one to look into the self to see the person as he is, form a psychological point of view, accepting what we are (really), one is guided and helped to reach the real “I”. The egoistic ‘me’ becomes the real challenge to the process of self-awareness. It also helps one to discover that the problems in the world are not outside of the self rather it is the self. The unresolved psychological wounds become unanswerable behaviors in past. It exhorts us to be healed healer.
However, exaggerating independence of the self can lead to a negative reaction. At times the author even go to the extent to say that all what I am depends on me (not on the person with whom I live, and the situations), my happiness and joy are just my creation. May be true in the ideal situations but facing the realities of life the situations seems to be different. It is also true to say awareness is the most difficult goal that one has to achieve in his life.
But a wonderful reading and self-transforming book.