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Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality Paperback – June 1, 1990


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Frequently Bought Together

Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality + The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello (Image Pocket Classics) + Rediscovering Life: Awaken to Reality
Price for all three: $25.79

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Image Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385249373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385249379
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Using humor, compassion, and insight, the beloved and best-selling Anthony de Mello teaches us to welcome the challenge of knowing ourselves and living the "aware" life.

From the Inside Flap

Using humor, compassion, and insight, the beloved and best-selling Anthony de Mello teaches us to welcome the challenge of knowing ourselves and living the "aware" life.

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

Anthony De Mello was a wonderful and an amazing spiritual teacher.
Missing Lynx
This book changed my whole way of thinking and explained why I have lived my whole life in pain.
Jeffrey A. Briggs
Have loved this book for years, and I order multiple copies from time to time to give away.
J. Troy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

259 of 266 people found the following review helpful By JBM on May 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My reaction to this book is similar to most of those who have given it 5 stars so I won't repeat what they have all said. It's certainly a refreshing point of view that de Mello offers here and anybody who has found themselves questioning their religion, depressed and despondent about the state of their life or just not content within their current spiritual life practices can potentially gain from reading AWARENESS. It is so unlike the many self-help books that attempt to convince people they must change themselves or others to be more whatever it is is they think is right or good or happy or enlightened (i.e. "don't sweat the small stuff", etc.). This book makes it clear that the author holds no such illusions. You won't change anybody by reading this book. You won't even change yourself. You might, however, just start curiously observing or reflecting on yourself and your actions or feelings in a different way, a way more authentic to the person you really and truly are and what that person you call "I" wants or needs from life. And that little tweak in the way you perceive and experience your life can ripple widely and resonate deeply in you. You might just find that you no longer have such strong desires to change yourself or others and instead find in its place a developing sense of humorous detachment and delight as you begin to see through the folly that was ensnaring you and continues to ensnare others and simply enjoy a life free of your earlier immature mental and spiritual constraints. That is how I assess the effect of this book on my own life as it has become part of it through reading and re-reading this book from time to time.
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160 of 166 people found the following review helpful By Ben Parrish on April 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you had told me, an depressive athiest with a history of alcoholism and self-loathing, five years ago that I'd find the greatest book on the most revolutionary wisdom in the Christian section of the bookstore, I would have told you a) get away from me, and b) gimme whatever you're smoking.

Since that time I've come into a bit of a "spiritual path", and read countless books on awareness/mindfulness/presence, or whatever you'd like to call this path.

Many are wonderful. This was the finest of all, though. This is not a Christian book at all. It is simply another expression of the "one true wisdom" which cuts across all spiritual teachings, religious or otherwise.

It is what the Buddha was talking about. It is what Jesus was talking about. It is what Lao Tzu was talking about. It is what Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Tara Brach, Thich Nhat Hahn, Byron Katie are talking about today.

There's really only one teaching over the past six thousand years or so. You pick your favorite teacher. De Mello is, after reading this book, mine. Perfectly hilarious and light, but forceful and to the point, without getting bogged down in words. Like someone who so confidently knows the subject matter, so confidently lives it, that there is no need for pretense.

If you don't like it because it goes against your doctrine, your dogma, your beliefs, that's fine. When you have suffered enough, you will be ready to wake up from your dream.
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212 of 235 people found the following review helpful By Tw Rutledge on July 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Father De Mello died in 1987, I will speak of him as living because through his writings he is certainly alive and well. He is so alive, in fact, that The Vatican Information Services has a web page ("Notification concerning the writings of Fr. Anthony De Mello, SJ") devoted to discrediting De Mello's work. Here is my summary of that page: "Father DeMello does not think like we want him to think, so Catholics should disregard what he has to say."
...
Awareness is the simplest and most profound book I have ever read. It is less than 200 pages, and I imagine I can (and might) spend the rest of my life reading it. So consider this my "notification" to you about the writings of Anthony DeMello: to the degree that any of us allow ourselves to be awakened by this book --- or any other of his books --- we will be changed forever.
And apparently that makes the Pope nervous.
-Thom Rutledge, ...
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By OlleMeD on March 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is the strangest thing I ever read. I always thought the world was problematic. It never occurred to me that I am the problem, not the world. Dale Carnegie once said "success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get". I never understood that until I read this book. You are in for the shock of your life, assuming that you are ready to understand it. As he says, your ability to understand this is relational to how much truth you can take before you run away. People will always tell you "I just want the truth", but don't believe them, even for a second. What they REALLY want is to be right, first and foremost. The right God, the right philosophy, the right facts..... Then, if there's some room left over for the truth, so be it. THAT'S how people operate. They never consider that life is not the problem, THEY are the problem. He will prove this to you, and although that sounds painful, it's actually joyful and liberating. No need to judge the world anymore. He will shatter the belief system that makes you unhappy, and whether you know it or not, you are unhappy. One can be the happiest person in the entire depression ward of a hospital and can truely believe that they are happy based on relative comparison, but they are not happy. They don't know what true, unconditional happiness is. He will show you TRUE happiness, TRUE love, TRUE peace. Are you ready for that? I'll bet you're not.
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