Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony De Mello

Timeless advice for a book published in 1990 – “leave this go-go-go work of illusion and become aware”. Reading this book helped me reaffirm what I had been feeling for many years. The author reinforces observing yourself as you can only change what you understand. This book is an easy read that I could not put it down.

Go to the Amazon site for book details.

My Notes

Very well, when you renounce something, you’re stuck to it forever. When you fight something, you’re tied to it forever. As long as you’re fighting it, you are giving it power.

Our Illusions About Others

Expect the worst, you’re dealing with selfish people.

They’re asleep like you. And what do you think they are going to seek? Their own self-interest, exactly like you. No difference.

You want freedom? Here it is: Drop your false ideas. See through people. If you see through yourself, you will see through everyone.


What’s the most important thing of all? It’s called self-observation. No one can help you there.

It means to watch everything in you and around you as far as possible and watch it as if it were happening to someone else. It means that you do not personalize what is happening to you.

The reason you suffer from depression and your anxieties is that you identify with them. You are not your depression.

Awareness Without Evaluating Everything

There’s nothing so delightful as being aware.

The unaware life is not worth living.

Most people don’t live aware lives. They live mechanical lives, mechanical thoughts – generally somebody else’s – mechanical emotions, mechanical actions, mechanical reactions.

Cut out all the judgments and simply observe, watch. You’ll make great discoveries. These discoveries will change you.