Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Must-Read Book, Part 2

     I'm such a tease.  The book I was referring to last week, the one that took my soul and pointed to a way deeper and purer than ever before, the one that rattled my viewpoint and spoke to the essence of wise living, is Anthony de Mello's Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality.

     First, a word about Anthony de Mello.  He was born in Bombay, India, in 1931 and became a Jesuit priest and a psychotherapist.  His writing shows both a strong mystical leaning as well as a rare insight into the human psychological dilemma.  One of the things that I also appreciated about his viewpoint is that he was able to meld Eastern and Christian spirituality with a clear description of human psychology.  He spoke and wrote with a rare clarity that took my breath away.

     Sadly, he died too soon, at the age of fifty-five, of a heart attack.

     Awareness is a compilation of talks de Mello gave at a spirituality conference, put together and edited by an associate, J. Francis Stroud, after de Mello's death.  Happily, it reads like you are sitting in the conference room with him, watching as he goes off on tangents, or re-engages his audience with a fitting joke.  He speaks to where people are, and not in some nebulous theoretical discourse.  It's a pleasure to read.

     If you are remotely interested in deepening your spiritual life, read this book.  Like, right now.  Like, go to your favorite bookstore and order it.  Now.  It will change your life.

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