Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Must-Read Book, Part 3

     Last week I was introducing you to Anthony de Mello's book, Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality.  If you get nothing out of this book (and it really is jam-packed with clear and helpful hints on how to live more wisely), let me outline briefly one of the major lessons he returns to, which is his Four Steps to Wisdom.

     In step one, he asks that you first get in touch with your negative feelings (ones that you may not even be aware of).

     In step two, he says that you need to understand that the feeling is in you, not in external reality.  He says that no person, event, or circumstance has the power to disturb or hurt you.  Think on that a while.

     In step three, he says that we must never identify with that feeling, but realize that feelings come and feelings go.  Let it pass.  There is an eternal "I" which is completely undisturbed by external reality.

     In step four, he says that good feelings -- happiness, joy, bliss -- come from inside and have nothing to do with externals.  As we change, everything changes.

     As I read the book, I couldn't help but see that some of his philosophy has some influences of Buddhism and mindfulness practices.  Still, the way he presents his ideas make perfect sense and seem fresh and applicable as he describes them.  A fabulous book.

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