Awareness (Book Review with Quotes)

Awareness (Book Review with Quotes)

Awareness (Book Review with Quotes)

This was quite a book. The author, a Jesuit priest in India, delivers in-your-face talks on waking up, not judging, balancing detachment and desire, and the essential component for awareness: objectivity.

He uses different words for familiar concepts then what you may have heard before. For the lower sense of self, what some people call the carnal mind, he calls simply “me.” And the higher sense, the true you the way you were created as reflecting the divine Mind, he calls “I.” When you look at things from the “I” perspective and not the “me” standpoint, you become aware and awake.

He has unabashed turns of phrases that really make you think, and which can be immediately applied in your life. Here are some to give you the flavor:

  • “You are never in love with anyone, you’re in love with your prejudiced idea of that person.”
  • “You’re always getting something out of everything you do, until you wake up.”
  • “Are you listening for what will confirm what you already think? Or are you listening in order to discover something new? That is important. … We don’t want new things, … particularly when they involve change.”
  • “Life is a banquet. And the tragedy is that most people are starving to death. That’s what I’m really talking about. There’s a nice story about some people who were on a raft off the coast of Brazil perishing from thirst. They had no idea they were floating on fresh water. The river was coming out into the sea with such force that it went out for a couple of miles, so they had fresh water right where they were. But they had no idea. In the same way, we’re surrounded with joy, with happiness, with love. Most people have no idea of this whatsoever.”
  • “It’s not easy to listen, especially when you get emotional about an idea. And even when you don’t get emotional about it, it’s not easy to listen; you’re always listening from your programming, from your conditioning, from your hypnotic state.”
  • “The one thing you need most of all is the readiness to learn something new.”
  • “The chances are that you will wake up in direct proportion to the amount of truth you can take without running away.”
  • “Nobody is afraid of the unknown. What you really fear is the loss of the known.”
  • “That’s what enlightenment is like. When someone tells you, ‘There is nothing you can do about it,’ you say, ‘There is, I can wake up!’ All of a sudden, life is no longer the nightmare that it has seemed. Wake up!”
  • “The only way someone can be of help to you is in challenging your ideas.”
  • What is the most important thing of all? It is called self-observation…. It means to watch everything in you and around you as far as possible as if it were happening to someone else. It means that you do not personalize what is happening to you. It means you look at things as if you have no connection with them whatsoever.”
  • “When there is something within you that moves in the right direction, it creates its own discipline.”
  • “Grief is a sign that I made my happiness depend on this thing or person.”
  • “Loneliness is not cured by human company. Loneliness is cured by contact with reality.”
  • “I have not known a single person who gave time to being aware who didn’t see a difference in a matter of weeks.”
  • “The three most difficult things for a human being…are first, returning love for hate, second, including the excluded, and third, admitting that you are wrong.”
  • “There is only one reason why you are not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and its because you’re thinking or focusing on what you don’t have… But right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.”
  • “It’s only when you are afraid that you become angry.”
  • “What you are aware of you are in control of; what you are not aware of is in control of you.”
  • “Suffering is given to you that you might understand there is a falsehood somewhere.Suffering occurs when you clash with reality, when your falsehoods clash with truth, then you have suffering. Otherwise, no suffering.”
  • “It’s like when you throw black paint in the air; the air remains uncontaminated. You never color the air black. No matter what happens to you, remain uncontaminated. You remain at peace.”
  • “Reality is not problematic. Problems exist only in the human mind.”
  • “No event justifies a negative feeling. There is no situation in the world that justifies a negative feeling.”
  • “The person who is asleep always thinks he’ll feel better if somebody else changes.You are suffering because you are asleep.”
  • “Unfortunately, all the emphasis is concentrated on changing the world and very little emphasis is given to waking up. When you wake up, you will know what to do or what not to do.”
  • “When you are really awake, you don’t try to make good things happen; they just happen.”
  • “Put this program into action, a thousand times: a) identify the negative feelings in you; b) understand that they are in you, not in the world, not in external reality; c) do not see them as an essential part of ‘I”; these things come and go; d) understand that when you change, everything changes.”
  • “Part of waking up is that you live your life as you see fit. And understand: that is not selfish. The selfish thing is to demand that someone else live as you see fit.”
  • “Nobody ever rejects you; they’re only rejecting what they think you are.”
  • “The final barrier to the vision of God is your concept of God.

This author nails it enough times that I give this transcription of his lectures- the book Awareness– five stars. Apparently the original talks are available and you can hear this in his own words. His speaking style is scattered with both emphasis and surprisingly funny jokes that really bring home his evergreen message. If you need to freshen up your perspective, give this interfaith overview of consciousness awakening a go. You’ll be glad to have put it into practice.

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Sue Krevitt 4 years ago

    Well, interesting indeed.
    I don’t agree with all he says, but a bunch of it.
    I think we will see many more books like this, as mankind awakens in larger numbers from the awful dream of “powerful, intelligent matter.”
    How can a lump of … atoms … quanta…be thus?

    Thanks Polly. Awesome Polly!


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