Book Review: How to See Yourself As You Really Are by The Dalai Lama

When I first saw that the Dalai Lama had written books I knew that I had to read them.
I have a huge amount of respect for this man.
The first book I have read by the Dalai Lama is “How to See Yourself As You Really Are”.

It is a book on Buddhism, about realizing how we exist and the interdependency in which we live.
I haven’t read much about Buddhism before, not more than we were forced to in school, but what I learned in this book was a great place to start, it was in many ways a beginners guide to finding the clarity Buddhists are after.

Everything is dependent
People and things don’t inherently exist; we exist as the result of many different things working together. Just look for example at a table, we often see it as one thing, existing in and of itself, but it is really just a sum of parts and it only exists because someone put it together.

Just like our body is just the result of many cells working together who in turn are built by many molecules.

The whole mindset teaches you to calm negative emotions by going to their root, by understanding cause and effect and that things aren’t independent but instead interdependent.

I understand why people become Buddhists
The whole way of life of a Buddhist is very intriguing. Learning to control your mind, to feel love to all around and continuously improving yourself.
I plan on reading a lot more about Buddhism in the future, as I plan to read about all the major religions.

The lessons we can learn from religion is both important and enlightening, as long as we read with a combination of openness and a willing to find the underlying lesson, not taking everything for absolute truth.

The question mark
When I read the Dalai Lamas book he many times discusses the “I”, what is it? It is not our body, since we say “my body”, it is not the mind since we also say “my mind”. It isn’t the mind + body since that would mean that they are one and the same, which they aren’t.
The problem is that I never got an answer to this question in the book.

As a Christian I would answer, the “I” is the soul. It is the soul that is something other than the body and mind, something we cannot find, measure or understand.

But I still wonder what a Buddhist considers the “I”, what is it that gathers Karma and gets reborn?

The answer wasn’t in the book.

I encourage you to read this book
Since reading “How to See Yourself As You Really Are” I have learned to take better control over my emotions and have a better understanding for myself and for others.

I deeply encourage you to read this book, it holds many valuable lessons and a viewpoint not often encountered in western society, a view point worth listening to.

You can get the book here.

                                                                                                                          

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2 Responses to Book Review: How to See Yourself As You Really Are by The Dalai Lama

  1. Hi Daniel
    Long time! I didn’t realize you were doing book reviews – wow! Now I’ve got to go back and check out some of the others!
    This one is definitely going on my Amazon wish list! It sounds interesting! Has it been around for a long time? I can’t see the publication date on Amazon.
    Thanks for this Daniel!
    Lori

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hi Lori.

      I think it has been around for a while.
      I found it at the Norwegian Nobel Peace Museum.
      It is a very interesting read, hope you like it!

      How are you by the way?

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