• 0 Introduction to the book

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    Have you ever wondered, in a quiet moment, why we feel hurt, or lonely, why we feel dissatisfied, or why happiness is so elusive? Have you ever wondered why there is so much conflict in the world, and in our lives? To explore these questions we need to look within. We don’t know how to do that because throughout our education we are taught about the world around us, but not about the world inside us, or our inner spaces. Why is that? We know much more about mathematics and science than fear, sorrow or the art of being happy. Much of the conflict in our lives and in the world is because of this lack of understanding. This book, Understanding Me, Understanding You aims to make the process of looking within simple and accessible to everyone. It provides a framework in which we can understand ourselves and how our minds function, and in doing so realise that the human mind functions in the same way in all of us. This then allows us to understand others better, simply by understanding ourselves, and this could bring harmony to all our relationships. Over 26 chapters it explores the landscape of being human covering subjects like fear, loneliness, desire, sorrow, happiness, conditioning, our habits and addictions, relationships and love.  Take the example of people chatting in a group…. If you notice how other people cut each other off mid-sentence because they feel the urge to say something- you could call that awareness. If you notice that tendency in yourself- that is self-awareness. If you explore it further you will find that this is common to all human beings and is linked to the need to express ourselves which brings us pleasure and strengthens the sense of ‘ME’, because they are MY opinions and stories. That could be called an awareness of our shared human consciousness. Similarly if you explore fear you will find that though the cause of fear in each of us may be different, the actual fear we experience, the mechanism behind it and the way it affects our lives is the same in all of us. We can therefore come together to explore our shared human consciousness. We can then ask questions like ‘is it possible to live without fear’ or ‘Can we live without conflict in our relationships’, or ‘do we live intelligent lives, or a life dictated by our past influences or our conditioning’. In understanding ourselves as we are, we can also understand others better, because deep down, we are the same and share the same mind, or consciousness. As a result we can live with intelligence and compassion, cope better with life’s challenges, find peace in our hearts and live in harmony with others and with the earth. The beauty of this approach is that it is simple and requires no new ideology, no rules to follow, no authority figure or new belief system. Take the first step and find out for yourself.