Becoming More Conscious in an Unconscious World

Alexander W. Astin, UCLA

Published 2007

“Know thyself” is something that has been advocated by great philosophers, psychologists, and religious leaders since the beginning of recorded history. The principal aim of this book is to promote greater self-awareness through a deeper understanding of how your mind works and by cultivating your ability to observe your own mind in action. Most of the chapters contain simple exercises that are designed to enhance your ability to understand and control your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Since your emotional reactions to life events are largely shaped by your beliefs, many of these exercises are designed to help you get in closer touch with your beliefs and, if necessary, to change some of these beliefs.

Each of us has the ability—right now in this conscious moment—to begin reshaping our life’s experience through a better understanding of how the mind works. The book is thus intended for people who feel that they worry too much, or are dissatisfied with their jobs or their relationships with others, or always feel rushed because there are too many things that they have to do. It’s for people who want less frustration, guilt, irritability, boredom, or unhappiness and more love, joy, adventure, and sense of control over their lives.

"Astin's sagacity shines throughout the book, and his positioning of feelings as central to our experience is both illuminating and validating to those in the helping professions." Signe M. Kastberg in Education Review (Read full review)