Book Review: The Inner Self by Hugh Mackay

Another amazing non-fiction book by an Australian author that has left me gobsmacked. I’ll certainly be looking into more non-fiction books as I get older. Personally, if you’re up to that thinking standard intellectually or emotionally, non-fiction can be an escape or refreshing. Mackay has definitely left me questioning my past and future after I delve into this one!



The Inner Self is a book about the ways we hide from the truth about ourselves and the psychological freedom we enjoy when we finally face that most searching question of all: 'Who am I, really?'


Hugh Mackay explores our 'top 20' hiding places - from addiction to materialism, nostalgia to victimhood. He explains how it is our fear of love's demands that drive us into hiding.


He argues that love is our highest ideal, the richest source of life's meaning and purpose, and the key to our emotional security, personal serenity and confidence.


Yet Mackay exposes the great paradox of human nature, that while love brings out our best, we don't always want our best brought forward.


Powerfully written and drawing on a lifetime of research, The Inner Self is a work of extraordinary insight by one of Australia's most respected psychologists.


Thank you to Pan Mac Millan, Australia, who sent a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. You can check out more of their books here: https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/


[Book Review: Reasonable Doubt by Dr. Xanthé Mallet]


The Inner Self mainly focused on twenty hiding places and how we’re unintentionally using those hiding places as a means to avoid or comes to terms with who we really are. If we’re trapped in these hiding places which we deem as everyday life, we’ll never be satisfied with life or live to our fully authentic being.



We use these hiding places to avoid discovering who we really are. How simple words and actions can impact our future or other people in our lives drastically. Admittedly, I reminisced often while going through these hiding places, and I’m guilty of a few of them. Things that I took for advantage or how / why I acted the way I did with no explanation—I just figured that’s who I was—was explained and gave a reason in this book.


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Mackay dives deep into explaining these hiding places so readers can reflect on themselves and partially end the book, hopefully having a start to the universal question: ‘Who am I?’ Each hiding place is backed up by personal experiences so that readers can familiarize themselves with it.



Overall, Mackay wants his readers to live their life for themselves and not the facade we put up to impress others or what we think is right. We should stop hiding behind the ‘ideal’ life and have a bit of integrity. I really enjoyed this book as it made me think quite a lot. I tend to take a bit longer reading non-fiction because it’s the most relatable genre and you can either read it or learn from it. I’ve defiantly learned a lot and will come back to reflect on this book in the future.





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