This is a book that had been recommended to me numerous times by people and Amazon’s suggestion algo. But honestly the title and cover had always turned me off.
I finally gave it a try and got sucked in. If you’re one who enjoys (or even is open) to exploring deep questions on both our existence and how your mind works, it’s simply fantastic.
I admit that at times Singer is repeating himself over and over, but he also has a knack for coming at an abstract idea from a few directions to make sure you connect with it.
Deepak Chopra said of The Untethered Soul: “Read this book carefully, and you will get more than a glimpse of eternity.” and while a bit woo-woo, there’s a lot of truth in his statement. Certainly it will be a book that I revisit often. In fact, its a rare book that I read on Kindle but will buy a physical copy to mark up and have handy. I’ve included a select few highlights below to give you a taste.
Who Should Read It: Anyone not turned completely off by everything I wrote above. Even if you’re skeptical, grab a copy at a bookstore and read the first 10 pages, then decide.
My rating: 10/10
- Your thoughts have far less impact on this world than you would like to think. If you’re willing to be objective and watch all your thoughts, you will see that the vast majority of them have no relevance. They have no effect on anything or anybody, except you. They are simply making you feel better or worse about what is going on now, what has gone on in the past, or what might go on in the future.
- Eventually you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems.
- True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection. This is done by constantly remembering that you are the one inside that notices the voice talking. That is the way out. The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent.
- If used properly, the same mental voice that has been a source of worry, distraction, and general neurosis can become the launching ground for true spiritual awakening. Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.
- When a problem is disturbing you, don’t ask, “What should I do about it?” Ask, “What part of me is being disturbed by this?” If you ask, “What should I do about it?” you’ve already fallen into believing that there really is a problem outside that must be dealt with. If you want to achieve peace in the face of your problems, you must understand why you perceive a particular situation as a problem.
- Once you clearly see the disturbed part, then ask, “Who is it that sees this? Who notices this inner disturbance?” Asking this is the solution to your every problem.
- You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality. Once you do that, you’ll be clear enough to deal with what’s left.
- You will eventually catch on that you have to distance yourself from your psyche. You do this by setting the direction of your life when you’re clear and not letting the wavering mind deter you. Your will is stronger than the habit of listening to that voice. There is nothing you can’t do. Your will is supreme over all of this.
- You realize that you’re not who you thought you were. You’re not even a human being. You just happen to be watching one. You will begin to have deep experiences within your own center of consciousness. These will be deep, intuitive experiences of the true nature of Self. You will find that you are tremendously expansive. When you start to explore consciousness instead of form, you realize that your consciousness only appears to be small and limited because you are focusing on small and limited objects.
- When your heart starts to close, just say, “No. I’m not going to close. I’m going to relax. I’m going to let this situation take place and be there with it.” Honor and respect the situation, and deal with it. By all means deal with it. Do the best you can. But deal with it with openness. Deal with it with excitement and enthusiasm. No matter what it is, just let it be the sport of the day. In time, you will find that you forget how to close. No matter what anyone does, no matter what situation takes place, you won’t even feel the tendency to close. You will just embrace life with all your heart and soul. Once you’ve attained this very high state, your energy level will be phenomenal. You will have all the energy you need at all times. Just relax and open, and tremendous energy will rush up inside of you. You are only limited by your ability to stay open.
- Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your centers open. You do this by just relaxing and releasing. You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over. Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.
- Imagine that you have a thorn in your arm that directly touches a nerve. When the thorn is touched, it’s very painful. Because it hurts so much, the thorn is a serious problem. It’s difficult to sleep because you roll over on it. It’s hard to get close to people because they might touch it. It makes your daily life very difficult. You can’t even go for a walk in the woods because you might brush the thorn against the branches. This thorn is a constant source of disturbance, and to solve the problem you only have two choices. The first choice is to look at your situation and decide that since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn, you need to make sure nothing touches it. The second choice is to decide that since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn, you need to take it out. Believe it or not, the effects of the choice you make will determine the course of the rest of your life. This is one of the core-level, structural decisions that lay the foundation for your future.
- There are two ways you can live: you can devote your life to staying in your comfort zone, or you can work on your freedom. In other words, you can devote your whole life to the process of making sure everything fits within your limited model, or you can devote your life to freeing yourself from the limits of your model.