In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops. It just keeps going and going. Have you ever wondered why it talks in there? How does it decide what to say and when to say it? How much of what it says is turns out to be true? How much of what it says is even important? And if right now you are hearing, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have any voice inside my head!”—that’s the voice we’re talking about. –Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul
It is a real gift when a writer knows how to discuss the messy stuff of life and do it with ease, lightness and simplicity. If he or she can do it with a little humor as well, then I say don’t put that book down until you have read to the last page because you have found yourself a gem!
This is exactly how I feel about Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul. I picked up this unassuming read quite by accident. It was during that October housesit in Taos, when late summer was peeling away with each gust of north wind, causing a carpet of yellow leaves on the cooling ground. I had just gotten to the house and was sitting down to eat the rest of my smothered burrito when I saw it innocently sitting there on a little table in the living room.
I picked it up to thumb through it in between bites and didn’t put it down until about an hour later, when a crawly, eight-legged friend nudged me on the big toe.
And I continued to read it during my ten days of Taos solitude. In the process, Singer turned out to be a wise friend during that time, the only company I needed (minus my arachnid housemates).
What is The Untethered Soul About, Anyways?
To get into that, you have to know a little about the author himself. Michael Singer has been around the block. Hestarted out as somewhat of a techie-genius. At one time he was the CEO of a billion dollar company whose software for the medical industry is now archived in the Smithsonian. But the real achievement that led to The Untethered Soul and his other book, The Surrender Experiment, was an “experience of awakening” back in 1971 which prompted him to go into deep, meditative seclusion. When he emerged, he founded the Temple of the Universe in Alachua, Florida, a center where “people of any religion or set of beliefs can come together to experience inner peace.”
The Untethered Soul focuses on yogic concepts and practices to explain the science of the Witness Consciousness and how to breaking free from the habitual patterns that keep us down. It isn’t necessarily yoga-centric, though. It is a tiny book that, in a refreshingly down-to-earth way, addresses such questions as:
What happens when we have Monkey Mind and what can we do about it?
Why do we humans “suffer” internally so much?
Why do we hold on to the negative experiences of the past? And what happens energetically when we do?
How can we let go of negative experiences in real time so that they never affect us again?
What is the state of mind of most people these days and does this state allow us to truly be free?
How can we consistently be in a different state of mind that will allow us to experience all that life has to offer?
What is the most powerful spiritual technique (the answer may surprise you)?
What does it look like to live a life that is free of stress, worry, burn-out and blow-out? Is living a life like this even possible? If so, how do we get there?
How can our eventual, impending death be a teacher and not an enemy?
Breaking It All Down
Life yourself is your career, and your interaction with life is your most meaningful relationship. Everything else you’re doing is just focusing on a tiny subset of life in an attempt to give life some meaning. What actually gives life meaning is the willingness to live it. –Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul
Singer is able to break down the answers to the above questions into bite-sized nuggets. As he did this for e, I had the feeling that I was sitting on the front porch of a wise old neighbor, ice tea in hand, looking at the sprinkles go off on a grassy front lawn. Just reading it seemed to calm my nerves and give me a sense that, despite all the tumultuous changes going on in my life, everything was going to be okay no matter what happened.
There are many quality books out there that can help us to go beyond reaction through cultivating the Witness present within us. What I like so much about The Untethered Soul is that Singer goes a step further. As he quietly dissects the science of conscious awareness and states of happiness, he makes the journey towards enlightenment seem like not such a big deal after all.
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Have you read The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer? If so, please tell us what you thought about it in the comments section below!