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Michael Alan Singer
The Untethered Soul. The Journey Beyond Yourself
"The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself" is a book that disrupts the ordinary concept of how life should be lived. The author is convinced that all modern-day troubles stem from people’s inability to silence their inner voice, which calls on them to fear, have doubt, get anxious over trivial things and accumulate unresolved issues from their past. But the truth is, all these so-called problems exist solely in our consciousness because we are afraid of facing these unpleasant events.
The author reminds his readers that humans arrive on this planet for a short stretch of time, that we are merely tiny pebbles on the small globe called Earth in an endless Universe. So, he asks the reader this question: is spending your precious time trying to live up to social standards, worrying about how to make your boss happy, or stressing over what your neighbor will say about your car or whether your peers will invite you to their party… is it worth it?
Michael Singer gives simple answers to questions that are very relevant for contemporary society. "Who am I and what is my destiny?" "Should I fear death?" "Is it possible to feel happy all the time?" "How do I cope with fear, jealousy, envy and resentment?" "How do I live without stress?" He doesn’t beckon the readers to become disciples of a certain religion either. On the contrary, he states that all the religions are united in all matters of life and death, body and soul, good and evil. You just need to open your heart and mind to life and not hide from your bad experiences, stereotypes and illusions.
This book is a guide to the conscious and the unconscious. You can create your true self and in doing so become free.
Can you hear the voice inside your head? Of course, you can.
You’re driving, the engine is revving, the wind is blowing in your face, you feel carefree and happy. Then suddenly it comes to you: "Wasn’t I supposed to call my friend? I was supposed to. How could I forget? Oh, he is going to be super mad. Now he’ll write me off for sure. Maybe I should stop the car and call him right now? Or maybe I it isn’t worth it? It is possible that if I call now I’ll only make it worse…"
Your inner voice never stops talking. It interferes with your sleep, it makes you moody, it takes away your confidence. The only way to get rid of it is to realize that this voice is not you. Try to distance yourself from this inner dialog as much as possible while keeping a close eye on it. If you manage to remain an impartial observer, you’ll discover that most of what this voice is talking about doesn’t make any sense. It’s a waste of time and energy. Most events happen irrespective of our wishes or thoughts. Thinking about what we want or don’t want to happen in the future is the same thing as thinking about whether or not we want the sun to rise tomorrow or the rain to stop. Our thoughts and emotions cannot affect the outer world, they affect only us, making us feel good or bad about what happened, is happening now or will happen.
If you’re angry with someone, your inner voice wants to tell this person where to go, but in reality you’ll either never run into this person ever again, decide not to say anything to him or her at all, or you’ll come up with something completely different to say. It’s time to stop thinking about what might happen, because you won’t be able to guess what will happen anyhow. And it doesn’t only depend on you anyway. By listening to this voice, you’re only cultivating your anger and pushing yourself into state of stress.
Your inner growth depends on what you choose to acknowledge. To reach a state of peace you must stop thinking about yourself all the time and stop identifying with all your thoughts and emotions.
For instance, you feel jealous. Become an impartial observer of this feeling, think about who is witnessing your jealousy. The fact that you are an observer means that this jealousy is not you. You are a witness or a subject, while jealousy is something that you can observe, that is, an object. Just recognize this feeling, don’t try to do anything with it and do not become one with it.
Life itself is not the source of problems, but rather what you think about life. Even if there is nothing bothering you at the moment, the voice still won’t shut up:
"Oh, look, there’s a dog. Seems to be a Labrador. Or maybe not? And there’s a cat over there, and it looks very much like the cat my grandma had. Wow, that tree is so tall, must be around 5 meters…"
The voice is narrating the world around you for you to feel comfortable. The tree is not just any tree. After the voice narrates it for you, you have now feel more attached to it. The tree integrates into your consciousness, becoming part of your experience. In this manner an image of this world forms in your consciousness.