The Untethered Soul features on this list of 35 Life Changing Self-Development Books to Read ASAP.
This book is, quite simply, awesome. Here are some key takeaways:
The most important thing in life is your inner energy. The main way that you keep that energy open and flowing is by not ‘buying into’ the concept that there is ever anything worth closing over. (There really isn’t.)
Great experiences can keep us stuck just as much as negative ones. Happiness – like the feeling of being in a new relationship – can cause these ‘blockages’ if you’re not aware. It’s because we want to grasp and cling (‘I don’t want this to go away; I want more of this feeling’).
Two kinds of experiences block our hearts: the ones we are trying to push away, and the ones we are trying to keep. In each case, we are not letting them pass through us, which results in pain. We need to cultivate non-attachment and a sort of ‘easy come, easy go’ attitude to our experiences in order not to hold ourselves hostage.
There is an alternative to both grasping and closing. That alternative is to just enjoy everything life has to offer without either clinging or pushing things away. This is possible!
We get to decide if we want to walk around with pain blocking our hearts and living a limited experience. Or, we can simply feel our pain. It only hurts for a minute that way. The giant reward to doing that is we get to walk around with a permanently open heart.
Rather than physical threats, we experience the daily need to defend our self-concepts/constructs. Our major struggles end up being with our own inner fears, insecurities and destructive behaviour patterns.
Life creates – by design – situations that push us to our edges. We will encounter the people and situations that trigger us and give us the opportunity to face our blockages.
In order to grow, we must give up on the struggle to remain the same. And learn to embrace change at all times.
Unless you’re free of your energy blockages, you aren’t free to choose who to have friendships and relationships with. You won’t get to talk to people you find interesting or you genuinely like, because you will acting out of loneliness or a need for them to like you.
We can learn to witness our pain. If we can do this and not get absorbed in it, the experience passes and something else comes up. If you can go even further than that, and enjoy it all – the full spectrum of human experience – then that’s freedom.
Learn not to hang out with your inner disturbances. We don’t have to get rid of loneliness (we can’t), but we can cease to involve ourselves in it.
We are capable of ceasing the absurdity of listening to the perpetual problems of the psyche.
Everything is okay the moment we decide to be okay with everything. Only then will it be okay.
At regular intervals, take a moment to remind yourself that you are spinning on a planet in the middle of empty space. Then remind yourself not to get involved in your own melodrama.
One of the essential requirements for true spiritual growth and deep personal transformation is coming to peace with pain. No expansion can take place without change. And change is uncomfortable.
When our personality patterns and behaviour are about avoiding pain, we are going to be teetering on the edges of pain the whole time. Every time we are motivated to act or not act from a desire to avoid pain, we create a link with pain that holds potential to cause us some further down the line.
It is helpful to, instead of avoiding it, view pain as a temporary shift in your energy flow.
Insecurity is just a feeling. So is jealousy. They are just part of creation. Look at the feelings objectively as you would a mild bruise. It’s a thing in the Universe that is just passing through your system.
Pain is the price of personal freedom. The moment we are willing to pay the price, we will no longer be afraid and we will face all of life’s situations without fear.
Personal growth exists in the moment we are willing to pay the price of freedom.
If you want to know why you are doing a certain thing, then try not doing the thing. Say you are a smoker. If you decide to stop smoking, you quickly confront the urges that cause you to smoke. See what happens when you don’t do the things that make you comfortable. What you’ll see is why you are doing them.
Meditation is a gateway to strengthening your center of consciousness so that you’re always aware enough to not let your heart close.
It is a good and useful exercise to contemplate your own death. If you do that, you are living your life fully and not making any compromises or playing games with yourself.
Learn to live as though you are facing death the whole time. You will become bolder and more open.
The Tao is the Secret of the Middle Way. It’s the place where no energy is pushing in either direction.
The Tao is where the pendulum has been permitted to come to balance concerning food, relationships, money, sex, doing, not doing, and everything else.
When you stop swinging into extremes and opposites, you’ll have more energy than you ever imagined. What takes someone else hours will take you minutes. That’s the difference between struggling with opposites and opposing forces, versus staying centered in order to get something done. The principle holds true in all aspects of life. If you’re in balance, you eat when it is time to eat in a way that maintains the health of your body. Doing anything else would be a waste of energy.
When you are in Tao, events take place for as long as they are taking place. You have no need or desire to relive them in your psyche.
When you are in Tao, and the events of life unfold, you are completely there instead of reacting to past hurts.
Whoever remains present with fixity of purpose comes out on top in the end. Life becomes absolutely simple.
If you have no preference, and the only thing you want is to remain centered, life unfolds whilst you simply feel the center.
Balance is not static, it is dynamic equilibrium. It’s about feeling the edges but not going there – not going out of balance. That’s living in the Tao.
FYI, it isn’t just me that digs the book. Here is some praise from two of my intellectual and spiritual superheros:
“In the book The Untethered Soul, Michael A. Singer takes you step-by-step through the process of Gyana, the yoga of the Intellect, to the Source. Moreover, he does it with elegant simplicity. Read this book carefully, and you will get more than a glimpse of eternity.”
—Deepak Chopra, author.
“East is East and West is West, but Michael A. Singer bridges these two great traditions in a radiant treatise on how to succeed in life from our spiritual quest to our everyday tribulations. Freud said that life was composed of love and work. With great eloquence, wit, and compelling logic, Singer’s brilliant book completes this thought by showing them to be two poles of the same selfless devotion.”
—Ray Kurzweil, author.
You can buy a copy of the book here. I really recommend doing so.
What inspirational books have you read lately? Get in touch in the comments below!