Book Reads: The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer)

December 04, 2022

In this Universe, there's no such thing as coincidence.

It was meant for me to find this book, so to say that I "randomly stumbled" onto this book feels to be imprecise. I'd go for "this book found me" in the most perfect timing. I discovered the book via the post "11 Best Spiritual Books to Nurture the Soul (For Beginners)". I'm actually familiar with some of the titles, specifically Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach). But actually, I didn't have that recollection of the book being a "spiritual one", which led me to read again as an adult. I'll dive into that interesting experience in another post. 😀

So among the titles listed on that post, The Untethered Soul got my attention. I was intrigued and got a copy of the book. Honestly, the first few chapters felt completely off for me. The concepts that Michael presented were new to me. However, knowing that I am a poor judge for first impressions (like what happened with the Livingston Seagull book), I continued reading the rest of the book. Guess what, I'm so thankful I did, because apparently, this book contains A LOT of life lessons that I needed to learn, especially during this time of my life. 📖💗

I got to highlight a lot of passages in the book (thanks Kindle for making this easier), and I want to include them here on this post, because these kinds of lessons merit more than one reading to fully make sense of what the book is trying to convey. For sure, these messages will affect me differently each time I encounter them, so I am curating them all here, not just for my future self's convenience, but also to share my learnings with you, my readers. 🥰

📑Book Notes

Chapter I: The Voice Inside Your Head

"You are not the voice of the mind, you are the one who hears it."

"They have no effect on anything or anybody, except you."

"It will be useful to learn why it says what it says and when it says it in understanding those things the inner voice is telling us."

Chapter II: Your Inner Roommate

"We have to objectively watch our problems instead of being lost in them."
I have always been fascinated with the conspiracy theory that this life is just some kind of simulation, a very modern VR wherein we experience everything with such lush detail and accuracy. When we die, we just move out of the simulation and disconnect our consciousness from the machine. If I look at life that way, I don't really need to be so caught up with drama and problems. 

Chapter III: Who Are You?

"You are not your thoughts."

Chapter IV: The Lucid Self

"You think you are the sum of your learned experiences."
Our memories make up the personal image that we have of ourselves.

Chapter VII: Transcending the Tendency to Close

"If you protect yourself, you will never be free."

"Thoughts and emotions get stronger the more attention you give them."
This is so true, this is why I believe social media is so toxic because people are trapped in their own echo chambers so they become really invested with something, so when they meet people online with opposing beliefs, it becomes a huge and chaotic keyboard war.

"If you learn to remain centered with smaller things, you will remain centered with bigger things."

"No matter what events take place in life, it's always better to let go rather than to close."

Chapter VIII: Let Go Now or Fall

"Life is continuously changing, and if you're trying to control it, you'll never be able to fully live it."

"As long as you're watching, you're not getting lost in it."
I recall those anecdotes of actors who have played villain roles in soap operas. They would encounter viewers of the show who would call them by their villain characters' names with such hatred, some even wanting to hurt them. Those viewers are so invested with the show that they couldn't recognize real-life from fiction. And that could be a dangerous position to be in.
"The secret of the ascent is to never look down, always look up."

Chapter IX: Removing the Inner Thorn

"We normally attempt to solve our inner disturbances by protecting ourselves."
100% me. 😭

"It's not you, it's just something you're feeling and experiencing."
I'm a loser versus I'm feeling like a loser. I am dumb versus I'm feeling dumb. The latter feels more like a passing/flowing experience. It means it is not permanent.

Chapter X: Stealing Freedom for Your Soul

"Of all the advice in the world that you do not want to listen to, it is the advice of a disturbed mind."

"Imagine what fun life would be if you didn't have those neurotic, personal thoughts going on within you. You could enjoy things, and you could actually get to know people instead of needing them."

"Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything."

"Do not ever fight your mind. You will never win."

"You are just in there, aware that you are aware. You can watch your mind go neurotic without getting involved. That is all you have to do to unplug the disturbed mind."

"Eventually it will become quiet enough so that you can simply watch the heart begin to react, and let go before the mind starts."

Chapter XI: Pain, The Price of Freedom

"Every single time you relax and release, a piece of the pain leaves forever. Yet every time you resist and close, you are building up the pain inside."

Chapter XII: Taking Down the Walls

"It is often said that you must go through the darkest night in order to get to the infinite light. This is because what we call darkness is really the blockage of light. You must go past these walls."

"You can get out simply by letting everyday life take down the walls you hold around yourself."

Chapter XIII: Far, Far Beyond

"When you constantly go beyond yourself, there are no more limitations."

"If you want to go beyond your model, you have to take the risk of not believing in it."

"See what happens to you when you don't do the things that make you comfortable. What you'll see is why you're doing them."

"Remember, decorating your cage with beautiful experiences, fond memories, and great dreams is not the same as going beyond. A cage is a cage. You must be willing to go beyond."

"Spirituality begins when you decide that you'll never stop trying."

"You realize that you will always be fine."

Chapter XIV: Letting Go of False Solidity

"You keep holding onto them, as though consistency can substitute for stability."

"You are not your thoughts, you are aware of your thoughts. You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions. You are not your body; you look at it in the mirror and experience this world through its eyes and ears.  You are the conscious being who is aware that you are aware of all these inner and outer things."

"This is not something you do, it is something that happens to you."

Chapter XV: The Path of Unconditional Happiness

"The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences."
This message is so in parallel with the message that I got from The Little Money Bible audio book that I was also listening during the time that I was reading this book. It was during the time when I passed up an opportunity to travel abroad with the best of my friends. I knew I wasn't comfortable with involving myself in that activity, and that it wasn't my priority during that time. During the week of their trip, I felt this eerie stillness that allowed me to just contemplate. As they say, the teacher appears when the student is ready. And so I found myself listening to that audiobook and reading this book. I now understand that I need to learn these lessons at my own pace. I am still grateful that I respected my own boundaries. If I went with the flow and something went wrong that affirmed my fears, without learning these lessons, I would have a misguided judgment that might lead me into searching for someone/something to hold the blame. I'm grateful that I got to have that "enlightenment" moment, and now that I have a clear understanding of my life compass, I know what to do next time life presents a similar circumstance.

"In the end, enjoying life's experiences is the only rational thing to do. You're sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You're floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You're going to die anyway."
I agree 100%.

Chapter XVII: Contemplating Death

"A wise person realizes that at any moment they may breathe out, and the breath may not come back in."

"Don't you want to live before death comes? You're probably not going to get a warning."

"So start using every day to let go of the scared part of you that won't let you live life fully."

"There is no reason to be afraid of life. And the fear will fade once you understand that the only thing there is to get from life is the growth that comes from experiencing it."

"Life is not something you get; it's something you experience."

"It is scarcity that makes things precious. It is scarcity that makes a simple rock become a rare gem."

"You fear death because you crave life. You fear death because you think there's something to get that you haven't experienced yet."

"The wise realize that in the end, life belongs to death. Death is the one who comes in his own time to take life from you."

"Don't be afraid of death. Let it free you. Let it encourage you to experience life fully."

"Don't you understand that every minute you're a step closer to death? This is how to live your life. You live it as though you were on the verge of death, because you are."

Chapter XVIII: The Secret of the Middle Way 

"You could easily read the Tao te Ching and never understand a single word, or you could read it and tears could pour from your eyes with every word you read."
I already read the book. I am the former in some parts, while I am the latter in some chapters of the book. 😅

"Your pendulum has been swung in the opposite direction for too long." 
The concept about the pendulum was so intriguing, and it actually makes sense when you think about it. The message that I got from a virtual healing session (which I have not written a post by the way, will publish that soon! 😅) aligns with the message in this chapter. 

Chapter XIX: The Loving Eyes of God

"Nature just gives and gives to whoever will receive. Should you choose not to receive, it doesn't punish you."

Obviously, the book has a lot more wisdom to offer, so I highly recommend everyone to read the book. The passages above are those that resonated with me. I'm sure your list will have a different set of messages compared to mine. Maybe my future self would have a different collection, too. It was such a great read, and I truly enjoyed the experience of reading it. I'm grateful for the lessons, and I will keep them with me from hereon. 🥰✨

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