I immediately purchased The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, on audible after listening to Michael Singer on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday in 2018. This wonderful book has become a treasured part of my inspirational toolkit. After posting a two-line review on Audible, I am delighted to have an opportunity to provide a more comprehensive review of this significant book. The Untethered Soul ‘s goal is to chart a pathway that leads the reader down the winding road to greater self-realization.
I regularly listen to The Untethered Soul at bedtime when I cease do-ing and consider be-ing. I find listening to it like studying a foreign tongue. Initially, it all sounds like gibberish, but bit by bit, one picks up words and then phrases. The Untethered Soul consists of nineteen chapters divided into five parts, which I will mention briefly.
In Part I, Singer emphasizes that everything we need is already within us and assures us that we are not going into foreign territory but taking a ride through our direct experiences. He writes at length about that voice inside our heads that is constantly talking. The voice that both asks and answers questions, focuses on our fears, and simply never stops. My lightbulb flicked on because long before I read this book, I had begun lovingly calling the voice inside my head, “Petey.” I hear “Petey” often and pondered, whose voice is that? Part 1 answered that question for me!
Part II discusses experiencing our inner energy. Everything that passes through our minds requires expending energy, and Singer reminds us that our inner energy is much more powerful than our physical energy and is always available to us. The challenge is learning to unleash our inner energy and moving past the troubling habit of closing our hearts, which traps our inner energy.
Part III guides us towards freedom from fear while learning to value growth over fear. Truly relevant as we stare down a global pandemic. This section is my favorite, and I often return to the chapter Let Go or Fall. It speaks to my tendency to cling, not so much to people but to emotions and behaviors that I need to release. For example, I have expended tremendous energy trying to control aspects of my very elderly parents’ care despite their desire to live out the fourth quarter their way. I have struggled toward the realization that elders get to decide and be in as much control as possible of how they live and die. Their choices do not reflect on how much I love them or my attentiveness. I often revisit this lesson, as I remind myself that this is about THEM, no matter what “Petey” says otherwise.
Part IV addresses tearing down the walls we construct around our psyches to prevent us from delving from deeper within and to shut out change. The author acknowledges that we fear the term enlightenment because it is typically presented as a lofty concept, and we know we are not there yet. But, he says, the essence of enlightenment, is how do we untether ourselves from our fears, our expectations, our desire for control?
Finally, Part V outlines the path to unconditional happiness. It is a hard chapter to ingest because it is about making an unconditional decision to be happy. He gives an example of a man saying, “I want to be happy, but my wife has left me.” He replies that it loops back to the decision, “do you want to be happy or do you not want to be happy?” and then you vow to be happy-despite your wife’s departure. As one might imagine, choosing happiness irrespective of what shows up in your life is-the-highest- spiritual-path. It is a path of transcendence and is reminiscent of the spiritual elevation of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who, having served twenty-seven years in prison during apartheid, emerged to become the President of South Africa.
Two years after my purchase, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself continues to enrich my life. It is a doctorate level course in the hands of a person getting a bachelor’s degree. As I implement concepts the book explores, I experience some success, feel I am on track, fall off, and pick myself up to begin again. That said, I am grow-ing, but I am not grown-yet! Excellent Tool.
Susan D. Peters, aka, Ahnydah (ah-NIE-dah) Rahm, brings a wealth of experience gained as an expatriate living in West Africa. Her memoir Sweet Liberia, Lessons from the Coal Pot, received the Black Excellence Award for Non-Fiction from the African American Alliance of Chicago and the Mate E. Palmer award for Non-Fiction from the Illinois Press Women’s Association. Broken Dolls, Susan’s second book, represents her foray into the mystery market and is the first of a series featuring Detective Joi Sommers as its heroine. Her most recent publication is Stolen Rainbow, a short story focused on the post combat recovery of a beautiful marine captain after a devastating combat injury. Her work is featured in three anthologies, Baring It All, the Ins and Outs of Publishing, Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours, a contemporary romance anthology, and The Anthology of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. Buy her books online and at www.SusanDPeters.com.