The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

by: Michael A. Singer (0)

#1 New York Times bestseller

What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity?
The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.

Copublished with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being.

The Untethered Soul has already touched the lives of more than a million readers, and is available in a special hardcover gift edition with ribbon bookmark—the perfect gift for yourself, a loved one, or anyone who wants a keepsake edition of this remarkable book.

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The Quotes

True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection.

To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them.

Your consciousness is actually experiencing your mental model of reality, not reality itself.

The Reviews

I give the first 37 pages a five star review. Michael Singer gives a wonderful​ example of how you are lost in a dream-like state. You are at the mercy of every thought that arises in your mind and you have no idea of what's happening. He wonderfully shines a light on the process that is happening to you and if you are paying attention, you could discover one of the most important ideas you could ever learn; you are not your thoughts. The first 37 pages are worth the price of admission and I have added this book to my personal lending library.Unfortunately, everything after that is similar to explaining what a shadow looks like to a blind person. He will tell you about some pretty amazing stuff but he won't tell you how to get there. You should buy his book, it will give you one of the best explanations as to why you should meditate, but it won't tell you how to meditate or attain it's benefits.I would recommend reading Mindfulness in plain English after reading this book. It will give you basic instructions on what to do next. As a warning though, it has some brief supernatural references, please just ignore them if they offend you, it really does contain a great instruction on how to meditate and loose the bonds that shackle you to anger, anxiety, depression and whatever else you are suffering from. Best of all.....You will do it by yourself.

This came highly recommended by my sister and her therapist, so I thought I would get it. I was disappointed because mostly it was the author telling you that if you just see things differently and recognize the reality of things, you'll be much happier and in fact will never have any problems ever again (?!). Maybe if you've never been in therapy or read a self-help book or been ever reflected on life, you might find a few ideas that are somewhat helpful. I mean, some of the ideas are not completely useless, if you decontextualize them from the overall book. But, the book/author does not appear to acknowledge any of the last 10-20 years of research on the ways that childhood trauma and neglect profoundly shape our capacity for self-love, healthy relationships, or psychological well-being, or how people do or should handle loss or grief or trauma.To me, this book is the equivalent of your well-meaning uncle who tells you over Thanksgiving dinner, when he founds out that you are struggling with profound depression after you had a miscarriage and then your husband left you and you lost your job, that if you would just cheer up and realize things are not as bad as they seem and appreciate the good in your life then you will feel better. I mean, YOU'RE NOT DEAD, right?? Of course, if people could do this, probably they would have and probably would not need a book to tell them just to cheer up and look at things differently.I think the overall concerns with the book can be summed up in this lovely little piece of wisdom: “It is actually possible to never have another problem for the rest of your life.” It just demonstrates that his take is, "If you just see things differently [as I am explaining them to you] things will be fine." Which ultimately has really concerning consequences for people who are struggling with depression, grief, loss, or trauma because the implication is that if you are still hurting or miserable, it is because YOU are not looking at things right.Generally, I think this is an irresponsible book that does not acknowledge what we know about how people operate and how people heal. I am glad that it has worked for some people or helped them, but I think it is important to say that if you haven't already bought this you might consider other options (Tara Brach comes to mind, who is a therapist and Buddhist teacher), and if you have, you might consider that this is one relatively narrow way of understanding things by someone who does appear to have any training in addressing serious depression, grief, trauma, or loss, issues that are at the heart of what many people struggle with.

This book is the modern day guide to getting in touch with your inner self. While reading it, I came to recognize two different entities inside of myself. One does the talking and one does the listening. The talker (my ego) talks a big game. He is unabashedly bold and thinks his shit don’t stink. The listener (what I have come to understand as my true self) is bad at pushing back against my ego when it goes too far. Reading this book brought the relationship between these two aspects of my inner self into a realm of greater personal understanding.This book also really made me appreciate the tremendous power of the mind. Singer uses the allegory of a house in a beautiful field to describe how many of us live our mental lives. The house is “all your past experiences; all your thoughts and emotions; all the concepts, views, opinions, beliefs, hopes, and dreams that you have collected around yourself.” We stay inside our houses because they are safe. But, if we manage to open a window, or break down a wall, we would be faced with the beauty of the outside world. This of course goes hand in hand with change. Breaking down the walls of our conceived houses is equivalent to embracing change and facing our fears. In practice, it is very difficult to do because fear is scary. If we can manage to get to the other side of it, however, and see our fears in a different way and change our thoughts and perceptions that surround it, the field of view is truly breathtaking.The theme of succumbing to our fears comes up a few times, as Singer notes that “if you have a lot of fear, you won’t like change. You’ll try to create a world around you that is predictable, controllable, and definable.” He goes on to say how in reality, “fear is the cause of every problem. It’s the root of all prejudices and the negative emotions of anger, jealousy, and possessiveness.” Anybody familiar with Star Wars should be hearing Yoda in their heads right now telling young Anakin Skywalker how “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” (and ultimately to the dark side.) Singer and Yoda are saying the same thing: If you let fear be in the drivers seat, you will spend your life perpetually unhappy, always trying to shape external events to fit your internal narrative and soothe your psyche. The way through this is to embrace change and recognize that “if you really want to break through, you have to be willing to just watch the fear without protecting yourself from it. You must be willing to see that this need to protect yourself is where the entire personality comes from.” Fear is what builds the allegorical house. If you want to step outside and feel the warm sunshine on your skin, you must accept that life is full of scary things and you can realistically do very little (oftentimes nothing) about it.I have noticed this in my dating life. When I’m dating somebody who I really like a lot, and I get scared of losing out on a potentially great relationship with them, I act in ways that often encourage that very outcome. When I date with an ‘I’m going to be my best self and let the chips fall where they may’ attitude, I am always comfortable with the result, regardless of whether it is successful or it doesn’t pan out. I have noticed it in my professional life as well. When I was a younger artist, I used to have tremendous fear that people would never listen to my music or read my writing, and so I sat on it. Eventually I couldn’t anymore and I started putting my creative self our there into the world and the results have been inspiring and encouraging. I now have no fears about how my art will be received because I create it for myself first and foremost. I have also noticed fear in the political actions of friends and relatives. A lot of my family members are Democrats and support the Democratic Party here in the United States. The media uses fear to make them scared of the big bad Republicans and what they might do if they gain too much power. It leads them to hate members of the other political party. My own sister thinks all Republicans are racist, sexist, and homophobic. How many Republicans does she actually know in real life? Not many, most likely none at all. Republicans are the same way, stoking fears of Socialism in order to strengthen their party, which, although effective, also causes their constituents to hate liberals. Everybody is building houses in order to protect themselves from things they are scared of, when it seems to me that we should be breaking the walls down and embracing change.This book taught me to take notice of my internal energy and gave me confidence that dealing with it is always the better route to take instead of hiding it and letting it fester. Last year, when I turned 30, I booked a flight to Atlanta, Georgia, to visit an old friend from childhood. He turns 30 about two weeks after me and we hadn’t seen each other in years. Sadly, our relationship wasn’t quite what I expected, and we were not as emotionally available with each other as I had hoped. He said some things and acted in some ways that didn’t sit right with me and instead of talking about it, I buried it in an effort to make the short trip as fun as possible. When I got home, I told myself I would wait a week or two and then call him up to talk about it. I ended up waiting 8 months! We communicated many times over those 8 months and I never brought it up. It chewed at my psyche for the entirety of that time, and now that the experience is in my past, I feel downright stupid for letting it sit within me for so long. This man was my best friend for the first 18 years of my life (before college sent us in different directions) and even though we were not as close as we once had been, I was scared to talk openly and honestly with him about my feelings. Because of this, my inner monologue kept me up late on many occasions and bothered me constantly. Once I got the courage to speak with him he was open and receptive to my thoughts and we shared a lovely two hour conversation about the birthday trip and moved past it. I came to this book much later, but the ideas Singer proposes struck this chord with fervor. If you harbor energy that you know is making you emotionally unhappy or unstable, the best strategy is to find a way to release it. Usually this means sharing it with a loved one and finding strength in empathy. It also means finding empathy for yourself. I now make a practice of approaching uncomfortable topics as soon as I recognize them within myself because “stress only happens when you resist life’s events.” My life is infinitely better because of it.The way forward for me in overcoming my external fears and soothing my internal stressors has been about recognizing when my ego is talking and when my listener isn’t talking back enough. This, I believe, is the essence of this book. Getting in touch with yourself is the pathway forward through the trials of life because life will be stormy no matter what you do. Who you are in relation to the storm is what counts.

"Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation."-Michael SingerThe Untethered Soul, much like Eckhart Tolle's, The Power of Now, became popular not from any big advertising campaign, but by word-of-mouth. One person would read it and something inside them would resonate strongly with the truth of Michael's words, and they would begin to experience a much deeper sense of peace and inner-happiness. And so naturally, they would tell their friends about the book. Wash, rinse, repeat. Eventually, like The Power of Now, The Untethered Soul found its way into Oprah Winfrey's hands. And like Eckhart, Michael got a call from Oprah and did a rare (for him) interview on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday series in August of 2012.What`s unique about The Untethered Soul is that Singer has seemly done the impossible: written a step-by-step guide to help spiritual seekers discover genuine inner-peace and freedom. And by genuine, I mean it is not dependent on (not linked to) outside circumstances or experiences.As Michael explains in the book, this peace/freedom/well being is always right here within us (in fact, it IS us!), but we unwittingly shut ourselves off to it every time we close our heart. It's as if when our defenses come up we contract energetically, and the inherent joy naturally produced by an open heart is no longer available to us.For example, let's say you are driving your car, feeling fine, and suddenly you notice another driver shoot you a dirty look. At that moment you have a choice. You can either stay feeling fine, at peace, or you can choose to get caught up in reactive thoughts such as, "What's his problem? Who does he think he is giving me a dirty look!?" etc., and suddenly where's your peace? Gone! Why? Because reacting to the stranger who made the face was more important to you, in that moment, than staying open and connected to your natural, inherent, inner-peace.Michael assures you throughout the book that there isn't really ever a good reason for closing your heart and thus cutting yourself off from the ever present living flow of shakti energy.What's more, because we don't know it's possible to be free and at peace, regardless of circumstances, we spend much of our time trying to manipulate the outside world into being the way we want it to be so that we can feel happy! And so basically until the outside world matches the picture of what we think we need to be happy in our head, we are, by default, always unhappy at some level.It sounds crazy, but that's what's going on. Are we doing this on purpose? No, it's happening out of ignorance. That is until you start to catch on to how the mind works, which The Untethered Soul explains with a rare clarity."Basically you re-create the outside world inside yourself, and then you live in your mind." -Michael A. SingerThe first step to authentic peace and freedom is to be 100% clear, in every cell of your body, on what you are NOT. Namely, The Voice Inside the Head, which is the title of Chapter One. It begins:"In case you haven't noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops."That Singer begins The Untethered Soul by pointing out something so apparently obvious tells you the tremendous significance he places on it. That in fact just about everyone on the planet has become so identified with the `voice-in-the-head,' that the idea of really looking closely at the mechanics of it, how it behaves, how it functions, how it appears to work, simply doesn't occur to most of us."If you're smart, you'll take the time to step back, examine the voice, and get to know it better. The problem is, you're too close to be objective. You have to step way back and watch it converse." -Michael SingerIt's sort of like our car windshield; we don't really think about it (unless there is a problem with it) because it's always there! We are so used to automatically/robotically believing our thoughts that the idea that we have the option of NOT believing them simply never occurs to most of us! And yet it's the first step to real freedom.And the thing to notice about the `voice-in-the-head' is this startling (yet so obvious we miss it) observation by Singer:"If you spend some time observing this mental voice, the first thing you will notice is that it never shuts up."And not only does this `voice-in-the-head' opine virtually non-stop about everything we seem to experience, but it's happy to argue ANY point-of-view, including those that cause us much inner-conflict and turmoil:"Notice that the voice takes both sides of the conversation. It doesn't care which side it takes, just as long as it gets to keep on talking."And here's the point that must be grokked: None of the voices are YOU! None. But the key is that YOU must see this for yourself. (And really that's all that matters, as otherwise this wisdom remains at the intellectual level only and does little to end our suffering.) How? By getting some SPACE between ourselves and the thoughts in the head. We must break our habitual/robotic tendency to obsessively identify with/as the `voice in-the-head.' Says Michael:"In order to see this clearly, we have to take a step back and get some space between ourselves and the mental chatter between our ears, so we can see clearly that the thoughts arrive unbidden, and are not our identity. Cease identification with thoughts, which are always going to be problematic, as that is there nature."Remember that it doesn't matter the subject matter or content of the thought--a thought is a thought:"The only way to get your distance from this voice is to stop differentiating what it's saying. Stop feeling that one thing it says is you and the other is not you. If you're hearing it talk, it's obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it's talking."The bottom line, says Michael: "If you're hearing it talk, it's obviously not you."So if you are not the thoughts in your head, what are you? You are what is AWARE of the thoughts. Being aware of something is not the same as actually being that something! The very fact that you are able to think about literally anything means that YOU must be emptiness itself, devoid of any features (yet fully alive/aware), or how else could you pull it off?"The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent. It is a doorway to the depths of your being. -Michael SingerThis aware silence within you is Life itself. IT is the only `thing' presently Conscious to know anything. And it is not mine or yours, and so is totally impersonal. Yet, because it never comes or goes, it's easy to overlook, which is why so few seem to be aware of it. (Although thanks to the internet, this is changing as more and more are awakening to the timeless Truth of their being, usually after exhausting themselves for years, even decades, trying to get the phenomenal world to be the way they want it and finding no lasting success.)In CHAPTER 2: Your Inner Roommate, Singer points out that as long as we attach to/believe/identify with thoughts, we are always going to feel disturbed:"The bottom line is, you'll never be free of problems until you are free from the part within that has so many problems."-Michael SingerAnd how do you become "free from the part within that has so many problems"? Says Michael: "When a problem is disturbing you, don't ask, `What should I do about it?' Ask, `What part of me is being disturbed by this?' If you ask, `What should I do about it?' you've already fallen into believing that there really is a problem outside that must be dealt with.The key sentence in the above quote is:`What part of me is being disturbed by this?' That instead of asking the usual question, "WHY am I feeling this way and how can I make it stop?", Michael recommends that we observe or notice WHERE it's located within our Awareness.If we actually take the time to do this, it immediately gives us some SPACE between the thought and ourselves. Eventually we can come to see that Awareness is the only subject, and everything else is an appearance to the ONE Consciousness."Basically you re-create the outside world inside yourself, and then you live in your mind." -Michael SingerAnother thing that sets "The Unethered Soul" apart from other spiritual books is its practicality/helpful suggestions. For example, in the excerpt below Singer suggests that you imagine your inner-voice belonging to someone else, outside of you. This allows you to get some space between yourself and the `voice-in-the-head' so you can start to hear it objectively and begin to understand how confused, clueless, and `groping around in the dark' in its imaginary world it actually is:"The way to catch on to what your inner roommate is really like is to personify it externally. Make believe that your roommate, the psyche, has a body of its own. You do this by taking the entire personality that you hear talking to you on the inside and imagine it as a person talking to you on the outside. Just imagine that another person is now saying everything that your inner voice would say. Now spend a day with that person."As Michael reminds us throughout the book, regardless of any feelings or beliefs to the contrary, you have NEVER been the voice in your head.FINAL THOUGHTSI have barely scratched the surface of all the great material inside The Untethered Soul. In fact, I could see a high school or university class taught using it as the course text. Imagine if you had learned in school that NO thought is you, and that peace is available 24/7 if you are willing to keep your heart open regardless of outer (or inner) fleeting appearances, i.e., that which comes and goes. This is one of those books that is more profound with each reading. Highly recommended!-Michael Jeffreys

This book completely changed my perspective of myself and the world around me. I thought I was healing and doing all these things for myself but this book exposes what true freedom and knowing one self comes down too. It literally exposed so many things and bought me to realizations I didn’t even have the capacity to analyze myself. The world isn’t a matrix, our mind has been trained to be the matrix and that’s what we perceive through our eyes. I highly recommend this book for anyone who may feel lost or wants to spiritually get to know themselves.

Just received same day shipment. Very excited as I’m starting my spiritual journey. I don’t know much but we all have to start somewhere right 🤷🏾‍♂️ Seen great reviews figured give it a shot. One thing I do know is you can never know your limit or yourself if you consistently let things or people run your mind. You have to control YOUR life and live YOURS

This book has helped me gain a healthier perspective on life more than any other self-help book I've ever read. It is very simple, clear, direct yet very profound and eye-opening. One of my all-time favorite books, ever.

I basically highlighted the whole book. It is simple to understand. The trick I imagine will be in doing it. I feel very positive that it can be done. And I am going to do it.

Very profound. I can't wait to try and live my life the way this book suggests. The world would be a better place if everybody read this book and practiced this way of life. Very easy to read. I recommend this book to anyone trying to better their life

A very clear if somewhat repetitive description of how to seek spiritual liberation by letting go. Strips away much of jargon and mystery around the topic. Somewhat syncretic: ideas are drawn from at least Yoga, Vedanta, Buddhism, Taoism, and (mystic) Christianity.I’ll let you know if ever works for me, but at least it closely describes my early experiences on this journey.

It truly is helping me really see things at a different level. You can't read this and be closed minded. If you're open you'll find this very helpful as why we make the choices we do. Highly recommend!

Loved every word in this book. So uplifting and enlightening. I recommend everyone read this book and feel love for self and all on earth.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
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