The Untethered Soul

By Michael A. Singer

(Download .pdf synopsis)

Key Takeaway(s):

Part 1: Awakening Consciousness

Nothing is more important to growth than to realize that you are not the voice in your head.

It’s important to maintain objective awareness of the inner problem as opposed to getting lost in the outer situation. You must be able to watch your problems, not get lost in them.

The only permanent solution to problems is to let go of the part inside you that seems to have so many problems with reality.

Part 2: Experiencing Energy

Although most of us don’t lack food, water, clothing or shelter, we’ve replaced solving these life-threatening problems with a need to protect/defend our psychology. “Our major struggles end up being with our own inner fears, insecurities, and destructive behavior patterns, and not with outside forces.”

Relax and release: When you feel yourself get into defensive mode, take the risk of letting it go.

Part 3: Freeing Yourself

Let go now or fall.

Attempts to protect yourself from problems actually creates more problems.

If you attempt to arrange people, places and things so they don’t disturb you, it will feel like life is against you.

When you try to figure out how to keep things from happening or if you’re trying to figure out what to do because they did happen, you’re fighting with creation.

The alternative is not to fight with life, which is continuously changing.

Remove your inner thorn.

Embrace change and see problems as agents for growth.

If something is disturbing you, remove the root cause of that disturbance within yourself.

Don’t let the weakest part of you run your life.

Steal freedom for your soul.

To be truly free, you must first decide that you do not want to suffer anymore—that there is no reason for stress, inner pain, or fear.

Your mind always tell you that you have to change something on the outside in order to solve your inner problems, but external changes don’t solve the root of the problem. Your mind misleads you, disturbed by its fears.

When you see your mind telling you how to fix the world and everyone in it, just don’t listen.

Stop acting as though your mind is your protector, and you will find yourself behind the mind watching it.

Relax and release. Your mind is constantly driving you crazy over nothing. Untether yourself.

Pain is the price of freedom.

Any behavior based on the avoidance of pain is a doorway to the pain itself.

You can’t spend your life avoiding things that aren’t actually happening.

Release initial pain instead of avoiding it.

Permit the world to be what it is instead of being afraid of it.

When you no longer fear the inner pain, you can face all of life’s situations without fear.

Part 4: Going Beyond

You are completely independent of what you are watching (inside your head).

Don’t build walls that block the light. Expand into what is and what always was.

You use your analytical mind to feel some semblance of control. Incorporate reality.

“Your views, your opinions, your preferences, your concepts, your goals and your beliefs are all ways of bringing the infinite universe down to the finite where you can feel a sense of control…If anything happens that challenges how you view things, you fight. You rationalize. You can angry and frustrated over simple little things. This is the result of being unable to fit what’s actually happening into your model of reality. If you want to go beyond your model, you have to the risk of not believing in it. If your mental model is bothering you, it’s because it doesn’t incorporate reality.”

Consistency can’t substitute for stability.

Stop clinging.

“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts. You are not your emotions; you are aware of your emotions.

Let go of false solidity. Don’t participate in the struggle. The center from which you watch disturbance cannot get disturbed.

Take life’s journey by constantly letting go.

Part 5: Living Life

Events don’t determine whether or not you’ll be happy, you do.

Don’t make your happiness condition on other people.

Resistance is a waste of energy. What we are resisting has already taken place or hasn’t happened yet.

It is not life’s events that are causing problems/stress. It is the resistance to those events.

“Since the problem is caused by using your will to resist the reality of life passing though you, the solution is quite obvious—stop resisting…Begin by realizing that you carry around with you your own set of preconceived notions of how things should be. It is based upon these notions that you assert your will to what has already happened.”

Fear will fade once you realize the only thing to get from life is the growth that comes from experiencing it.

Live life like you are on the verge of death, because you are.

Don’t live in the extremes. Like a blind person using a cane, don’t try to find where you should walk, avoid where you shouldn’t walk.

Quick guide/reference:

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

Let go now or fall. Untether yourself. Don’t fight creation.

Embrace your problems as agents for growth.

Remove your inner thorn.

Relax and release.

Incorporate reality into your mental models.

Let go of false solidity. No clinging. Consistency ≠ stability.

Determine happiness, don’t make it conditional.

Practice nonresistance. Resistance to reality = problems/stress.

Feel the edges, don’t live in the extremes.

What I got out of it:

A deeply insightful book filled with invaluable advice on how to cut the cord to your mind.