The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer is a beautiful book, inside and out.
I got my copy at a used bookstore, which presented a gift I might not have appreciated otherwise. Let me explain.
I am very careful not to buy books with highlighting or notes inside, which isn’t easy when browsing used self-help books. I have marked up a few of my own and have always been sorry I did. Upon re-reads, I’m always startled and distracted by the scribbles and yellow highlights telling me what’s important. It’s kinda like the squeaky wheel… it distracts you from something very important *over there* that you totally miss. In reading, it takes away from the entire experience of finding new “A Ha!” moments. Very annoying.
This time, I never even looked inside because the book seemed to be in pristine shape. Like new, honestly. No crack on the paperback binding. No crease on the cover. No pages turned down in the corner to keep the reader’s place.
And so, it was a complete surprise when the saw the ink! Not careful, straight lines or artistic squigglies. Not carefully placed. Not thinking of the future. Instead, they are the lines of someone who wanted to know – right now, right here in the moment – what’s important.
“The prerequisite to true freedom is to decide that you do not want to suffer anymore.”
This, this, THIS!!… the squiggle seems to say.
I immediately felt the squiggler was male. I’m not sure why… but I pictured an engineer, on his last leg emotionally, fighting to find the answer… and discovering it within the pages of this book.
I know, I should write fiction. lol
This book was a #1 New York Times Bestseller in 2007, when it came out. It feels older to me… more ancient… like a sacred work. Certainly, it feels that important.
What is it about? Ah, that’s more difficult to explain.
The Untethered Soul is about self… and ego… and letting go of all you know to be true. It’s about looking beyond self and finding liberation. It’s about spiritual consciousness and a quest for understanding. It is about God. And NOT God. It is about you and me and everyone else. It is a philosophy book. It is a sociology book. It is a spiritual work and prose.
It is the kind of book you will read twice, or three times. You will set it down in your lap and think about what you just read.
Or maybe, like me, someone has come before you. They become your great, un-named teacher. He leads you to passages like this:
“When you close your heart or your mind, you hide in the darkness within you.”
He has squiggled and highlighted what you need to know… and has shown you that we all share common experiences. And you nod as you place the book in your lap, content in that knowledge. You fall asleep and dream of horses – or unicorns – running in the surf.
Yeah, that’s the kind of book this is… it’s art.