4 out of 4 stars
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Richard L. Haight tells us in his book, The Unbound Soul, how he grew up on a horse ranch in Southern California and that his life was simple and filled with the everyday pleasures of playing, swimming and enjoying incredible landscapes. Then his life took a more serious turn when he was only 8 years old. It was at this time that he, and his fellow playmates, were coerced into attending a Bible study conducted by Mrs. Pacetti and her daughter. Just a few months into the studies, they were informed that it was their responsibility to also convert their parents or they would burn in Hell. As young Richard informed his parents of their plight if they did not convert, his father carefully and quietly showed him that God was a god of love and not a monster waiting to torture people for an eternity. His father also taught him the importance of questioning and searching out truth for himself rather than blindly accepting what another person told them. Later that year, he had a spiritual experience in which he met Jesus. These experiences set a very young Richard Haight in search of a deeper spirituality.
Mr. Haight then recounts his journey of shedding barriers, answering questions and removing the obstacles that stood in his way of finding this spirituality. It took him years in some cases to find answers to many of his questions and to ultimately find his own soul in the midst of the confusion we call life. By telling his story, he saved his readers the many years of searching he had done so that they could more readily begin to experience a sensory-driven meditation he calls observation meditation. He carefully outlines, in great detail, how to begin this meditation and to move forward by shedding the obstacles in our lives that bind us. Eventually, it is his hope, that his readers reach a state he calls Isness which is a state of unconditional love.
This is absolutely not a breeze-through read. The author seemed to understand this as he carefully defined various terms, provided reference information and even gave analogies for the more difficult concepts. Despite all his assistance, I found myself re-reading several paragraphs to make sure I fully understood what he was saying. This is not a criticism. It is not uncommon to re-read study material when you are learning a new craft. I found it beneficial to review sections after being given the analogies as they always added clarity.
Overall, I found the concepts very interesting, especially as they apply to my own personal faith issues. This is not a book of religion and does not set one religion higher than another. However, it does provide a method for finding a deeper spirituality within one’s own religion, or without the confines of religion at all. Spirituality is not limited to religion. It can, according to Mr. Haight, be found completely outside of any religious base whatsoever. The method outlined would be helpful to people experiencing frustration, anger, low self-esteem, depression or just those navigating through our fast-paced lives.
I loved the book and can’t wait to try some of the concepts myself. It is well-written and exceptionally edited. I did not find any grammar or punctuation errors, which is incredible for a self-published book. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a deeper experience in their faith (regardless of religion), anyone burdened by the pressures of life in general or anyone looking for control over their own being. The lessons in this book, if applied, would benefit most people and send them on an exciting journey of their own. For these reasons, I rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars.
The Unbound Soul
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