4 out of 4 stars
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At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this spiritual enlightenment book; it felt that, after enough years in life, it just doesn’t matter anymore. I am where I am and who cares now? Remembering the experiences I’ve had myself though, made me change my mind. Experiencing that Oneness long ago was amazing but left me with the question, “So? Now what? What does it matter?” I decided that discovering what someone else did with the knowledge would be very interesting after all.
Richard Haight’s The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment was well worth reading. The book is divided into four parts: My Story, The Path, Daily Unfoldment, and Soul and Spirit. He starts with his story so that the reader can see where his spiritual questions, discoveries, and revelations came from. Because language so often fails to be useful to describe the spiritual, he’s coined a few phrases of his own. One is “inspirience” to replace “experience”. He wanted to differentiate between things happening outside of us – external events – and the inner spiritual life happenings. This helped to avoid connotations connected to words that are usually used, but that take the mind in directions he didn’t intend. I disliked his use of Spirit and Soul in the opposite ways I’m used to thinking of them. He uses spirit instead of soul as the word for the individual animating essence. To be fair, the two words are often used interchangeably. All definitions are included in the text itself, as well as in a glossary at the end.
One main thrust seems to be the shedding of all separation, of self-identity. I had a hard time with this idea; we spend so much of our early lives fending off others’ emotions and perceptions to determine which are actually our own, then he tells us there is no difference! This does make sense once you’ve ‘inspirienced’ the Oneness of all that is.
I was surprised as I read that, just when questions arose about things that made no sense, the next section raised the questions and he answered them. It was easy to relate to a lot of this even when it started seeming a bit ridiculous. Remembering that everything is filtered through our individual perceptions and experiences, it makes sense that some of what he knows is different from what you or I know, especially at different stages of life.
The formatting was an issue when I read this on my desktop computer; sentences were missing or doubled at the beginning or ends of pages. On my Kindle, there were no problems. The editing was excellent otherwise. I only found one typing mistake in the text and one punctuation mistake in the discussion questions at the end. This deserves its 4 out of 4 stars. For those completely invested in their current belief system who see no reason to delve deeper, this book may upset or annoy you since the author finds value in several religions and philosophies. Anyone who has had unexplainable spiritual inspiriences themselves, I recommend you read this to reach further enlightenment about just what was going on and what can come next.
The Unbound Soul
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