4 out of 4 stars
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None of the belief systems, including atheism or agnosticism, goes unchallenged in Richard L. Haight’s book entitled The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment. If anything, he advocates for the abandonment of belief systems, all in all, leaving one in abeyance as to what he’s up to.
In Part 1, Richard Haight narrates his story, beginning with his early life in rural Southern California. Herein, we learn that at the tender age of eight, he was already struggling with unbelief, but it’s a preposterous dream that he had, that would begin a series of events that would culminate in the writing of this book.
Part 2 lays a foundation of his path of spiritual “unfoldment” (the undoing and unbinding procedure experienced during the awakening process). Essentially, he provides us with his source of authority to his principles and practices (he avoids using the term “belief system”). Part 3 delves into the ways of resolving challenges that an individual may face during the “unfoldment” process. This will, among others, involve ensuring that the body is healthy and vibrant, and the mind is well cared for.
Part 4 tackles the difference between soul and spirit, the fundamental forces that stimulate suffering and drive us toward the awakening process. Quite deliberately, I thought, he included here a chapter that would alienate a significant proportion of the population, i.e., away from his calling of elevating “mankind out of unconscious disharmony and into conscious harmony.”
Haight’s style of writing with abandon defines him. Some of his bold and aggressive assertions originate from what he terms as a fundamental difference between the mind and consciousness. The bottom line in the preceding statement implying that we could get entrapped in “mind” not realizing that we’ve another option. So, he goes on to state that a statement such as, “I am the Christ” is rooted in the mind and hence stem from identifications.
In the glossary section, he defines “identification” as, “a largely unconscious process whereby an individual models thoughts, feelings, and actions after those attributed to an object that has been incorporated as a mental image.” Subsequently, my question to him is, is he saying Christ operated ‘in the mind’ and was oblivious of ‘consciousness’?
For someone so enlightened, sometimes I felt his tone wrought of absurd. It’s hard to imagine that the above message, among others, is what Jesus sent him to communicate when he told him earlier that, “Mankind has so twisted my teachings for selfish gain that little of the essence remains.” Now, who is being selfish here?
On the converse, though, he touches quite effectively on the theme of change. In the topic, “Caring for the Mind,” for example, he encourages the reader to try something new, or do something old, but in a new way, but not to be foolish while at it.
The book seems to be professionally edited and formatted. I, however, came across two cases of the wrong choice of words and a missing comma in a sentence.
Overall, I felt the author took a stance on a highly charged and contestable issue. Nevertheless, rather than vituperating on the flaws of the belief systems, Haight’s book has maintained a strong, but reasoned tone, and has supported his assertions with illustrations. Furthermore, he’s clearly pointed out the primary target of his book when he says, “This book exists to serve those who are ready for revelation.”
Ultimately, as the author puts it, it’s up to the reader to prove the teachings true or false through their own life. In conclusion, due to the stimulated controversy raised by the author, and a well-edited book, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
I proceed to recommend it to students of comparative religion, and those interested in New Age teachings. The book will also be suited to those looking for a revelation. Conversely, it’s least suited to people not open to new ideas touching on spiritual matters.
The Unbound Soul
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