4 out of 4 stars
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How far would you be willing to go following a vision? What would you be capable of doing to find the truth?
Richard Haight had a vision at just eight years old and has since devoted his life to the search of enlightenment and to share what he has learned.
The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment is a combination of memoir, self-help and spiritual genres in which the author shares his personal experiences regarding spiritual development, his quest to find “the bones of Christ” and a method to achieve enlightenment.
What I enjoyed the most about this book were the personal anecdotes. Some of them might seem unbelievable at first, some could be considered controversial, but they are all shared with total honesty. I think using his personal experiences is a great way to connect with the reader and deliver the message he wants to share in a relatable way. The author has led a very interesting life and his reminiscences are fascinating.
The second thing I enjoyed the most was the authors answers to the reader. In this edition of The Unbound Soul, Haight intersperses questions he has received from readers and answers them. This creates a dialogue that clarifies doubts and makes the narration flow easier.
I already practice meditation, so I found The Warrior’s Meditation to be a very interesting addition to my daily practice. Other concepts, like not trying to change people, solving anger before it explodes, intuitive eating and taking changes step by step, as in the Philosophy of One, are things that I had already learned to try to practice in my daily life (although its’ not easy) and I can attest they can improve your peace of mind. There are many practical tips like these in the book. The book also introduced me to some new ideas that I’m interested in learning more about, like genetic memory.
There are two aspects I didn't like so much about The Unbound Soul. The first one is that some chapters are entirely full of abstract concepts with little to no narration and they can be hard to digest. The second one is the finality with which the spiritual advice is presented. On the one hand, the author advises against trusting “ultimate truths”, but he presents his teachings in this same way.
Since the author doesn't subscribe to any particular religion, and for the sake of precision, he has created his own terminology. This can be confusing at first, but he takes the time to explain the terms and provides a glossary at the end of the book, which is very helpful. The format of the book makes it very easy to go back to it and use it as a reference book. The author also provides many resources that enrich and broaden the concepts presented.
This is not a book to read in one sitting, the concepts presented can be dense and you need time to process them. The author also advises that, as the reading might create spiritual movements and bring back unresolved issues the reader should take its time and stop when needed.
Some parts of this book can be considered controversial, such as the reinterpretation of Christian elements, the author's opinion on prayer and the consumption of psychedelic drugs, for example. I wouldn't recommend The Unbound Soul to staunchly religious people, people who dislike philosophical concepts or have a hard time understanding them, or to readers who are interested in much more actionable self-help books. Anyone interested in a unique approach to spiritual enlightenment or in reading a very original memoir could enjoy this book.
The book was exceptionally well edited and I was only able to find one mistake.
I rate The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment by Richard Haight 4 out of 4 stars for its fascinating biographical content, original spiritual content and amazing formatting and editing.
The Unbound Soul
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