4 out of 4 stars
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Is this book a virus, spreading a strange disease that could change the world? The Unbound Soul, by Richard L. Haight, has caused a thunderous hoo-ha in the virtual world. The book is a best-seller in multiple categories (spirituality, meditation, self-help), no. 1 in Unitarian Universalism on Amazon.com and the March Book of the Month at OnlineBookClub. Whenever I open a familiar portal having to do with spiritual books, there are always tons of people teaching meditation, awakening, healing energy, harmony, self-development, human evolution, visions, wisdom, the Universe, and the list of related themes flows on like a river to the horizon. But most of the time, it's almost impossible not to notice the kind of self-proclaimed “mentors” who spew some version of so-called otherworldliness. For this reason, when this book exploded on the market, I initiated precautionary measures and turned on my invisible electric fence, donned my armor of skepticism and activated my humanity sensors. The blast of the explosion had already reached me, but I took prudent steps to avoid infection in case this book was authored by one of the abundant parasites in this genre. All the same, I found myself on that dangerous ground where I craved to discover more, and although I felt some light protection because of my ridiculous defenses, the burning desire for truth and the inner curiosity reflected my vulnerability, so I readied myself to face whatever was to come.
The root concept of this book, to learn to unveil your soul, reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite novels, Shogun, by James Clavell, where he depicted the Japanese man as having three hearts: a formal but insincere heart in his mouth, for presenting an acceptable front to society; another one in his chest that he exposes only to close companions and family; and lastly, his genuine heart that no one knows but himself, which remains hidden in some private place. With that in mind, I entered into the spiritual quicksand of The Unbound Soul. The flow from one chapter to the next is smooth and tactful, slowly peeling away the soul's rind. From the first page to the very last, the author carefully harmonized the key components for personal transformation, using accessible language. With simple but expressive words, Haight creates a corridor between the soul and the mind. To walk through this passage, he provides the comfortable tools that we can use in our active daily life, without creating any serious inconvenience to our routine. My exploratory spirit, tempered by the concern of falling into the all-too-common traps of shallowness and superficiality, helped me to draw closer to ground zero of this explosion.
The vibration projected by the author, the writing style, the innovative words (inspirience, Isness), the book's manner, the sequence of topics involved in his method, the meticulous notions fused one with another, like the colors of a rainbow. The meaning of life (is there a purpose to our existence?), the cerebral interest (what are we here to do?), the cause of suffering (is our attitude involved?), the route to reveal our Self, behind all the sulky layers that we have collected over the years, willingly or unintentionally, which hide it so deeply (in the end, is this a form of weakness?), the onerous stones we carry daily in our pockets which prevent us from striding proudly towards our true human essence (do we really hold a divine spark in the deep twilight of our animal den?), the practical everyday steps leading to our inner liberation (is there a soul cage?), the detached answers to the fundamental social questions – this massive rainbow of interconnected themes was rising before my eyes. But its energy was as “light as a feather”.
It was invigorating to sense that in spite of all the lofty titles that Richard Haight presented (best-selling author, martial arts expert with licenses in four samurai arts, spiritual teacher, practitioner of traditional healing techniques), a placid modesty, a knowledge of his own imperfections and an awareness of his capacity for making common mistakes were also part of his constitution.
I took my time with this book, stretching the review's deadline to the maximum because I desired to slowly digest and gradually absorb “the tuning process” described; and the second time that I perused it (yes, I read it twice - I had to), the virus-infected information made more realistic sense. If you follow Haight's warning sign (“I recommend that readers open themselves to receive this information as deeply as possible”), there is a great chance that his teachings will crush the social definition of reality that our mind has formed during our lifetime, a process which can be profoundly painful. Please, be aware that “a true danger comes with any teaching: [if] the individual receives the teaching through the mind.”
In this third edition of the book, the author adds new chapters to update the process of unveiling our own soul´s core, provides answers to the reader's questions and expands on the proofs which back his competence. Impeccable editing is just another chemical element that has contributed to the “bang” of this simplified and honest human bacillus that breathes new life into our nature. While this virus may be contagious, it is not poisonous because, you see, the “sickness” it causes existed long before this explosion. I was born with this “disease”, like so many others with the desire to make the world a better place by learning more about themselves. The book whispers to mankind, independent of your gender, ethnic or social origin, age, culture, religion, nationality, wealth, job title, lifestyle, personality or background. I'm grateful to be able to contribute to the impact that this “virus” can cause because, personally, I have felt the beneficial effects, so I will rate The Unbound Soul with 4 out of 4 stars. I’m looking forward to reading Richard Haight's other works: Inspirience and The Psychedelic Path.
I would recommend this work to “those who are ready for revelation”, to individuals who want to be detoxified from the “never-ending hamster wheel of debt and misery”, to readers who enjoy self-development books and to anyone who wishes to evolve. Inevitably, this guidebook seems to be for everyone, but if you consider yourself to be an inflexible person, someone who has nothing else to learn, and you're 100% sure of “all that is”, then maybe it's best that you turn a blind eye to it.
“Ultimately, it is up to you, the reader, to prove these teachings true or false through your own life.”
The Unbound Soul
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