4 out of 4 stars
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The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight is an autobiographical book that also doubles as a spiritual guide. During his childhood, Haight experienced a series of dreams about God, which ended with a special message from Jesus saying, “go find my bones”. After this inspiring message, Haight’s mission in life was to become a spiritual guide to the masses; however, his method for going about it was very hazy in the beginning, especially with his learning disability that prevented him from reading the Bible for himself until he was much older. The author uses different instances of his life much like parables in the Bible along with beliefs from different religions around the world to show the way to spiritual fulfillment, good physical health.
I liked how the book didn’t simply just rant on about religion nor did it shovel any particular belief system down the reader’s throat; yet, Haight was still able to show how to achieve true spiritual fulfillment. As an Atheist, I can’t stand it when books try to sell the reader on one particular belief system and condemn the rest to hell for disagreeing. This neutral approach had an inviting atmosphere to everyone regardless of religious beliefs, which very few books are capable of pulling off. Haight referenced many different faiths such as Catholicism, Born Again Christians, Buddhists, African Proverbs, Taoism and Islam collectively under an entity he refers to as Isness. By taking some basic, universal concepts from each of these doctrines and tying them all together, it was very apparent how to implement these practices into ones daily life and how to benefit from each.
There were certain aspects of the book that came across as a bit cultish. The author refers to himself as “The Chosen One” periodically throughout the text, which gives him a slightly pretentious aura and promotes himself as the lead authority on what he is explaining similar to other cult leaders. While the book did give tons of great advice and solid spiritual practices, there were some sections that seemed almost like either a manifesto or simply giving the audience commands as to what they should do. This didn’t happen too often but on the few occasions it did, it sounded as though he was trying too hard to get the audience to “drink the kool aide” and just follow the steps verbatim. Some examples of this include when he was talking about different meditation techniques or finding a good place to learn martial arts.
I was privileged to get the audiobook version of this book so I cannot comment on certain grammatical aspects such as punctuation; however, it sounded as though it was both well written and edited. I did not notice any grammatical errors from what was spoken by the author but without looking at the actual text, I cannot say without a shadow of a doubt that there weren’t any in the written version of this book. The only issue I had with the audiobook version was the occasional reference to either a diagram or a PDF at the back of the book that is clearly not present in this format. I also would have liked to have had the chapter titles listed on the audio list instead of just the chapter numbers so it would have been easier to locate a particular chapter if one wanted to go back and review over any previous concepts.
Even though this book isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, I give it 4 out of 4 stars due to the good life advice and the enjoyable stories sprinkled in throughout. This book would be good for anyone into spiritual books or nonfiction autobiographical books.
The Unbound Soul
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