4 out of 4 stars
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The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight is a self-help book that guides readers towards finding their own spiritual ways in life.
The first part of the book is the author’s autobiography, which details his early life that defined his current path. It starts with his childhood years, which were pretty average by any normal standards, right until he had a strange, mythical experience through a dream in which he met Jesus. This was an encounter that altered the course of Richard’s entire life. In the dream, Jesus told him to “find my bones for they are the core of my teachings,” and ever since that early dream, Richard has been on a quest to fulfill that long-given promise.
The narrative is engaging, humorous, and inspirational. There are many anecdotes that highlight the points the author is making in each chapter. One such example is an incident where he was about to be mugged. The way he turned the situation to his advantage was nothing short of spectacular (and no, it didn’t involve any fight at all).
While he was still in the U.S., Richard went on a vision quest, something he felt he had to do. Once he went through it, he understood he had to further those spiritual insights he had just gained. Thus, his path took him to the Amazon to live for a while with a local tribe, then to Japan, where he learned and also taught martial arts, then to the U.S. again, always going where he knew he was needed as a spiritual seeker and teacher.
As the author walks us through the journey of his life, he sprinkles the pages with spiritual teachings we can all take home to implement in our own transformation journey. Richard teaches us about consciousness, about a particular meditation technique called Observation Meditation, and a strange dance he practices called Dance of Self to restore harmony in one’s environment. He is also teaching Shinkaido, a unique training method that combines martial arts with healing.
In each guiding chapter, the author gives us instructional exercises, some of which are easy to do at home (some are even common-sense, such as tips about what to eat and what not to eat, exercise for health, and meditation), and some that are not as easy without personal coaching.
Everyone has their own opinion on what spirituality means to them. For some, it’s straight-up Christian religion. For others, it’s something closer to what some people call New Age; yet for others, like Richard L. Haight, it’s taking the best of every teaching and applying it to oneself. Religious people might shake their heads at some of the author’s comments about reincarnation, which is not part of the Western religious teachings. In return, people who believe in reincarnation but don’t believe in a God, and in Heaven and Hell, might raise their eyebrows at the author’s mention and belief in those.
So the book might ruffle a few feathers. Yet, there is something for everyone in it. You don’t have to agree with all its points to take the lessons you need to apply to your own life.
For example, I rather subscribe to Michael Newton’s theories about the afterlife, however, I was so intrigued by the author’s meditation technique that I decided to research it more in-depth so I can start practicing it at home. Also, I can’t see myself dancing wildly at home to banish negativity, but I am already eating cleaner foods by avoiding sugar and eating a balanced diet devoid of hydrogenated fats.
Overall, while I don’t agree fully with every single point the author makes in the book, there is enough for me to ponder on for a long time. There are many lessons that are worth implementing.
One of my biggest surprises about the book is that for a self-published manuscript it is devoid of grammatical errors. I only found a single punctuation error throughout the entire text. Also, The Unbound Soul is a well-structured book where the main message comes through clearly, using easy words accessible to everyone. It is really a pleasure to read. Thus, I give the book 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who needs spiritual guidance, to people who love reading self-help and spiritual books, and to those who aspire to reach their own inner freedom.
The Unbound Soul
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