4 out of 4 stars
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To be very honest, I chose to read this book not because I have a lot of interest/experience in the spiritual examination of one's self but because I have recently been diagnosed with a very severe illness and think that learning of new ways to cope is necessary. Therefore, when approaching this review, my mentally is not of an expert, but rather of someone open to the idea of reflection and spiritual guidance for their own betterment (but a novice).
For my purposes, the first section of the book is pretty useless. Haight goes into his history and several of his musings of the mind, spirit, and how they connect us to the world around us. This portion of the text is actually pretty amazing to read through as it is very well written and pretty interesting to read even if you don't one hundred percent follow this sort of teaching. He explains that not being sure of these teachings and just exploring the idea behind things are okay. His history in spirituality began at age 8 and he has spent the rest of his life internally examining himself and those around him.
From there, he enters into what is arguably the best and most useful section of the book. In the second through fourth section, Haight leads the reader through more of a skill test and practice exercises. Two of these exercises are the "Dance of the Self" and a meditation that in my opinion is worth reading the book for on its own. I really do enjoy meditations so I really enjoyed the fact that such a well thought out and thought provoking meditation was provided. In today's internet age, meditations are a dime a dozen, but this was a very well thought out and a lingering meditation. I was very happy that not only was it one that I could do by myself successfully, but it is also one that works well lead in a group. The "Dance of the Self" is a bit more complex, and I highly suggest that readers spend a great deal of time reading through it as it does take up not only time but a lot of mental energy to get the full meaning out of it.
The book itself is a very well written introspective view of one's self and how we cause a lot of the turmoil in our brains then offers suggestions for how to turn those negative thoughts. I found that the book was very successful at providing options as to how to rewire your thought process. It really helps guide the reader through how to deal with stress, jealousy, and how we pretty much are our own worst enemies. I know that this borders on a lot of summary but this type of book really has a clear purpose and it either fulfills that purpose or it doesn't. To me, this book really surpassed my expectations with the content it provides. It did almost feel like a textbook for the spiritual soul that if you want to learn, it does provide the tools to get there.
The Unbound Soul by Richard Haight is a very well thought out book that offers both an exceptional narrative and really helpful points to help guide the reader. Because of this, I rate this spiritual guide 4 out of 4 stars. I would highly recommend this book to people searching for a way to cope with things beyond them or for people struggling with their own self-doubts holding them back. I would say that this book would not be very beneficial to someone who does not want to work for results. This book makes you think and unless you want to have "homework" to work on, this type of book probably wouldn't be the best.
The Unbound Soul
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