4 out of 4 stars
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The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight is a spiritual memoir for personal transformation and enlightenment. Haight has written several self-help books, but I’d recommend reading this one first since it personally connects you to the writer and also provides a vast understanding of his life teachings.
The book is split into four different parts, the first segment being the life story of the author. He begins by telling us about his childhood which took place on a horse ranch in southern California. While growing up he had many questions about Christianity, and soon after, began a lifelong journey to discover what it meant for one to become truly spiritual. His travels took him all over the world including the United States, the Amazon, and Japan.
Part two teaches the reader Haight’s meditation methods. He explains how to perform these meditations safely, and what it takes to start the spiritual unfoldment process. Parts three and four discuss what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. This covers mental and physical health, as well as spiritual health.
This is the first self-help book I’ve ever read, and I must say that I am happy I chose this one. I am not a religious person, and according to Haight’s book, you don’t need to be in order to spiritually unfold. It doesn’t matter what religion you believe in, or where you were born. We are all equals, which means we are all capable of enlightenment. Throughout the book, he often references quotes from the bible, as well as quotes from the Tao teachings. While the quotes are from specific belief systems, he doesn’t side with one or the other. It seems to be the words that are important, not where they came from. I found it beautiful that people from different beliefs and backgrounds would be able to pick up this book and retain something positive from it as I did.
I particularly enjoyed part three the most, where he covers mental and physical health. It was refreshing to hear that the body will often tell us what it needs, but we need to actually stop and listen to it to understand. For example, if you suddenly find yourself craving a specific food, that could be your body trying to tell you that it requires a particular nutrient found in that food. However, I don’t think this applies to sweets, only healthy food cravings. (Otherwise, most of us would be eating cake nonstop.) This section also covers ways to stay fit even if you have a busy lifestyle. It really drills into your brain that while we may feel busy, we should always make time to ensure our bodies are healthy.
There was only one thing about the book that I feel like I need to warn future readers about. While I did find this book very helpful, there are times where the author assumes we will understand something we haven’t read about yet. For example, in part one Haight talked about how he once drove for three days straight without sleeping, and that he was able to do this because he was meditating while driving. This raised a lot of questions for me since his meditations were not explained in depth until the next section of the book. It sounded like a stretch for me to believe that he was able to do this, and I didn’t understand how meditating while driving could be safe. This made me question the legitimacy of the book at first, but as I kept reading, he managed to explain what happened later on. While reading, if you do come across something that may make you pause like this, keep in mind that it might be examined in depth later.
I would like to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. While some information in the first part of the book wasn’t explained, it was covered later on. While reading I did not come across one spelling or grammatical error, and I found that the overall tone of the book was fun to follow. It was clear the author cared about the voice his book carried. After reading this I have felt the need to make several life changes and I hope the people who read this in the future come away with similar goals.
I’d suggest this book to anyone who is looking to better their lives and also to those who might be struggling with what they believe in. While this book may not have all of the answers, it definitely clears away a lot of clouds and allows you to think for yourself.
The Unbound Soul
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