4 out of 4 stars
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The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight
The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight is intended for those who are ready for revelation. Richard draws on Christianity, Tao, and Buddhism for his philosophy. Richard predicates that there is something called mind and an alternative something called consciousness. The goal is to recognize when we are in a state of mind, which constitutes a source of suffering; and deliberately choose a state of consciousness to gain immeasurable enlightenment. In trying to achieve this altered state, old emotions will hold us back, so we have to anticipate this and work with it.
Richard had a traumatic introduction to religion at the age of eight; his Bible study teacher told him that if he didn’t attend Bible study, he would burn in Hell. Subsequently, Richard began experiencing vivid dreams that Jesus Christ was with him in his bedroom. However, Jesus had no bones in his body. Jesus asked Richard to find the essence of his teaching and give it back to the world, and this became Richard’s lifelong quest. At twelve-years-old Richard discovered karate which became the basis of his teaching skills in the years to come; he felt nourished by the karate teacher’s focus on building strong character, valuing integrity, and having courage. Throughout his life, Richard experiences physical contact from the universe and spiritual visions; he determines he must become a great leader who can express unconditional love for all people.
My first reaction to this book was that I didn’t buy into the philosophy. I wondered how I could write a review of something so alien to me. Then, I realized I was reviewing the book; not the philosophy. By my second reading, I liked the fact that The Unbound Soul is a well-written book in all respects and professionally edited. I thought the strategy that included the autobiographical part of the book was a good idea. It makes us feel empathetic to Richard, as he outlines the rest of his philosophy. Richard also alternates between depression, when he does not know how to bring about his vision and enlightenment when he knows the direction to go in: Often changing continents to follow his dream.
Richard uses the word Isness to suggest that we are all part of one entity; he has fascinating ideas on the nature of the universe. But a note of caution if the subject of The Unbound Soul is new to the reader: Then it might be hard to understand the entirety of Richard’s philosophy in one sitting or even a few sittings. I was quite frustrated and did not like that with all of his visions, Richard continued to vacillate between euphoria and despair. When one vision gave Richard some direct information about how to shape his life, I was pleased.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because of its overall excellence as a book. I appreciate how much meaning Richard’s philosophy has for him, and perhaps many others. I do not rate it 3 out of 4 stars because of the thoroughness of the narrative, the explanations, and the training aspects. I would recommend this book to adults and older teens, especially anyone seeking enlightenment. I would not recommend it to people who like light reading.
The Unbound Soul
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