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The Untethered Soul

The Untethered Soul

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Published by nikkiidaniels

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Published by: nikkiidaniels on Jun 11, 2012
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09/15/2014

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TM
Philosophers
Notes
More Wisdom in Less Time
Brian Johnson’s 
“As you read these pages, you will nd that you know much more than you thought you did about some very deep subjects. The fact is, you already know how to nd yourself; you have just gotten distracted and disoriented. Once refocused, you will realize that you not only have the ability to nd yourself, you have the ability to free yourself. Whether you choose to do so or not is entirely up to you. Butupon completion of your journey through these chapters, there will be no moreconfusion, no more lack of empowerment, and no more blaming others. You willknow exactly what must be done. And should you choose to devote yourself to theongoing journey of self-realization, you will develop a tremendous sense of respectfor who you really are. It is only then that you will come to appreciate the full depthof meaning in the advice: “This above all: to thine own self be true.””
~ Michael Singer from
The Untethered Soul 
Michael Singer is a great writer, storyteller and spiritual teacher who has a profound ability tocommunicate complex spiritual ideas in a simple, easy-to-grasp manner.
The Untethered Soul 
is packed with goodness. As Singer poetically puts it:
“The chapters of thisbook are nothing but mirrors for seeing your “self” from different angles.” 
If you’re feelin’ it, I think you’ll love the book.For now, let’s explore a handful of my favorite Big Ideas! Hope you dig it. :)
THE VOICE INSIDE YOUR HEAD
“In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that neverstops. It just keeps going and going. Have you ever wondered why it talks in there? How does itdecide what to say and when to say it? How much of what it says turns out to be true? How muchof what it says is even important? And if right now you are hearing, “I don’t know what you’retalking about. I don’t have any voice inside my head!”—that’s the voice we’re talking about.If you’re smart, you’ll take the time to step back, examine this voice, and get to know it better.”That’s pretty funny. And important.My hunch is you’ve noticed that voice in your head. Yah? As Singer tells us: “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you arenot the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it. If you don’t understand this, you will try to gure out which of the many things the voice says is really you. People go through so many changes in the name of “trying to nd myself.” They want to discover which of these voices, which of these aspects of their personality, is who they really are. The answer is simple: none of them.”Good stuff.
The Untethered Soul
The Journey Beyond Yourself 
BY MICHAEL A. SINGER · NEW HARBINGER © 2007 · 224 PAGES
THE BIG IDEAS
The Voice
Inside your head. Notice it yet?
The Witness
Work out your Witness muscles.
The (Crazy) Roommate
 Time to give it the boot.
This Is Your Life
 Time to reclaim it!
Perspective
& The avoidance of pain.
Real Transformation
& Change.
Begin w/Small Things
Rock it moment to moment.
Unconditional Happiness
Is the highest technique.
Stepping-Stones
Of our spiritual journey.
1
Philosophers
Notes
|
 
The Untethered Soul
 “Right in the middle of yourdaily life, by untethering yourself from the bondageof your psyche, you actually have the ability to steal freedom for yoursoul. This freedom is so great it has been given a special name—liberation.” 
~ Michael Singer
 
Now, let’s gure out what we can do about it!
THE WITNESS
“Once you clearly see the disturbed part, then ask, “Who is it that sees this? Who notices thisinner disturbance?” Asking this is the solution to your every problem. The very fact that youcan see the disturbance means that you are not it. The process of seeing something requires asubject-object relationship. The subject is called “The Witness” because it is the one who sees what’s happening. The object is what you are seeing, in this case the inner disturbance. This actof maintaining objective awareness of the inner problem is always better than losing yourself inthe inner situation. This is the essential difference between a spiritually minded person and a worldly person. Worldly doesn’t mean that you have money or stature. Worldly means that youthink the solution to your inner problems is in the world outside. You think that if you changethings outside, you’ll be okay. But nobody has every truly become okay by changing thingsoutside. There’s always the next problem. The only real solution is to take the seat of witnessconsciousness and completely change your frame of reference.To obtain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of  being lost in them.”There’s a LOT of goodness in that paragraph.First, “The Witness.” This is the real you—the part of you that is unaffected by your thoughtsand emotions and workings of the outer world. One of the primary themes of the book (andspirituality in general) is the fact that we need to train ourselves to, as Singer says,
“objectivelywatch your problems instead of being lost in them.” 
In order to do that, we need to step into The Witness chair and make our current problems theOBJECT of our awareness—creating the subject-object relationship Singer talks about above. We talk about this Idea a bit in the Note on Anthony de Mello’s great book,
 Awareness
, where
he tells us:
“Never identify with that feeling. It has nothing to do with the ‘I.’ Don’t dene your
essential self in terms of that feeling. Don’t say, ‘I am depressed.’ If you want to say, ‘It is
depressed,’ that’s all right. If you want to say that depression is there, that’s ne; if you want tosay gloominess is there, that’s ne. But not: I am gloomy. You’re dening yourself in terms of the feeling. That’s your illusion; that’s your mistake. There is a depression there right now, but let it be, leave it alone. It will pass. Everything passes, everything. Your depressions and your
thrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are swings of the pendulum. If you seek kicksor thrills, get ready for depression. Do you want your drug? Get ready for the hangover. Oneend of the pendulum swings over to the other.” 
So, there’s a quick look at The Witness + subject-object goodness. We assume the subjectiveperspective of The Witness and make our challenges the object of our awareness. Powerful stuff to practice!I also love the idea of a “worldly person” vs. a “spiritually minded person.” To be a worldly person is to think that the solutions to our problems exist “out there”—if only this personchanged or that situation was different, THEN we’d be happy. Um, yah.The spiritually minded person realizes that it’s our perspective that makes things good or bad. AsShakespeare says,
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” 
De Mello has a great way of describing this in
 Awareness
as well. He says it’s kinda like beingsick but going to the Doctor and getting medicine for our *neighbors*! :) In his words:
“Imaginea patient who goes to a doctor and tells him what he is suffering from. The doctor says, ‘Verywell, I’ve understood your symptoms. Do you know what I will do? I will prescribe a medicine for your neighbor!’ The patient replies, ‘Thank you very much, Doctor, that makes me feel 
2
Philosophers
Notes
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The Untethered Soul
 “Come to know the onewho watches the voice, and  you will come to know oneof the great mysteries of creation.” 
~ Michael Singer
 “When a problem arises,don’t ask, “What should I do about it?” Ask, “What part of me is beingdisturbed by this?”” 
~ Michael Singer
 
much better.’ Isn’t that absurd? But that’s what we all do. The person who is asleep alwaysthinks he’ll feel better if somebody else changes. You’re suffering because you are asleep, but 
you’re thinking, ‘How wonderful life would be if somebody else would change. How wonderful life would be if my neighbor changed, my wife changed, my boss changed.’” 
THE ROOMMATE
“Basically, you’re not alone in there. There are two distinct aspects of your inner being. Therst is you, the awareness, the witness, the center of your willful intention; and the other is that which you watch. The problem is, the part that you watch never shuts up. If you could get rid of that part, even for a moment, the peace and serenity would be the nicest vacation you ever had.”Singer tells us we’re not alone in our heads. We have what he calls a “roommate” up there. And this isn’t any ol’ roommate. This is oneCRAZY person who’s
constantly
narrating our lives and telling us WACKY things, jumping fromsubject to subject to subject ALL. DAY. LONG.He has us play a game where we take that inner voice and project it out into a real person: aroommate who hangs out with us all day, every day.He continues: “How would you feel if someone outside really started talking to you the way yourinner voice does? How would you relate to a person who opened their mouth to say everything your mental voice says? After a very short period of time, you would tell them to leave and nevercome back. But when your inner friend continuously speaks up, you don’t ever tell it to leave. Nomatter how much trouble it causes, you listen.”Hah.Seriously, though.Imagine if you had *anyone* in your life who talked to you like your inner voice incessantly talksto you. You’d boot them out of your life, right? Well, we need to do the same thing with our inner roommate. The rst step is to REALIZE that we even have this wacky roommate inside our head. Then we just need to hop into our “Witness”chair and OBSERVE the non-stop thoughts rather than get swept up by them!!
THIS IS YOUR LIFE—RECLAIM IT
“If you want to free yourself, you must rst become conscious enough to understand yourpredicament. Then you must commit yourself to the inner work of freedom. You do this asthough your life depended on it, because it does. As it is right now, your life is not your own; it belongs to your inner roommate, the psyche. You have to take it back. Stand rm in the seat of the witness and release the hold that the habitual mind has on you. This is your life—reclaim it.” Amen to that.Reminds me Joseph Campbell’s reminder (see Notes on
 A Joseph Campbell Companion
):
“Sri 
 Ramakrishna said, ‘Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on re
seeks a pond.’” 
Here’s to understanding our predicament and doing the work necessary to free ourselves!!
PERSPECTIVE & THE AVOIDANCE OF PAIN
“To get some distance form this [pain], you rst need to get some perspective. Walk outsideon a clear night and just look up into the sky. You are sitting on a planet spinning around inthe middle of absolutely nowhere. Though you can only see a few thousand stars, there are
3
Philosophers
Notes
|
The Untethered Soul
 “What differentiates a conscious, centered beingfrom a person who is notso conscious is simply thefocus of their awareness.It’s not a difference in the consciousness itself.All consciousness is thesame. Just as all light fromthe sun is the same, all awareness is the same.” 
~ Michael Singer
 “Once you’ve made this freedom the meaning of  your life, there are spiritual  practices that can help you.These practices are what you do with your time iorder to free yourself from yourself.” 
~ Michael Singer

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