I always thought that spirituality is self-development. I associate it with our psychological growth. It is just being in harmony with yourself, exploring your thoughts and empowering them, delving deep into what you want and not being led by the so-called Gurus. It only comes with understanding people and the world. It is being kind, tolerant and forgiving, which may lead you to inner peace.
Till I came across this book, which confounded me with a lot of questions though it claims that “‘The Untethered Soul‘ offers simple yet profound answers to these questions: What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity?”
This thought-provoking book speaks the language of the usual yogis or so called “Religious Gurus” and inspires you to live in harmony, avoid extremes, contemplate death to learn from it; it takes you round and round, offers no solution but repeats three messages time and again, which are:
Leave your comfort zone.
Break the boundaries you’ve set for yourself and look beyond.
I am sure we’ve heard these messages a thousand times yet we don’t “Let go.” Why? Because we all know how challenging it is to let go of our worries, stressful moments, emotional hurts, failures, haunting memories, betrayals etc.
Singer takes very basic examples of letting go and doesn’t mention the real issues like – How can a successful person who has been laid off not get stressed?
What about the parents who have lost their young child in gun violence? Will they ever be able to let go? It might take a struggle of lifetime for them to see light within them.
What about a woman who has to live with an abusive husband and her cultural compulsions don’t let her move an inch without his permission? How can she break the boundaries?
Healing takes a long time. Spirituality is a long, meandering process but there is no such warning in this book. It makes it sound as easy as accomplishing a simple task of making a cup of tea.
Give this book in the hands of a 20 year old and he would scoff at the possibility of letting go. He is eager to experience life, absorb the impressions and take all the risks.
Give it in the hands of a 30 year old and he would shove it in one of the book shelves, as he has no time for “untethering his soul.” He would like to explore all the possibilities of reaching the zenith. He doesn’t believe in boundaries.
Give it in the hands of a 40 year old and he would say – ‘easier said than done’ because by now life has taught him many lessons. He has found his comfort zone. He also knows from his experiences that it is only when we struggle with ourselves, only when we try to make peace with an unfortunate event, only when we use all the available energy that we can remove the weight, that blocks our heart and mind. Untethering the soul is a far cry.
Then Singer talks about unconditional happiness. The most shocking part is and I quote: “Do you want to be happy from this point forward for the rest of your life, regardless of what happens? Now if you say yes, it might happen that your wife leaves you, or your husband dies, or the stock market crashes or or your car breaks down on an open highway at night.” Then he says- just “let the events come and go.” “Don’t allow events to leave impressions inside of you.”
Really? Can you control the impressions that harrowing events leave on your heart and mind? Another shocking quote, “No matter what happens, you choose to enjoy the experience, if they starve you and put you in solitary confinement, just have fun.”
Though I didn’t dislike the book but it didn’t offer anything new. It is quite elementary.
I have given 3 stars to this book though it is said to be the bestseller.
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