The Untethered Soul Notes & Summary

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself: Michael A ...

Link (Amazon)

An incredible read on spirituality. No amount of notes could do this one justice. I recommend if you’re interested in exploring mediation/consciousness or are curious. An open mind is always a plus.

  • There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing you are not the voice of your mind – you are the one who hears it. (Awareness)
  • Vast majority of your thoughts have no meaning at all. They have no effect on anything or anybody, except you. They are simply making you feel better or worse about what is going on now, what has gone on in the past, or what might go in the future
    • Example: If you spend your time hoping it doesn’t rain tomorrow, you are wasting your time. Your thoughts don’t change the rain.
  • Why do we verbalize what we see? If you study this carefully, it’s because the narration makes you feel more comfortable with the world around you
  • You use the thoughts in your mind as a protection mechanism, a form of defense, to make you feel more secure
  • When you have a problem, don’t ask “What should I do about this?” Ask “What part of me is being disturbed by this?”
  • Objective Awareness > Losing Yourself in the Outer Situation
  • To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them
  • Don’t try to make the person stop talking? Just try to get to know what you live with inside by externalizing the voice.
  • You are not your thoughts. You are simply aware of your thoughts.
  • You have always been a conscious receiver of all that was.
  • The Buddhist Self, Hindu Atman, and the Judeo-Christian Soul all are the Awareness/seat of self
  • Have you ever noticed that when you’re deeply absorbed in your phone/laptop/TV, you have no awareness of where you’re sitting or what else is going on in the room?
  • If you ever want to re-center, just start saying “hello” inside, over and over. Then notice that you are aware of that thought. Don’t think about being aware of it, that’s just another thought.
  • You think you are the sum of your learned experiences, but you are actually the center of your awareness
  • What differentiates a conscious, centered being from a person who is not so conscious is simply their focus of awareness
  • Centered being = your consciousness is always aware of being conscious
  • Meditation = contemplating the nature of Self
    • This is why meditation is the highest state. It is the return to the root of your being, the simple awareness of being aware
  • Ask “Who am I?” (Ramana Maharshi). Ask it and you will notice you are the answer.

Part II – infinite energy

  • Energy is the key. Look at the times in your life when you were in love or inspired by something or excited, you were so filled with energy you didn’t want to eat.
  • You have a wellspring of beautiful energy inside of you. When you are open you feel it, when you are closed you don’t. (Some eighty-year-old people have the energy and enthusiasm of a child.)
  • If enjoying a full life means experiencing high energy, love, and enthusiasm all the time, then don’t close
  • If you really want to stay open, pay attention when you feel love and enthusiasm. Then ask yourself why you can’t feel this way all the time. Why does it go away? The answer is obvious: it only goes away when you choose to close.
  • When your energy is open, your energy starts flowing out of you. It affects other people. People can pick up on your energy and you’re feeding them with this flow. You become a source of light for all those around you.
  • Always tired and never enthused? Life is no fun. Always inspired and filled with energy? Every minute of every day is an exciting experience.
  • Nothing is worth closing your heart for. NOTHING.
  • The awakened being lives in the “now” because they are present to life. Each experience and moment is so beautiful. Every moment is beautiful because you are open.
  • Blockage occurs when you hold onto things. Like imagine if a car passed by you and you thought about it all the time. This is a blockage. You need to let it go through you.
  • Two kinds of experiences can block the heart: you  either are trying to push energies away because they bother you or you’re trying to keep energies close because you like them.
  • The fact that you even want to go through this process of freeing the energy flow means you are great. You will get there. Just keep letting go.
  • We now experience the daily need to defend our self-concepts instead of our bodies. Our major struggles end up being with our own inner fears, insecurities, and destructive behaviors rather than outside forces
  • You are living on a planet spinning around the middle of outer space, and you’re either worrying about your blemishes, the scratch on your new car, or the fact that you burped in public. It’s not healthy.
  • The words you choose matter. If someone says “How was your day?” and you say “I’ll survive” … what is that telling you about your view of life? You see it as a threat.
  • If you aren’t centered, your consciousness is just following whatever catches its attention. Your energy is scattered.
  • If you can learn to be centered with the small things, you can also become centered with the big things.

Part III – freeing yourself

  • Your attempts to protect yourself actually creates more problems
  • Don’t fight it. Realize and accept life is not under your control. Life is always changing, and if you’re trying to fight it, you’ll never fully live
  • When your heart is weak, it becomes susceptible to lower vibrations, and one of the lowest of all vibrations is fear.
  • It’s the root of all prejudices and the negative emotions of anger, jealousy, and possessiveness. If you had no fear, you could be perfectly happy living in this world
  • Life is surrounding you with people and situations that stimulate growth. You don’t need to decide who’s right or wrong. You don’t have to worry about other people’s issues.You only have to be willing to open your heart in the face of anything and everything.
  • Consciousness is always drawn to the most distracting object – the loud noise, the bumped toe, the hurt heart
  • Anything you put out comes back
  • The secret of the ascent is to never look down, always look up
  • Take out the thorn, don’t live with it (aka solve the root cause of your problems)
  • People will use their relationships to hide their thorns. If you care for each other, you are expected to adjust your behavior to avoid bumping into each other’s soft spots. 
  • You want to talk to people because you find them interesting, not because you’re lonely. You want to love because you truly love, not because you need to avoid your inner problems
  • Self-consciousness, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety are all examples of fear
  • External changes are not going to solve your problem because they don’t address the root of your problem
    • Hiding behind finances, people, fame, adoration will not solve your issue
  • When you see the mind telling you how to fix the world and everyone in it in order to suit yourself, don’t listen. Stop correcting others to feed your own ego
  • Use linking to remind yourself you’re in the seat of self every time you get in your car, walk through a door, etc.
  • Deal with your problems like you’re life depends on it, because it does
  • Ask “Why?” when emotions come up.
  • Do you really need to feel embarrassed if you forget someone’s name? Or if someone forgot your name?
    • This a life of pain. Remember: you’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
  • If you feel embarrassed, it’s just a feeling. It’s just a part of creation.
    • Same for any other emotion. Feelings cannot objectively hurt you.
  • All the noise in your mind: an attempt to avoid stored pain. [HF!]
  • On the other side of pain is ecstasy.

Part IV – going beyond

  • When you say, “I was the high school football captain” or “I was a rockstar 10 years ago” … those are thoughts. The actual situation doesn’t exist anymore. But those situations exist inside of you.
  • Just one wrong thought and the structure starts to crumble.
  • If anything happens that challenges how you view things, you fight. You defend. You rationalize. You get frustrated and angry over little things.
  • You are nice to people when they behave in accordance with your expectations. You do this so you encourage them to act like that more often. We are all doing this to each other every day.
  • You will see that you’re literally taking all your memories, piling them together in an orderly fashion, and saying that’s who you are. But you are not the events, you’re the one who experienced the events. How can you define yourself as the things that happened to you?
  • Events that happen in the moment don’t happen to you. They belong to the moment.

Part IV – the path of unconditional happiness

  • Do you want to be happy? Then just decide to be happy. Most people don’t give themselves that choice because they don’t think it’s under their control. It is though.
  • The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences. You were not put on Earth to suffer.
  • There’s always something that can bother you, if you let it.
  • Affirm all you want is to be at peace and to appreciate life.
  • Meditation strengthens your center of consciousness so that you’re always aware enough to not allow your heart to close. Just have fun with the different situations that unfold
  • There really is no reason for tension or problems. Stress only happens when you resist life’s events
  • It’s not life’s events that are causing problems or stress. It’s your resistance to life’s events that are causing this experience.
  • It is actually possible to never have another problem for the rest of your life. This is because events are not problems, they’re just events. Your resistance to them is the problem.
  • On daily work: daily work is fun. In fact, it’s easy. Your work is just what you do with yourself during the day while you’re spinning on a planet through empty space.
  • Life is giving you a gift. The gift is the flow of events that take place between your birth and death. These events are exciting, challenging, and create tremendous growth. To comfortably handle this flow, remain open.
  • Best teacher in life = death. Death shows you are not your body. Death shows men and women are equal. Death teaches there is no difference between the rich and the poor.
  • A wise being completely and totally embraces the reality, the inevitability, and the unpredictability of death
  • Death is the greatest teacher in all of life
  • Awakened people would care if death were to come in a day, week, month, or year. They would continue living exactly as they are.
  • Scarcity makes things precious. Life is scarce.
  • Live as though you are on the verge of death, because you are.
  • Discussion of the dichotomy of life, often called The Tao or The Way. 
  • Life as a pendulum (the Way)
    • Think of life as a pendulum. How long can a pendulum stay at one of its most outermost positions, only for a moment. But how long can a pendulum rest? Forever.
    • Someone heavily addicted to smoking (one extreme) will have to spend an equal amount of time to quit smoking (other extreme)
    • Extremes are good teachers
    • When you spend your energy trying to maintain the extremes, nothing goes forward. You get stuck in a rut.
    • The Way is in the middle because that’s the place where energies are balanced
  • Where are you living? Are you centered/balanced? The extremes create opposites, the wise avoid them. Find balance in the center and you will live in harmony.
  • All religions talk about the same concept: The individual consciousness falls into the Universal Oneness.
  • One can merge into God.
  • To differentiate is to judge. Where there used to be judging, there is now respecting, loving, cherishing.
  • Aim to treat all as a mother treats her child: with unconditional love. She thinks the child is beautiful. She doesn’t focus on the shortcomings, in fact she doesn’t even see them as shortcomings.
  • Your relationship with God is the same as your relationship with the sun. If you hid from the sun for years and then chose to come out of your darkness, the sun would still be shining as if you had never left
  • The saint sees that God goes into ecstasy when He looks upon this earth, under all conditions, and at all times. Ecstacy is the only thing God knows. God’s nature is eternal, conscious bliss.

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