Monday, December 27, 2010

The Untethered Soul

I was planning to write about something else today then lunch with a friend derailed that plan and led me back to The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

This book is among my favorites (indeed, I may head right back into another read of it once I finish the work that has piled up on my afternoon).

The essential message is that in life we build up defenses which rear up at any sign of danger. Better than letting them do so is consciously staying open instead. We don’t disregard the potential risks but rather accept that they might exist without assuming that they do.

Earlier, I was at lunch, with a girlfriend, discussing relationships/men. Hers, but once you start that conversation it’s yours as well (even if unstated). And relationships with men don’t just include “relationships” but also fathers, sons, brothers and friends. I’ll maintain that men operate slightly differently (and think differently) forever; and I also work in a male dominated industry so I spend a lot of time with men. Anyone want to disagree?

I told her to read the book. Don’t shut down, pre-suppose, try to control, second guess, assume, etc. And the beauty of the book is that it is about life, not men. We should stick to those rules when we can (and it can be so hard!) in all aspects of our worlds.

And then I started talking about the universal themes. How certain narratives, characteristics, fears and situations repeat. We can’t fight life. So, so hard for me (a control freak) to admit. Yet much as I try to predict and script my life in advance, as a novelist, I still turn back to The Untethered Soul and try to just stay open to whatever may happen. I’m never disappointed because my control usually loses to the unpredictability of life and of people. God bless.

Picture from Ken Rutkowski

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