Kamal Singh

The untethered soul pdf

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  • Michael A.singer

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The seeds for this work were planted many years ago when Linda Bean wastranscribing some of my lectures and encouraged me to write a book. Shepatiently labored through years of archived material until it was time for me tobegin writing. Her commitment and dedication to this project are deeplyappreciated.Once I began writing, Karen Entner assisted me by organizing materials,making content suggestions, and maintaining the manuscript. We workedtogether to edit version after version until the flow of words brought a sense ofpeace to the heart, mind, and soul. Her dedication and heartfelt work are muchappreciated and one of her lifelong dreams comes to fruition with the publicationof this book. “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow,as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” —William ShakespeareShakespeare’s age-honored words, spoken by Polonius to his son Laertes in ActI of Hamlet, sound so clear and unambiguous. They tell us that to maintainhonest relations with others we must first be true to ourselves. Yet if Laerteswere to be totally honest with himself, he would realize that his father may aswell have told him to catch the wind. After all, to which “self” are we to be true?Is it the one that shows up when we’re in a bad mood, or the one that is presentwhen we feel humbled by our mistakes? Is it the one who speaks from the darkrecesses of the heart when we’re depressed or upset, or the one that appearsduring those fleeting moments when life seems so fanciful and light?From these questions we see that the concept of “self” may turn out to be abit more elusive than initially presumed. Perhaps if Laertes could have turned totraditional psychology, it would have shed some light on the subject. Freud(1927), the father of psychology, divided the psyche into three parts: the id, theego, and the superego. He saw the id as our primal, animal nature; the superegoas the judgment system that society has instilled within us; and the ego as ourrepresentative to the outside world that struggles to maintain a balance betweenthe other two powerful forces. But this certainly would not have helped youngLaertes. After all, to which of these conflicting forces are we to be true?Again we see that things are not always as simple as they seem. If we dare tolook past the surface of the term “self,” questions arise that many people wouldrather not ask: “Are the many aspects of my being all equally part of my ‘self,’or is there only one of me—and if so, which, where, how, and why?”In the following chapters, we will undertake a journey of exploration of“self.” But we will not do so in a traditional manner. We will neither call uponthe experts in psychology, nor upon the great philosophers. We will not argueand choose between time-honored religious views, or resort to statisticallysupported surveys of people’s opinions. We will, instead, turn to a single sourcethat has phenomenal direct knowledge on the subject. We will turn to one expertwho, for every moment of every day of their life, has been collecting the datanecessary to finally put this great inquiry to rest. And that expert is you.

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