This article is the sixth in a series of 8, intended to offer corrections to Michael A. Singer’s latest book, Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament, for the benefit of his readers. Each article in the series is dedicated to addressing one of the book’s parts, with this article addressing “Part VI : The Human Predicament and Beyond”.
A recurring theme in Living Untethered is that everybody wants to be happy and is trying to change their external circumstances so that they can be happy. However, that is not entirely accurate. While people might generally like being happy, happiness is not necessarily what they value most highly. For instance, some people prioritize avoiding pain over being happy. Others prioritize the well-being of their friends and family over their own happiness. Some prioritize luxuries over happiness, not because they think that luxuries will make them happy but for other reasons related to their history, identity, and cultural or personal values. Point being, people often choose willingly to be unhappy — until they change their minds.
What Mr. Singer refers to as the Human Predicament can be more accurately described as “seeking happiness”. For those who are seeking happiness, Mr. Singer is accurate in claiming that seeking happiness outside oneself is an unsustainable approach and that happiness can only be accessed inside oneself. However, it is important to note that experiencing spiritual bliss is only a tiny aspect of spirituality. There really is a lot more to it than that.
In Chapter 28 “Working with the Heart”, Mr. Singer implies that emotional blockages are only stored in the heart. In fact, emotional blockages are stored throughout much of the nervous system. The distribution of blockages throughout the body is why various ancient systems of body mapping were developed to facilitate the targeted release of such blockages for the purpose of treating related illnesses.
In Chapter 29 “Neither Suppression nor Expression”, Mr. Singer claims that “your mind will always think that it’s right”. However, that is not necessarily true, especially for non college graduates. Rather, it is common for people to defer to external authorities as being more right about a given subject than their own minds. Furthermore, many people trust their body and heart more readily than they trust their mind.
What is most relevant with regards to Part VI of Living Untethered is that accepting and welcoming your experiences in their fullness, rather than trying to suppress, repress, resist, or otherwise avoid them, is essential to being happy. Otherwise, the resistance you create within yourself creates a literal resistance to the flow of life force within you. This flow of life force energy is what allows you to feel energized, alive, and free to be you in your fullest expression. Ultimately, it is by expressing your true self, rather than expressing your emotional baggage, that you are able to live a happy and spiritually fulfilling life.