This article is the seventh 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 VII : Learning to Let Go”.
In Chapter 30 “Techniques for Freeing Yourself”, Mr. Singer offers 3 traditional and effective means of addressing downward spirals of thought and emotion. The first is to flip the downward spiral upside down to become an upward spiral through positive thinking. The second is to flatten the downward spiral into a circle through the repetition of mantras. The third is to relax while bearing witness to the thoughts and emotions as they spin around whichever way they will. This third technique is effective because relaxation allows for the contractions in your nervous system to release and expand naturally by releasing attachment to what you are witnessing. However, in order for this approach to be most effective, it is important to bear loving witness. In other words, offer yourself love and compassion in the midst of the thoughts and emotions that you might prefer were not present. By doing so, you will be able to relax and release thoughts more easily in the midst of your emotional discomforts.
In Chapter 32 “The Past”, Mr. Singer suggests that being bothered by past events has no benefit. While there are certainly drawbacks to being bothered in general, being bothered by past events is how your subconscious prompts you to learn more about yourself from past experiences. So, rather than dismiss your feelings outright, be open and curious about what you can learn from the past, not out of fear but rather out of love for yourself and others.
In Chapter 34 “Handling the Bigger Stuff”, Mr. Singer reiterates his inaccurate belief that “the entire spiritual path is letting go of yourself”. In fact, your spiritual path is your individual process of aligning yourself with truth. It need not require “... devoting every moment of your life to your liberation” because you are always free and always have been. Your ultimate freedom is your free will, your freedom to make your own choices regardless of external influences. Your spiritual path merely facilitates your realization of that truth and its integration into your life. It is by aligning yourself with truth that you discover how able you are to “handle the bigger stuff” with ease.