Quotes from The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

This article contains quotes from the book ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael A. Singer. I selected the excerpts that I perceive as the most eye-opening quotes that lead towards awakening. I consider ‘The Untethered Soul’ as a book that explains in a very approachable way that people who are identifying themselves with only their minds have still a lot to discover. I believe that this book can help many people to get to their first ‘aha’ moment and in consequence to open their eyes and discover the life from new.

Quotes from ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael A. Singer

“The fact is, you already know how to find yourself; you have just gotten distracted and disoriented. Once refocused, you will realize that you not only have the ability to find yourself, you have the ability to free yourself. Whether you choose to do so or not is entirely up to you.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops. It just keeps going and going. Have you ever wondered why it talks in there? How does it decide what to say and when to say it? How much of what it says turns out to be true? How much of what it says is even important? And if right now you are hearing, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have any voice inside my head!”—that’s the voice we’re talking about.”

“If you’re smart, you’ll take the time to step back, examine this voice, and get to know it better. The problem is, you’re too close to be objective. You have to step way back and watch it converse. While you’re driving, you hear internal conversations like, “Wasn’t I supposed to call Fred? I should have. Oh my God, I can’t believe I forgot! He’s going to be so mad. He may never talk to me again. Maybe I should stop and call him right now. No. I don’t want to stop the car right now…” Notice that the voice takes both sides of the conversation. It doesn’t care which side it takes, just as long as it gets to keep on talking. When you’re tired and trying to sleep, it’s the voice inside your head that says, “What am I doing? I can’t go to sleep yet. I forgot to call Fred. I remembered in the car but I didn’t call. If I don’t call now…oh wait, it’s too late. I shouldn’t call him now. I don’t even know why I thought about it. I need to fall asleep. Oh shoot, now I can’t fall asleep. I’m not tired anymore. But I have a big day tomorrow, and I have to get up early.” No wonder you can’t sleep! Why do you even tolerate that voice talking to you all the time? Even if what it’s saying is soothing and nice, it’s still disturbing everything you’re doing. If you spend some time observing this mental voice, the first thing you will notice is that it never shuts up. When left to its own, it just talks. Imagine if you were to see someone walking around constantly talking to himself. You’d think he was strange. You’d wonder, “If he’s the one who’s talking and he’s the one who’s listening, he obviously knows what’s going to be said before he says it. So what’s the point?” The same is true for the voice inside your head. Why is it talking? It’s you who’s talking, and it’s you who’s listening. And when the voice argues with itself, who is it arguing with? Who could possibly win? It gets very confusing. Just listen: “I think I should get married. No! You know you’re not ready. You’ll be sorry. But I love him. Oh come on, you felt that way about Tom. What if you had married him?” If you watch carefully, you’ll see that it’s just trying to find a comfortable place to rest. It will change sides in a moment if that seems to help. And it doesn’t even quiet down when it finds out that it’s wrong. It simply adjusts its viewpoint and keeps on going. If you pay attention, these mental patterns will become obvious to you. It’s actually a shocking realization when you first
notice that your mind is constantly talking. You might even try to yell at it in a feeble attempt to shut it up. But then you realize that’s the voice yelling at the voice: “Shut up! I want to go to sleep. Why do you have to talk all the time?” Obviously, you can’t shut it up that way. The best way to free yourself from this incessant chatter is to step back and view it objectively. Just view the voice as a vocalizing mechanism that is capable of making it appear like someone is in there talking to you. Don’t think about it; just notice it. No matter what the voice is saying, it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s saying nice things or mean things, worldly things or spiritual things. It doesn’t matter because it’s still just a voice talking inside your head. In fact, the only way to get your distance from this voice is to stop differentiating what it’s saying. Stop feeling that one thing it says is you and the other thing it says is not you. If you’re hearing it talk, it’s obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking.”

“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it. If you don’t understand this, you will try to figure out which of the many things the voice says is really you. People go through so many changes in the name of “trying to find myself.” They want to discover which of these voices, which of these aspects of their personality, is who they really are. The answer is simple: none of them. If you watch it objectively, you will come to see that much of what the voice says is meaningless. Most of the talking is just a waste of time and energy.”

“If you’re willing to be objective and watch all your thoughts, you will see that the vast majority of them have no relevance. 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 on in the future. If you spend your time hoping that it doesn’t rain tomorrow, you are wasting your time. Your thoughts don’t change the rain. You will someday come to see that there is no use for that incessant internal chatter, and there is no reason to constantly attempt to figure everything out. Eventually you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems.”

“The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent. It is a doorway to the depths of your being. To be aware that you are watching the voice talk is to stand on the threshold of a fantastic inner journey. If used properly, the same mental voice that has been a source of worry, distraction, and general neurosis can become the launching ground for true spiritual awakening. Come to know the one who watches the voice, and you will come to know one of the great mysteries of creation.”

“Your inner growth is completely dependent upon the realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself. You’re ready to grow when you finally realize that the “I” who is always talking inside will never be content. It always has a problem with something. Honestly, when was the last time you really had nothing bothering you? Before you had your current problem, there was a different problem. And if you’re wise, you will realize that after this one’s gone, there will be another one. The bottom line is, you’ll never be free of problems until you are free from the part within that has so many problems.”

“You think that if you change things outside, you’ll be okay. But nobody has ever truly become okay by changing things outside. There’s always the next problem. The only real solution is to take the seat of witness consciousness and completely change your frame of reference. To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them. No solution can possibly exist while
you’re lost in the energy of a problem.”

“You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.”

“There really is a way to let go of the part of you that sees everything as a problem. It may seem impossible, but it’s not. There is a part of your being that can actually abstract from your own melodrama. You can watch yourself be jealous or angry. You don’t have to think about it or analyze it; you can just be aware of it. Who is it that sees all this? Who notices the changes going on inside? When you tell a friend, “Every time I talk to Tom, it gets me so upset,” how do you know it gets you upset? You know that it gets you upset because you’re in there and you see what’s going on in there. There’s a separation between you and the anger or the jealousy. You are the one who’s in there noticing these things. Once you take that seat of consciousness, you can get rid of these personal disturbances. You start by watching. Just be aware that you are aware of what is going on in there. It’s easy. What you’ll notice is that you’re watching a human being’s personality with all its strengths and weaknesses. It’s as though there’s somebody in there with you. You might actually say you have a “roommate.” If you would like to meet your roommate, just try to sit inside yourself for a while in complete solitude and silence. You have the right; it’s your inner domain. But instead of finding silence, you’re going to listen to incessant chatter: “Why am I doing this? I have more important things to do. This is a waste of time. There’s nobody in here but me. What’s this all about?” Right on cue, there’s your roommate. You may have a clear intention to be quiet inside, but your roommate won’t cooperate. And it’s not just when you try to be quiet. It has something to say about everything you look at: “I like it. I don’t like it. This is good. That’s bad.” It just talks and talks. You don’t generally notice because you don’t step back from it. You’re so close that you
don’t realize that you’re actually hypnotized into listening to it. Basically, you’re not alone in there. There are two distinct aspects of your inner being. The first is you, the awareness, the witness, the center of your willful intentions; and the other is that which you watch. The problem is, the part that you watch never shuts up. If you could get rid of that part, even for a moment, the peace and serenity would be the nicest vacation you’ve ever had. Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have to bring this thing with you everywhere you go. Real spiritual growth is about getting out of this predicament. But first you have to realize that you’ve been locked in there with a maniac. In any situation or circumstance, your roommate could suddenly decide, “I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to talk to this person.” You would immediately feel tense and uncomfortable. Your roommate can ruin anything you’re doing without a moment’s notice.(…) Once you’ve seen this, and learn to no longer identify with your roommate, you’re ready to free yourself.”

“If you haven’t reached this awareness yet, just start to watch. Spend a day watching every single thing your roommate does. Start in the morning and see if you can notice what it’s saying in every situation. Every time you meet somebody, every time the phone rings, just try to watch. A good time to watch it talk is while you’re taking a shower. Just watch what that voice has to say. You will see that it never lets you just take a peaceful shower. Your shower is for washing the body, not for watching the mind talk nonstop. See if you can stay conscious enough throughout the entire experience to be aware of what’s going on. You’ll be shocked by what you see. It just jumps from one subject to the next. The incessant chatter seems so neurotic that you won’t believe that it’s always that way. But it is.”

“When you’ve sincerely tried these practices of self-observation and awareness, you’ll see that you’re in trouble. You’ll realize that you’ve only had one problem your entire life, and you’re looking at it. It’s pretty much the cause of every problem you’ve ever had. Now the question becomes, how do you get rid of this inner troublemaker? The first thing you’ll realize is that there’s no hope of getting rid of it until you really want to. Until you’ve watched your roommate long enough to truly understand the predicament you’re in, you really have no basis for practices that help you deal with the mind. Once you’ve made the decision to free yourself from the mental melodrama, you are ready for teachings and techniques. You will now have a real use for them.”

“Just as you effortlessly look outside and see all that you see, you will eventually sit far enough back inside to see all your thoughts and emotions, as well as outer form. All of these objects are in front of you. The thoughts are closer in, the emotions are a little further away, and form is way out there. Behind it all, there you are. You go so deep that you realize that’s where you’ve always been. At each stage of your life you have seen different thoughts, emotions, and objects pass before you. But you have always been the conscious receiver of all that was. Now you are in your center of consciousness. You are behind everything, just watching. That is your true home. Take everything else away and you’re still there, aware that everything is gone. But take the center of awareness away, and there is nothing. That center is the seat of Self. From that seat, you are aware that there are thoughts, emotions, and a world coming in through your senses. But now you are aware that you’re aware. That is the seat of the Buddhist Self, the Hindu Atman and the Judeo-Christian Soul. The great mystery begins once you take that seat deep within.”

“When you are an aware being, you no longer become completely immersed in the events around you. Instead, you remain inwardly aware that you are the one who is experiencing both the events and the corresponding thoughts and emotions. When a thought is created in this state of awareness, instead of getting lost in it, you remain aware that you are the one who is thinking the thought.”

“Let’s look at your inner show. You have an underlying pattern of thoughts that goes on around you all the time. This pattern of thoughts stays pretty much the same. You are as familiar and comfortable with your normal thought patterns as you are with the living space of your home. You also have emotions that are your norm: a certain amount of fear, a certain amount of love, and a certain amount of insecurity. You know that if certain things happen, one or more of these emotions will flare up and dominate your awareness. Then, eventually, they will settle back down to the norm. You know this so well that you are very busy inside making sure nothing happens to create these disturbances. In fact, you are so preoccupied with controlling your world of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that you don’t even know you’re in there. That is the normal state for most people.”

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