Having read several of my books, blogs, and articles, by now you are probably aware that like Michael Singer, I believe we are trying to do something that doesn’t work – we are trying to find love, joy, happiness, etc. outside of ourselves. We are trying to control something that is not within our control: other people and the world around us. Everything we wish to experience is part of our inner landscape; they are not out there somewhere to be found.
Singer in his book, the untethered soul, helps you explore your inner landscape, an activity that for me has been a life long journey. He begins by asking you to look at the concept of self and the inner dialogue you engage in with self. Once you begin to think about and explore the concept of self, you quickly realize “… the concept of ‘self’ may turn out to be a bit more elusive than initially presumed.”
As a human you have been both blessed and cursed by your ability to think about your thinking. The blessing is that it is in the world of your thoughts that you can control your experiences in life. The curse is you are probably looking to the world to have specific experiences and your inner dialogue is acting as the judge of what’s happening around you. Breaking the barrier of this inner and outer world thinking will free you from your perceived problems.
So how do you begin to do this – you become intimately aware of your inner roommate – the voice inside of you. You recognize that your inner voice will never be content and at peace, and you let go of “I”. You recognize that-“Your consciousness is actually experiencing your mental model of reality, not reality itself.” When you perceive a problem you stop asking, “What should I do about this?” and start asking, “What part of me is being disturbed by this?” What part of me is ________ (jealous, angry, frustrated, irritated, etc.)? Singer states, “You will not be able to solve anything outside until you own how the situation affects you inside.” For a man not familiar with Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), he has captured one of its greatest lessons. Disturbance is an inside job.
Letting go of the inner judge and shifting your thinking to what I like to call the balcony view immediately relieves stress. My good friend Andrea Christopher once described it this way – it’s as if I am the math problem, then I am working the math problem and finally I am watching myself work the math problem. “You don’t have to think about it or analyze it; you can just be aware of it.” Doing this allows you to let go of the “I”.
From the balcony you allow yourself to “experience every note the heart can play.” You recognize that everything is just information and it’s up to you to quiet the roommate and relax into the moment. Singer provided me with a more spiritual perspective on PCT which is a very science heavy explanation of human behavior.
This book was like diving into the deep end of the pool of my own soul. PCT with a spiritual twist. I loved it!