The book is designed as a guide to helping to suppress one's ego and seek true enlightenment. It is the sort of book that one may want to go back to again, and again. Singer uses easy-to-understand prose to convey deep spiritual concepts, such as opening one's heart and finding one's true self. He begins by discussing the voice inside your head, the one that never shuts up, and narrates the world. The first exercise is to try to still the constant chatter of what he calls "your inner roommate."
"True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection. This is done by constantly remembering that you were the one inside who notices the voice talking."
Another important step is to open your heart, and keep it open. Closing is a habit.
"... Closing your heart does not really protect you from anything; it just cuts you off from your source of energy. In the end it only serves to lock you inside "
Once your heart is open, you can let all things, good and bad, move through you, rather than getting caught up in very little thing that might bother you. He acknowledges that we all still will have things that bug us, from minor to major events, but the key will be not to to hold onto them in future.
"Learn to be centered enough to just watch this stuff come up. Once you sit deeply enough inside to stop fighting the stored energy patterns, they'll come up constantly and pass right through you."
The best thing a person could do is act as their own witness. An impartial observer. Don't listen to your psyche, which are just your fears talking. Be an observer. Take a position behind yourself, behind your fear. Let your fears pass through you.
"People don't understand that fear is a thing. It's just another object in the universe that you are capable of experiencing. You can do one of two things with fear: you can recognize that you have it and work to release it, or you can keep it and try to hide from it."
Singer uses an analogy of the inner thorn. We work so hard to protect ourselves, so that nothing touches our pain or our fears. But we should instead decide to pull out the thorn, or at least to let it work itself free.
"Just keep doing this with all those little things that come up each day. It is a very private thing you do inside yourself. You will soon see that your mind is constantly driving you crazy over nothing. If you don't want to be like that, then stop putting energy into your psyche. That is all there is to it. If you follow this path, the only action you ever take is to relax and release. When you start to see this stuff going on inside, you just relax your shoulders, relax your heart, and fall back behind it. Do not touch it. Do not get involved in it. And do not try to stop it. Simply be aware that you're seeing it. That's how you get out. You just let it go."I have to say that since I started reading this book I have already felt a lightening, a relaxing. I have made the decision to choose to be happy, and it seems to be making a difference. Singer warns that almost as soon as one chooses to be happy, that the universe will throw you a curve ball. I have to admit that he was right. But when I got a phone call that could have freaked me out, I simply chose not to. It was about something over which I had no control. I have really been trying to just accept things and move on, let them move through me.
This is one of those books that I think everyone should read. If you are open to being open, it is likely to have a profound effect. I borrowed it from the library, but I may have to go pick up my own copy. It would be helpful to pick it up and read a page or two from time to time, as a reminder, as reassurance.