Stranger in a Strange Land

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The book by this title was a big hit with the “Free love and Commune” set when it was first published in 1961. A year later, author Robert Heinlein, received a Hugo Award for Best Novel. It certainly is a fascinating exploration into culture and society. However, what if we found ourselves in a strange land, not one on another planet or Universe, but instead within us. What if we are estranged from our inner world or inner being?

Often, as we get older, we claim that by now “we know ourselves”, that we have come to terms with our imperfections and shortcomings. Is this true? Because “knowing” does not mean “being”; it does not guarantee a resolution with our inner struggle. We are in fact strangers with the “Self”. This, of course, is complex and intriguing and has been called the most difficult of questions: “Who am I?”. The work of Carl Jung was based on this along with his second question, “Who are We?”.

I think it true, that many people would recognize they are not their car, house, or job. Are we then the husband, wife, child, executive or artist? Surely these are just the roles that we play. These are our “persona” (described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: “…a character assumed by an author in a written work”). Thus we are actors. This is not a bad thing per se, after all we are participating in the “play” of life, but again, this is not who we truly are.

Over the years I have read many books on philosophy and what is commonly referred to as “self-help”. Recently we lost the incredible Wayne Dwyer, an ancient and evolved soul. I have aways loved the works of Alan Watts and his hypnotic lectures from the 1970’s. However, I consider a book written by Michael A. Singer to be the most profound and enlightening of them all. It is called “The untethered soul – a journey beyond yourself”. This book is the real deal. No psycho-babble or mind-games, it lays it all out in a uncomplicated and understandable manner. One of the many who praise this masterpiece is James O’Dea, President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), who simply states: “The accuracy and simplicity of this work is a measure of its pure mastery”. I have a debt of gratitude to my friends who recommended that I read it.

Can we finally break free from the fear and tribulation that haunt so many of us our entire lives? A life directed and controlled by fear is not an authentic life but a parody, a “play” where we are usually the victim of out own thoughts and beliefs; belief that often come from someone or somewhere else. Do we want to star in our own movie or just be a bit-player with hardly a mention when the credits come up? No magic bullets to be learned, just a journey to the core; what we call the Self or Soul. By doing so we finally set ourselves free. Finally we are “untethered”. -The Warrior

Note: The image that I have selected is not from the book “Stranger in a Strange Land”. It is from the science fantasy novel “The Shadow of the Torturer” by Gene Wolfe and created by British painter Bruce Pennington. I simply used it because I liked it. WS