“Soaring Beyond Self: Therapy for the Fears of Dying” By Susan Barry, Balboa Press, 133 pages
Susan Barry shares wisdom from ancient Indian scriptures that suggests a path to experiencing the ultimate reality of soaring beyond self. The author uses insights from modern psychology, death education, and neuroscience to help end individual suffering.
Ego is the driving force in a person’s life, but it can become the worst baggage to carry through life. The author focuses on how to break the ego by practicing Eastern philosophy. Eastern scriptures believe that the ego is a weak shell and a Guru breaks it effortlessly; whereas in the Western world, the ego of an individual is rock solid and cannot be broken easily by anyone. If ego is a destructive force, then dedicating one’s entire life to a set of values and bringing meaning and purpose to life is the way to dissolve the ego.
Barry also deals with the issue of human suffering, for example, the emotional pain due to a loss of a parent or a child or a loved one. The solution for this pain lies in compassion, feeling the suffering of others, or suffering together with others. The message is to enlarge the focus to include all those in the world who are suffering. Breathing exercises are suggested to inhale the pain of others, own their pain, and exhale with a wish to cease the pain or inhale the joy of the moment and release it to others. Through the deliberate practice of compassion for others, a frame of mind is created to dissolve one’s own ego.
Only when ego is dissolved, then soaring beyond self is possible. Integrating Eastern values and spiritual concepts from Buddhism and Hinduism, the author proposes to develop a tamed mind and emotional intelligence.
Professional and personal relationship challenges are difficult to deal with, but Barry suggests that by making the ego small, humble, and irrelevant; and oozing compassion, kindness, and faith in the people who matter, one can overcome fears of failing relationships.
The wisdom offered in the book will indeed help you to soar.