This: Becoming Free

Narrated by: MIchael Gungor
Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (265 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Doubt-filled spiritual leader and reluctant Grammy-nominated Christian musician Michael Gungor finally let go of his belief in God as he tried to whittle together a god that he could love. Letting go of the stories that defined his identity and value in the world led Gungor and his family on a wild and painful journey through atheism, mysticism, betrayal, loss, medical issues, moving trucks, and thousands of online trolls. 

The deconstruction of his faith is one story. The transformation of it is another. As Gungor lets us know, our stories are the seams of illusion that we sew into reality - in order to label this and that. But what you think of as you (or anything else for that matter) is simply movement within the ocean of Being - of This. Once you see that is it just a story, you can let go and be free. 

This is beyond words, category, or distinction. It simply and fully is. 

Through personal story, parable, philosophy, physics, and absurdity, Gungor shows us that who we think we are is an illusion, a constriction of reality that creates suffering in our lives. This: Becoming Free is a letter of love, reminding you of who you truly are under those stories of yours.

©2018 The Liturgists Publishing (P)2019 The Liturgists Publishing

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Will listen again and again! So much good!

If you're anything like me and are motivated by healing, it's easy to get lost in the suffering. And in order to not get stuck in my own pain, I think "I'm not gonna focus on myself, I'm gonna care for the world." And while that's a great heart, I'm finding it's not realistic. If I'm drowning and I don't get some air and get healing myself, I'm useless to anyone else. I want to be peace in the world. Love in the world. Offer hope to the world. In order to do that, my own suffering has to be attended to. THIS is all about that. THIS is the kind of book you need to read again and again. So much to wrap your mind around. And such great stories. Oh, and the bonus exclusive to the audiobook, meditation on being present is just the thing to help move toward healing and hope. So looking forward to seeing THIS get out into the world!

8 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story, but hard to relate to if you’re not an American Christian, which I am not.

The message of this book is beautiful, but is told from a very defined American perspective, which makes it hard to relate to, unless you’re also an American raised into a Christian pastor’s family, which I’m not. Coming from that set of very thick beliefs, it is only natural that the author’s journey is full of concepts and their subsequent transformation and final release. This makes the content very heavy, “baroque” and burdened by extreme over-analysis. Layers and layers of of dissected concepts and ideas, going from very thick to very subtle and then back again. The narration is extraordinary, and the author’s use of musical punctuations and sound effects is amazing. Undoubtedly, this is a very creative guy. All in all, is a great book, very American oriented, which is unfortunate as it is difficult to relate to from a different cultural standpoint anywhere else in the world. PS: I came for the teachings, not for the story per-se. If you want the essence of the teachings here, laid in a much more simple, direct and stripped way, without the extreme over-analytical ramblings, go to Ram Dass and Alan Watts. These guys are essential if you’re inclined to this realm of knowledge.

5 people found this helpful

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a headtrip...but in a good way?

This work plays out like a spoken word performance (the audio book version). The narration is incredible and accompanied by music and sound to further bring the point home to the listener in an artful and beautiful way. The ideas and vulnerability of the author make this work resonate beautiful in the mind of the audience. It will get your wheels spinning and challenge you in many ways. Yet, it is strikingly personal and just emotional and gorgeous to listen to/read. I will be revisiting this work again. It is definitely one of my favorite books from one of my favorite musicians.

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Loved this audio so much, I bought the book too!

I knew nothing of this audiobook, bought solely on the content of the blurb, the author's struggle and transformation. This is not a book about alcoholism, but it was due to that, that I found myself in a struggle with my conception of a “higher power” or God. This book put things in terms I had never been presented with before, and helped me to think in new ways. "THIS: Becoming Free" is so good that when I finished the audio, I bought the paperback, which I will commence reading immediately! This book is so much better than many of the best-sellers in this subject matter. It's no wonder it has almost all 5-star reviews.

4 people found this helpful

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Every story ever told.

To say that "This" will change my life is an understatement. Thank you, Vishnu Dass.

4 people found this helpful

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My Brain Hurts

Michael Gungor does a brilliant job of deconstructing everything you’ve ever known or loved or believed. In this book, which one could also believe to be this review, as well as this writer, and this planet, and this universe, as well as this thought, “This” ties the universe together via poetic rhetoric, music, physics, and an infinite number of mystic thoughts. Michael uses his own story to tell the tale of his journey from conservative Christian fundamentalism, to freedom, mysticism, and enlightenment. I would highly recommend keeping a dictionary close by while listening. Michael also has designed this audiobook beautifully and has obviously taken great care to produce incredible content as well as an incredible display of his sound design expertise.

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Excellence is what Michael Gungor does best

Michael Gungor's journey and insights into oneness and the myth of ego is a must read. He read and scored the audio book it is a great performance.

3 people found this helpful

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A perspective altering read.

I loved listening to this book. it kept me up late, kept me company on the bus, and gave me new perspective on God and reality. This book is like a gentle hand guiding you into a wild forest, the tall trees and dark shadows are frightening, but the gentle hand is there showing you the beauty in the unfamiliar terrain. by the end of the book you are alone in the forest, you hear the birds and the insect chirping, feel the cool wind and the damp grass and you are home, because you are in This.

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Gentle reading and an interesting point of view

The structure of the book is definitely memoir but there is a lot of spirituality here too. I picked this up for the spiritual message and was not disappointed. The author has a very conversational style which is perfect for an audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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A masterpiece

This audible version of the book is incredible. With Michael Gungor’s unique beautiful mind he adds layers of depth with a composition of music and sound effects to make his imagination come alive. This book is a small glimpse into the majesty of this life. A must listen!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ed Freshwater
  • 07-07-19

Outstanding story

Gungor is a consummate storyteller, this title is beautifully put together. deserves a second listen.

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  • Andre de Beer
  • 09-16-19

Real, Raw and like a spiritual GPS..but expansive!

This journey reflects back to me the journey that me and most ex evangelicals have been on. This story though, unlike so much of the "ex" matarial that one comes across, does not seek to demonize, put down this particular framework, but rather seeks to place it in a more holistic context, of thisness. I laughed, reflected, re-listened to so much of this story, at times spellbound, and like good sex, not wanting it to pass too quickly. I also choked up and felt my heart expand. Thank you for sharing your story Michael. I'm glad that I get to be a part of your story too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-19

fantastic reading!

Michael Gungor shares his own spiritual journey with rich honesty and vulnerability. It has broadened my mind and I am sure will be a gift to many who listen to it. The audio is also very clear and the backing music in parts provided more depth to the story.

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  • Jon
  • 05-26-19

Formative read.

This has been a formative read (listen) for me. Michael has managed to articulate thoughts that I have had but scarcely been brave enough to think about. Not only is it mentally challenging , it’s also soul nourishing.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-11-19

Life changing

This is possibly my favourite book, particularly the Audible version. It's not so much that there are concepts that are new to me, but the way in which they are articulated resonated so strongly. The openness and honestly in the stories he shared was moving. The humour was fun. And the earthliness of the narration was relatable in spite of the out-there, lofty context of the book. Thank you Michael/Vishnu/God/Me :)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-19

Brilliant.

A thought-provoking, intelligent and moving read, interwoven with story and poetry. As someone who has grown up with Vishnu's music and has had a similar journey of deconstruction and reconstruction, he opens wide his thoughts, struggles and heart that reveals a way of seeing and being that finds rest, renewal and presence in the God that is always 'here' in our 'nowness'. He also adds excellent sounds and music to accompany his narration in parts of his book that adds to the auditory experience which made this listen even more enjoyable. A must read for anyone on the spectrum of Christianity, Atheism or just being human. You will no doubt at least be moved if not changed by the peace and love Vishnu illumines in our here and now.