Enriching Materials For Body, Mind and Spirit

The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening

CDN Retail:$22.95
Product Code:9781608684472
Author:Taylor, Steve
Vendor: New World Library


To many readers, the term "spiritual enlightenment" conjures up visions of red, robed monks or long-bearded gurus living on remote mountaintops. Enlightenment, according to conventional wisdom, is unattainable for ordinary people living in the modern West. Psychologist, Steve Taylor, admits that he once shared that simplistic notion but gradually revised his thinking after researching mystical experiences and interviewing people who claim to have had them. To his surprise, Taylor found that normal modern people from different faiths and walks of life really have reached modes of higher consciousness (or wakefulness, as Taylor calls it). In fact, these experiences are more common than we realize. Drawing on his knowledge of different religious traditions, Taylor set out to find the common features of these awakened states and how the rest of us might also achieve wakefulness.

The result is The Leap, a cross-cultural investigation of spirituality, belief, and the inner workings of the human mind. Taylor begins his discussion with some biographical sketches of great artists and thinkers who have attained awakened states, comparing their insights to those of his interview subjects. In the course of The Leap, Taylor covers several other aspects of mystical experience:

  • The different types of wakefulness - natural, gradual, and intentional
  • The difference between fraudulent spiritual teachers and the genuinely awakened
  • The sometimes disorienting effects of spiritual awakenings on those who undergo them
  • How different theories of consciousness explain (or try to debunk) mystical experiences