Awakening to Awe : Personal Stories of Profound Transformation
Awakening to Awe is a self-help meditation on one of the most profound experiences of living-the sense of awe. Awe is the humility and wonder-amazement-before creation. It is also an attitude that can be both healing and life-transforming, particularly in our "awe-depleted" age. Through an in depth focus on people's life stories (including that of the author), this volume explores the nature and power of awe for individuals, for societies, and for the potential course of humanity.
- Paperback | 170 pages
- 147.32 x 215.9 x 20.32mm | 340.19g
- 15 Sep 2009
- Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
- Northvale NJ, United States
An inspiring and refreshing new concept through which to understand and appreciate life's mysteries and to unleash aliveness; Schneider's guide to 'awakening to awe' offers meaningful psychological theory and sensible real-life examples of applying an 'awe' perspective to aging, recovery from drug abuse, and all aspects of everyday life. Readers will truly enjoy and be uplifted by the journey with Schneider as they embrace this new positive lens and make their own list of awesome experiences--from art, music, sport, nature, relationships-to uncovering humor, surprise, emotion, and vastness of appreciation in life. -- Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D., author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to A Healthy Relationship Awakening to Awe is an intelligent and inspiring call to revive a sense of mystery. Kirk Schneider draws on the very best of psychological and spiritual thinkers and in plain language shows ways to re-invent this society spiritually. His ideas and style are perfectly suited to this all-important theme. -- Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Writing in the Sand A call from a master existentialist for the reinstatement of awe in daily living. We had it at birth; it will be with us at the hour of our death, if we could just open ourselves to it. Meanwhile, he reminds us, life still remains at once the great problem and the great mystery. -- Eugene Taylor, PhD, author of The Mystery of Personality: A History of Dynamic Systems (Springer, 2009) Those acquainted with Schneider's previous book, Rediscovery of Awe, will immediately recognize this as a valuable companion volume...a collection of narratives of significant depth by people whose lives embody the transformation process Schneider advocates...In Schneider's writing we hear the clear echo of Rollo May, his former teacher and colleague, but also the voices of Otto Rank and Ernest Becker. Ernest Becker Foundation Written by a leading American humanistic-existentialist psychologist based in San Francisco, it amplifies and brings up to date Rabbi Herschel's important view regarding the spiritual significance of awe. Though not explicitly aimed at Jews, this book in its own way is a wake-up call for everyone interested in revitalizing Jewish belief and practice. Well organized...The appendix in most books is largely superfluous; not so with Awakening to Awe. Drawing effectively on his background as a practicing clinical psychologist, Dr. Schneider identifies a variety of specific conditions that either foster or discourage our experience of humility, wonder, and amazement in everyday life. National Jewish Post and Opinion Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D., is a leading spokesperson for contemporary humanistic psychology and is the Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. He is a pioneer in developing existential- integrative psychotherapy and in the application of awe-based consciousness to existential- humanistic psychotherapy. Awakening to Awe explores the nature and power of awe from Dr. Schneider's theoretical and therapeutic stance as well as through interviews of people transformed by their experience of awe...In Dr. Schneider's exploration of awe he emphasizes how awe connotes an openness to life as it is, with its mystery, with its depth, with its pain and joy. It can be 'awe-some' or 'awe-ful'. It is an invitation to value life as it is...I very much value this book and encourage both professionals and the general public to read it with an awe-based attitude. If you are not sure what an awe-based attitude means before your read it, you will by the time you are finished. AHP Perspective Magazine If the intention of the book was to help the reader remember, reflect, and reconnect to some of those special moments, it succeeded brilliantly...The material is well organized and presented logically...This book provides examples of how therapist and clergy can embark on a phenomenological journey with clients about their own personal awe experiences to promote recovery, discovery, and well-being. The most impressive feature about the book is that the author and the interviewees defined what awe meant to them, whether it was a connection to the universe, a relationship with God, or a profound sense of being. Thus, the sense of awe in our lives is up to us to interpret and learn how to integrate and appreciate in our own journey. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging A wonder/full book; highly original. Kirk Schneider shows us, in the experience of awe, the bridge that connects philosophy, psychology, and spiritual practice. At one and the same time, he provides us a key to a new kind of therapy and points us back to the classical notion that philosophy and authentic religion begins in wonder. -- Sam Keen, author of Apology for Wonder "I feel this book in conjunction with Dr. Schneider's Rediscovery of Awe, is groundbreaking. Dr. Schneider's emphasis on awe-based consciousness derives from his personal philosophy of enchanted agnosticism. I believe the exploration of awe-based consciousness can catalyze a reemergence of a contemporary existential-spiritual movement in much the same way that Abraham Maslow's exploration of self-actualization catalyzed the human potential movement." -- Bob Edelstein Too often, cynical outlooks dominate conversations about what it means to be human. This book revitalizes the dialogue because it is so open to the wonder of being alive. Dr. Schneider is a pioneer in the application of awe-based consciousness to existential-humanistic psychotherapy. In this book, he explores the nature and power of awe through his theoretical and therapeutic stance as well as through interviews of people transformed by their experience of awe. This book, in conjunction with Dr. Schneider's Rediscovery of Awe, is ground-breaking. Although the book is directed toward a more general audience, it also supports the existential-humanistic psychotherapist to embrace an awe-based dimension of life in working with clients. This allows the therapist to not be conflicted if they are spiritually oriented. Both professionals and the general public are encouraged to read this book with an awe-based attitude. If you are not sure what an awe-based attitude means before your read it, you will by the time you are finished. Existential Analysis
About Kirk J. Schneider
Kirk Schneider, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for humanistic psychology. He is the author of eight books, current editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, adjunct faculty at Saybrook Graduate School, and vice president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute.
Table of contents
Preface Introduction: Awe-Wakening Part I. Our Awe-Depleted Age 1. What Keeps Us from Venturing? 2. The Stodgy Road to Awe 3. The Awe Survey: Format and Background Part II. Awe-Based Awakening: The New Testaments to Spirit 4. Awakening in Education 5. Awakening from Childhood Trauma 6. Awakening from Drug Addiction 7. Awakening through Chronic Illness 8. Awakening in Aging 9. Awakening through Humor Part III. Toward an Awe-Based World Awakening: Guideposts to an Awe-Informed Life 10. Awe-Wakening in the Everyday 11. The Societal Challenge Conclusion