118 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2010
Every one of us has at some time, or will do before long, thought that there must be more to life than this?! More than working all your life to buy 'things' that inevitably trap us into needing to earn more money; more than spending your whole life achieving 'things' for it all to be taken away at the end of your life. It is no understatement to claim that Steve Taylor's book outlines exactly what the meaning of all life is.
Whether you're already on the path looking for something more, perhaps something spiritual or religious or scientific, this book gives you the answers we are all trying to find. It is the only concise work I have come across that ties in every possible path and discipline that is trying to work out and achieve a more meaningful life. I have read many books on the Buddhist path to enlightenment, the Sharmanistic way of achieving their own version of elightenment, and many many books on Quantum physics that also explain how things work on a subatomic level - basically every discipline is talking about the same thing, that of living in a more awakened state.
I cannot rate this book highly enough as quite possibly the most important thing I have ever read, and it has confirmed my feelings about death being a joyful event rather than something to be feared - I only wish he had written it years ago. This book is life-changing and absolutely needs to be read by everyone.
136 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2010
Following on from Steve Taylor' previous books, The Fall and Making Time, this is a logical development, and a deepening on some of themes he touched on before. In my opinion, this is his best book. It has been 13 years in the writing, he states in the introduction, and it has the depth of insight and the kind of condensed clarity which you would expect after such a long period. The book suggests that our normal state of consciousness is a kind of 'sleep' - a state of not being fully in touch with reality, not being fully aware of our surroundings or in touch with ourselves. Steve Taylor suggests that higher states of consciousness - or awakening experiences - are moments when these normal limitations slip away. There are many examples of awakening experiences collected by the author. He analyses the situations when they often occur, such as contact with nature, sport, dancing, listening to music etc, or through fasting and psychedelic drugs. He also suggests that some of the world's indigenous peoples, and even young children, are 'awake' in ways which we are not as adults.
By showing how our normal state is limited, and how we can 'wake up' both through temporary experiences and permanently, this book really changes the way you think about yourself and the world. It makes you realise that there is much more to the human mind than we realise. It's a massively invigorating and stimulating book which deserves a lot of a attention.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2010
This is a book for anyone who is going through positive changes, or for anybody who wants to transform their negative attitude into a positive one. When I read this book I was going through depression and this book helped me pull myself out of it. The author writes about poets and mystics who have also been through what Maslow called Peak Experiences, or spiritual experiences where people are suddenly transformed into a higher state of being. This book definately explains what people like Walt Whitman and Wordsword went through and what inspired them to write such flowering poetry. This book will make you think of intense and positive experiences which will inspire you to get in touch with your higher consciousness.
What I like about this book is that it gave examples and the author speaks from experience as well, so he is not just a researcher but has actually gone through his own kundalini awakening. This is for anybody who enjoys reading spiritual literature like 'The Power of Now', 'A New Earth' or any of the Hayhouse books. Don't think about it, get this book you will truly love it.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2010
As someone who has been a practising Buddhist and Meditator for over 40 years I can say that without a dobt Steve Taylor's insights into the 'waking' process are in accord with my own. I wish that I had had this book when I first started out.
I enjoyed reading this book because of the accessible way in which Steve Taylor introduces his understanding without getting 'bogged down' in the complex language of traditions or theories.
For those of you who would like to develop the awakened state (spirtual potential), either as a transient or permanent state this book is a good starting and for that matter a good ending point.
The reader is guided through a series of experiences and practises used not only by the author but also by several recognised spiritual adepts from different traditions and by 'normal' people.
This is a book about experiences and experiencing and is not to be confused with a philosophical or dogmatic tract.
I heartily recommend this book which is suitable for beginners and adepts alike.
A book to be read and reread.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2010
After reading New Earth by Eckhart Tolle ,which I loved, I sent for this book as Eckhart Tolle has written such a good review.I was not disappointed.
The book is the perfect companion to New Earth. It attempts to explain in Psychological terms how awakening experiences occur. I found the authors descriptions of his own and others experiences helpful.
Unlike other books that also describe Awakening experiences the author also then attempts to explain the inner changes these experiences can bring about. He proposes a theory of Life Energy " Blissful quality of life energy".
He advocates different ways of stilling this energy , Meditation, mindfulness, quietness etc so that we are able to generate a spiritual state.
That the book can explain a spiritual or awakening experience in Psychological terms is hopefully a step towards making the subject matter of Spiritual awakening much more mainstream and acceptable. He makes the experiences seem more like an everyday occurance that is available to anyone and everyone.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2010
Whatever an 'awakening' experience turns out to be on a scientific level, there is no doubt that it is a life-changing experience for many and can bring about a contentment and appreciation for life, and a tolerance and understanding of other people, which is not to be underestimated in its profundity.
I'm glad to see an author discussing 'awakening' in a way that makes those who have experienced it sound like normal rational human beings rather than complete psychotic nut jobs or airy away with the fairies dreamers. Steve seems to know his stuff and has researched well. He gets right under the skin of 'awakening' experiences giving the reader real insight into how it feels. He gives practical and insightful consideration to how and why awakening experiences may occur, he demystifies them and writes in a down-to-earth, easy to follow, amiable and entertaining style in an attempt to make 'awakening' more accessible to everyone.
A book that could help to give you an entirely different experience of 'reality'!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2010
Not since "The Power of Now" have I read a book which explains the concepts of consciousness and how it relates to our true reality in such unambiguous, clear and concise terms.
Steve Taylor goes to great lengths to avoid using common terms that may influence our understanding (i.e. such as `God', `Holy Spirit' etc.) and delivers an insight into a version of reality that is accessible to all.
A must read book for those seeking the true nature of the universe - and their part in it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2010
This book is amazing. I have had such experiences from the age of 10 and found it so hard to try to explain them to adults. As time went on I seem to have lost the ability to 'wake' from this dream that is this life here. I think it is because time is speeding up and is short for all of us in the West. This book has given me hope. It is so good to read exactly what I was trying to explain. I just hope I can make the experiences permanent - if I have time!
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2010
There are some of us, `outsiders' perhaps, who feel a certain dissatisfaction with our normal everyday consciousness and, excited about the potential of man's possible evolution, wish to transcend it. There are many, however, who show no interest in this and some among them even prepared to pour scorn. Steve Taylor's latest important book may well help to win over some of the disinterested whose minds are not entirely closed. In it he has assembled a body of evidence to support the trend towards the rise in consciousness which must inevitably lead to a new phase in the evolution of mankind. This is all presented, as in his previous books `Out Of Time', `The Fall', `Making Time', in an engaging personal style which is at the same time very precise, clear and readable. In an exciting and positive conclusion he writes: `It may be that in absolute wakefulness we reach the culmination of the evolutionary process...' What could be more important than that?
on 5 June 2014
Awakening (or mystical) experiences have obviously been for Taylor a field of both experience and study for many years. He in effect incorporates or follows on from the major literature on mysticism, e.g. Evelyn Underhill, William James, Happold, Alister Hardy, but discusses awakening/enlightenment in terms of a current reality that can be experienced by people as normal now. He thus demystifies it and makes it real and understandable, and does something very important in doing so. He carries an enormous amount of historical knowledge lightly (Plotinus, Eckhart, Indian literature), but is very firmly practical in his emphasis.
If I have a reservation, it is in terms of wondering whether what he discusses is in fact quite so mechanical as he appears to suggest (i.e. if you take the steps suggested, you should be able to work towards these experiences). It is seemingly a very practical, if not mechanistic view of what the spiritual is - in keeping with, and so speaking to, the materialistic view of the age. I am not convinced however that the spiritual, or the inner, is only like this (consider, for example the nature of near death and shared death experiences).
Nonetheless this book, and others by Steve Taylor, make accessible important aspects of reality.