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Life, Death & The Space Between

Jun 23, 2022




“It’s ego dissolution. But it’s not just ego dissolution; it’s also the birth of a new self. It’s not just a break down, which is ego dissolution, it’s a shift up.  It’s the uncovering of a deeper spiritual self which was always there but it seems to have been dormant, waiting for the opportunity to emerge.”

– Steve Taylor, PhD, describing extraordinary awakenings




Episode Summary:


Why do some people who experience the absolute worst that life has to offer respond not by breaking down but by shifting up, into a higher-functioning, awakened state, like a phoenix rising from the ashes? 


Today we talk with Steve Taylor, PhD, the author of Extraordinary Awakenings: When Trauma Leads to Transformation, and other bestselling books. He is senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England; and the chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. Steve’s articles and essays have been published in over 100 academic journals, magazines, and newspapers and he blogs for Scientific American and Psychology Today.


Listen in to hear how you can encourage your own spontaneous, extraordinary awakening.



Topics We Discuss:


  • [2:56] His research in transformation through turmoil (instantaneous), in contrast with post-traumatic growth (normally slow and gradual). 


  • [5:41] Breakdown of the ego giving way to a larger, more spiritual self.


  • [8:23] What is means to awaken. The surface personality and its attachments fade, while soul qualities emerge. Interconnectivity increases.


  • [11:47] Triggers for profound transformation:  prison, military conflict, bereavement, near death experience, cancer diagnosis.


  • [17:03]  We can encourage transformational experiences, hopefully without the life-or-death level turmoil -- acknowledging, embracing and accepting challenging situations.


  • [20:05] When the “normal self” dies away during these extraordinary awakenings, disease and addiction can instantaneously resolve during.


  • [22:33] Why Steve Taylor is optimistic about the future of humanity. Evolution is a continuum of increasing consciousness.


  • [27:46] Amy’s speed round questions: What is spirituality? What is something people don’t know about you? What is one thing you’re looking forward to right now? What’s one thing you’re deeply grateful for? What book in on your nightstand? What is your favorite spiritual or healing practice? What is the most spiritually transformative experience of your life?






Find out more about Steve’s books on Amazon. Or check out his website. Have you had an awakening experience?  You can share your own extraordinary awakening here.






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