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The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening

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What does it mean to be enlightened or spiritually awakened? In The Leap , Steve Taylor shows that this state is much more common than is generally believed. He shows that ordinary people ― from all walks of life ― can and do regularly “wake up” to a more intense reality, even if they know nothing about spiritual practices and paths. Wakefulness is a more expansive and harmonious state of being that can be cultivated or that can arise accidentally. It may also be a process we are undergoing collectively. Drawing on his years of research as a psychologist and on his own experiences, Taylor provides what is perhaps the clearest psychological study of the state of wakefulness ever published. Above all, he reminds us that it is our most natural state ― accessible to us all, anytime, anyplace.

320 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2017

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About the author

Steve Taylor

1,100 books107 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Steve Taylor is a senior lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. His latest books in the US are The Calm Center and Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of the Human Mind. He is also the author of The Fall, Waking From Sleep, and Out Of The Darkness. His books have been published in 19 languages. His research has appeared in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, The Journal of Consciousness Studies, The Transpersonal Psychology Review, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, as well as the popular media in the UK, including on BBC World TV, The Guardian, and The Independent.

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5 stars
166 (43%)
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127 (33%)
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64 (16%)
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13 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
Profile Image for Khalid Abdul-Mumin.
179 reviews71 followers
September 23, 2022
Highly concise and lucid.

The Leap and contains a remarkable wealth of first hand accounts considering the 'esoteric' and highly subjective essence of a transcendental and ephemeral phenomena.

A very good introduction to an obscure but highly rewarding experience in which relatively very few people understand.

I would recommend this to anyone curious about things generally indescribable and numinous.
Profile Image for Janet.
2,040 reviews19 followers
May 17, 2017
Great overview of what it means to be awakened. I don't know exactly how awakened I truly am, but this is certainly accurate: "Awakened individuals love doing nothing. They love solitude, quietness, and inactivity." "We can rest contentedly within our own being because there is no turbulence or discord inside us. We don't need to constantly do things just for the sake of it or constantly supply ourselves with distractions. Rather than fear quietness and inactivity, we enjoy them deeply because they allow us to touch into the radiance of our own well-being."
Profile Image for Jennifer.
13 reviews
September 3, 2018
This was a really informative and fascinating read. Only a couple things held me back from giving it five stars: one of the earlier chapters on religions and spiritual practices was major information-overload and could turn some people off early (it's the only chapter that feels really dense and could easily be skipped), and often the book reads like a dissertation which may be unexpected for some. I personally enjoy reading research material so the style was fine for me. Overall, a really great explanation of our spiritual awakening as a species, particularly due to its layout and the order in which concepts are presented to the reader.
Profile Image for Johnny Stork, MSc.
31 reviews3 followers
May 14, 2017
We are all on a similar path in life. Regardless of our professional, personal or relationship goals, ultimately we all strive to be happy and "successful" in our lives, however we define it. Most of us also strive to become the "best" we can become as a person, a spouse or excel through some sort of creative or athletic activity. The psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of human needs which determine what motivates us through our lives starting from basic food and shelter needs at the bottom all the way to "Self Actualisation" as the final pursuit or motivation in one's life. Self Actualisation is basically the pursuit of realising our highest potential, our greatest talent, our ultimate meaning or experience of life. In many religious traditions there is also a similar notion or pursuit of some ideal state of existence or state of mind. Some optimal state of consciousness and experience of life which transcends our "normal" day-to-day lives. This state of mind has many names in different religious traditions ranging from "Nirvana", "Enlightenment", "Buddha Mind", "Moksha", "Liberation" and of course "Awakening". Although it is not uncommon to associate these transcendent and "awakening" experiences with a religious practice, Steve's extensive research (and multiple books) into the 'awakening" state has reinforced similar research which demonstrates that these awakened states are NOT uncommon and are NOT always associated with a religious or spiritual practice of any kind. In other words, the joyful, exhilarating, compassionate and grateful state of mind and acceptance which also contributes to feelings of purpose and meaning in life, is available to EVERYONE.

"I define an awakening experience as “an experience of clarity, revelation, and joy in which we become aware of a deeper (or higher) level of reality, perceive a sense of harmony and meaning, and transcend our normal sense of separateness from the world.”" (Steve Taylor)

Steve Taylor in The Leap, does an exceptional job of outlining his theory that human civilisation was once in a more "awakened" state due to our direct connection to, and dependence upon, our natural environment. At some point in our evolutionary history we had a "Fall" into the "sleep state" we find ourselves in now. However, once we understand this "awakened" state is actually our normal and foundational state, we can re-awaken this dormant and transcendent state of existence. The Leap also covers a great deal of ground describing real-world examples of ordinary non-religious persons who have clearly gone through an awakening experience which transformed their lives in deep and meaningful ways.

I can highly recommend The Leap for every person on any spiritual or religious path, or none at all and who are simply seeking a better way of living and some direction as to how to find happiness and meaning in their own lives. A renewed motivation to pursue activities and ideas which will re-awaken your dormant and awakened self.

"In many ways, awakened individuals experience a higher-functioning state that makes life more fulfilling, exhilarating, and meaningful than it may appear in a normal state of being. As a result of this internal shift, they often make major changes to their lives. They begin new careers, hobbies, and relationships. They feel a strong impulse to make positive contributions to the world, to live in meaningful and purposeful ways, rather than simply trying to satisfy their own desires, enjoy themselves, or pass the time." (Steve Taylor)

"Awakened individuals have little or no sense of group identity. They see distinctions of religion or ethnicity or nationality as superficial and meaningless. They see themselves purely as human beings, without any external identities, who are no different from anyone else. As a result, they don’t put members of their own group before others, but rather treat all people equally. They don’t feel any pride in their nationality or ethnicity; they feel just as connected to “foreigners” as they do to their own “people.” (Steve Taylor)
Profile Image for Tristy at New World Library.
135 reviews26 followers
February 6, 2017

“Life always gives you what you need, and right now it has given you this book to use as a guide or companion through challenging times. It contains a great deal of precious wisdom, expressed in the straightforward, clear, and down-to-earth language that Steve Taylor is so good at.”— from the foreword by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

“The Leap establishes Steve Taylor as a major spiritual author and teacher, whose lucid and articulate writing will evoke wonder and wisdom among readers.”— Stanley Krippner Ph.D., Alan Watts Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University

“A wonderful synthesis of modern research and timeless wisdom that makes the mysterious process of spiritual awakening more comprehensible than ever before.”— Peter Russell, author of From Science to God: A Physicist's Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness

“A wonderfully detailed demystification of awakening within and without traditions that is a pleasure to read and offers hope for our dangerous times.”— Claudio Naranjo, author of Healing CivilizationHealing Civilization
Profile Image for انتصار فضل.
159 reviews8 followers
December 26, 2019
" القفزة " / ستيف تايلور.

ما الذي يعنيه أن تكون مستنيراً أو مستيقظاً روحياً؟ في “القفزة” يبيّن “ستيف تايلور” أن هذه الحالة أكثر شيوعاً مما يعتقد عموماً. كما يبيّن أن الناس العاديين من جميع مناحي الحياة، يستطيعون ويطبقون “الاستيقاظ” بانتظام إلى واقع أكثر كثافة، حتى لو كانوا لا يعرفون شيئاً عن الممارسات والمسارات الروحية. إن اليقظة التامة هي حالة أكثر توسعاً وتناغماً كونها حالة يمكن أن تغرس أو تنشأ عن طريق الخطأ. قد تكون أيضاً عملية نخضع لها على نحو جماعي. بالاستناد إلى السنوات التي قضاها في أبحاثه كطبيب نفساني وعلى تجاربه الخاصة. يقدم تايلور ما قد يكون أوضح دراسة نفسية لحالة اليقظة التامة يتم نشرها على الإطلاق. فوق كل هذا، إنه يذكرنا أنها حالتنا الأكثر طبيعية، والتي يمكننا جميعاً بلوغها، في أي زمان، وأي مكان.
October 28, 2017
Essential spiritual reading

This book was above all, encouraging. He describes wakefulness (enlightenment) in terms that are more humanly recognizable than the traditional view of an enlightened person being somehow super human and magical. In fact, it is an evolutionary impulse that we are headed for as a species and that we can all cultivate through stillness, mindfulness, appreciation of the natural and artistic world around us and through practicing empathy and altruism. I won't say where I am along the spectrum of wakefulness that the author describes, but I'll hedge my bets and say that I doubt people who aren't at least experiencing the impulse to awaken (or have already experienced it or who have always naturally been awake) would read this book and persist until the end. If you feel the impulse to awaken or suspect you're already awake but have doubts because you still harbor negative human traits, please do yourself a favor and read this book. It will aide you on your path and ease your fears about humanity and the direction it is moving in.
7 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2017
This book answered my many questions about awakening. I was curious ever since learning about Eckhart Tolle. I assumed it was a rare occurrence but have since learned differently. This is also the first book that I've read that adequately addresses kundalini awakening. We as a species are on the leading edge of another evolutionary moment and it's astounding.
Profile Image for Alis Anagnostakis.
10 reviews48 followers
June 27, 2018
Must-read for those on a path of self-transformation

Beautiful perspective on what living an “awakened” life means, on why the crises of pur lives might actually be triggers of deeply transformaritve processes. A great read on your journey of personal growth.
Profile Image for سارّه ...
43 reviews
August 25, 2019
يتحدث هذا الكتاب عن علم نفس الإستيقاظ الروحي كما هو مكتوب في غلافه. يصف كل نوع/ حالة من اليقظة ويحللها مستعيناً بتجارب أشخاص مرّوا بها.
يصف كل حالة، وخصائصها، وأسبابها، وكيف تحدث.
أعجبني من حيث استعانته بتجارب الآخرين واضعاً صورة واضحة لمن يمر بتجربة الإستيقاظ لتعزيز وفهم تجربته.
Profile Image for Lyn.
98 reviews4 followers
May 26, 2017
I expected it to be easier to read. It got bogged down after the first couple chapters
Profile Image for Hadjer Kouidri.
19 reviews8 followers
October 26, 2022
القفزة هي اليقظة من الغفلة
الغفلة الإنسانية لدى ستيف تيلور حدثت عندما تحول انسان ما قبل التاريخ إلى ذاته ونفسه وأصبح يشعر انه منفصل عن الطبيعة.
ذلك أن انسان ما قبل التاريخ والمجتمعات البدائية قد تعرفوا على العالم بطريقة مختلفة جدا عنا في العصر الحديث.. لقد شعرها بالارتباط الوثيق مع الطبيعة.
يسرد تايلور نماذج مختلفة من اليقظة ويسميها اليقظة الروحية من دون الارتباط بتقليد ديني.
يشرح التشابه الموجود في كل الديانات السماوية والوثنية ويشرح حالة التنوير الوحي او الفتح حسب المصطلح الصوفي.
اهم صفات الانسان اليقظ هي:
- السكون الداخلي
- انخفاض الحرارة الفكرية
٠ تجاوز الانفصال والاحساس بالاتصال
كل الأشياء مرتبطة. إذ أننا جزء من وحدانيه كل شيء، شعور بالتطابق والتزامن والتواجد في اتحاد مع كل شيء
٠ التعاطف والرحمة
التعاطف اكبر من مجرد القدرة المعرفية على تخيل ما يفكر فيه الأخرون او ان ننظر إلى العالم بمنظورهم، التعاطف هو القدرة على الشعور بما يشعر الأخرون من خلال اختبار الاحساس المشترك بالوجود معهم.
٠ العافية
ان تكون أكثر رضا من الآخرين وتتحرر من التضارب النفسي ولا تقلق من المستقبل كما تتخلص من المشاعر السلبية تجاه الماضي.
٠ غياب أو تراجع الخوف من الموت
٠ زيادة الطاقة
٠ الأمان الداخلي
الخصائص المفاهمية الجديدة للذي دخل في يقظة:
٠ عدم وجود هوية جماعية
٠ منظور واسع ونظرة شاملة
٠ الشعور العميق بالفضيلة
٠ التقدير والفصول بحيث لا تعد عملية التعود تحجب انتباهنا للعالم.
الخصائص السلوكية للذي دخل في يقظة:
٠ الإيثار والمشاركة
٠ التمتع بالمول والقدرة على الوجود من دون أمور خارجية
٠ انتهاء التكديس والتعليقات المادية
٠ الاستقلالية والعيش بأصالة
٠ علاقات احسن وأكثر أصالة

الكتاب يضج بالتجارب المختلفة وعلى طول 400 صفحة خرجت بفكرة مفادها
هناك معرفة خارج التفكير
Profile Image for Dyana Sahiouni.
45 reviews3 followers
March 22, 2020
عندما نستخدم مصطلحات مثل اليقظة التامة والاستيقاظ، يكون من المهم أن نفهم ماهو الشيء
الذي نستيقظ منه.
فإن ما نستيقظ منه هو في الأساس حالة من الغفلة، حالة من التعقيد، الوعي المحدد، التناقض، والمعاناة.
إن السبب الرئيسي وراء هذه الحاجة إلى الهوية والانتماء هو شعور الضعف والهشاشة الناتج عن انفصالنا،
انفصالنا عن الطبيعة، نشعر أننا مهددون ونحتاج إلى بعض الدعم، كي نشعر أننا جزء من شيء أكبر منا، يوفر لنا الملاذ والأمن والحماية.
فإنه يخلق بالتوازي حاجة قوية للقبول.
إنه يجعلنا حريصين على أن نكون ملائمين عن طريق فعل ما نشعر أنه متوقع منا بدلاً من إتباع دوافعنا النفسية.
بسبب كتم ذاتنا الحقيقية من أجل أن نكون محل القبول من الآخرين.
اعرف تجربة الاستيقاظ أنها "تجربة" من الوضوح والوحي والفرح والتي نصبح من خلالها مدركين لمستوى أعمق وأعلى من الواقع، و ندرك إحساساً بالانسجام والمعنى، متجاوزين شعورنا العادي بالانفصال عن العالم..
تجارب الاستيقاظ غالباً ما تنشأ من خلال #الاتصال مع الطبيعة #والتأمل، التي تتسم بالسكينة الذهنية وكذلك الاضطراب النفسي الشديد، الناجم عن الفقد أو الفشل أو الانفصال أو الفجيعة.
الاستيقاظ هو عملية الكشف عن طبيعتنا الحقيقية.
إن الناس المتيقظن تماماً يميلون حقاً إلى أن يكونوا متواصعين.
من أقوال أحدهم : ( أن أُشذب حياتي حتى جوهرها كي أستطيع أن أحرر نفسي من التأثيرات البيئية التي تشربتها وأكتشف ذاتي الحقيقية).
_السلوك الأخلاقي أمر بالغ الأهمية في عملية الارتقاء الروحي.
إذ أننا نخلق اضطرابات داخلية عندما نتصرف على نحو غير أخلاقي.
تسري تموجات من عدم الارتياح والقلق داخلنا وفي المحيط الخارجي عندما نتصرف على نحو أخلاقي نصبح أنقياء وهادئين في داخلنا ونهيىء أنفسنا إلى درجة ثبات أكثر عمقاً أثناء عملية الارتقاء الروحي.
يمكن للتأمل أن يكون وسيلة فعالة لحدوث تجربة الاستيقاظ المؤقت فإن هدفه الرئيسي وأثره الرئيسي يكون على المدى الطويل، إحداث تحول تدريجي في أنفسنا، لتتغير هيكلنا النفسي وأدائنا النفسي بطريقة تجعلنا ننتقل تدريجياً من حالة الغفلة العادية إلى حالة اليقظة التامة.
يعتبر التأمل ضرورياً، يبقي الذهن حاضراً، يهدىء الثرثرة التي تشتت تفكيرنا، ويمنحنا الشعور بالسلام الداخلي.
يتيح لنا أن نغوص في أعماقنا الداخلية أيضاً.
إن الثرثرة الفكرية السطحية لأذهاننا تعمل كعائق نوعا ما، يمنعنا من اكتشاف المستويات الأعمق في كينونتنا ولكن عندما يهدىء التأمل الذهن، نصبح أحراراً للغوص في أعماق أنفسنا إلى مستويات من الوعي أعمق وأنقى.
التأمل يزيد من القدرة على ضبط النفس ،حالما نتعلم تهدئة أفكارنا تكون لدينا القدرة متزايدة على التركيز، وزيادة في القدرة على التحكم في رغباتنا وتنظيم سلوكنا.
تؤكد بعض التمارين التأملية على أهمية مراقبة عمليات التفكير بدلاً من إسكاتها.
لا يمكنك اختزال أو تحجيم التجربة الروحية بالكلمات، منطوقة كانت أو مكتوبة.
بالإضافة إلى ذلك، إذا اعتمدنا على الكتب كثيراً، هناك خطر بأن نقع في شرك المفاهيم والأفكار، وأن ننهمك في تفاصيل الخريطة ونفقد رؤيتنا للواقع.
هناك أيضا خطر الغرور الفكري، والاعتقاد أنك مميز لأنك لديك مدخل إلى معرفة معقدة، مقتصرة على فئة معينة وغير متاحة للآخرين.
من الشروط الهامة لعملية التحول: #الاعتراف و #القبول
يكون القبول في كثير من الأحيان هو المسبب الذي يسمح لذات الشخص العليا الكامنة بالظهور لتحل مكان الأجزاء المكسورة من النفس القديمة التي تضررت بشدة بسبب الفقدان أو الاضطراب.
إن الحياة بسيطة، وثمينة، وجميع أشكال الحياة مقدسة.
إن الحياة معجزة، ويجب أن نستمتع بها.
لو خسرت كل شيء غداً، سأكون على مايرام.

#اليقظة_التامة أن الطبيعة الأساسية للواقع هي الانسجام والمعنى والحب❤

Profile Image for Heidi Nobantu.
23 reviews2 followers
October 25, 2017
Demythologizing Wakefulness - A book to read if you have been on a 'path' in life ~ explored a variety of ways to go in terms of religion or spiritual quest... or not. Or if you simply have not been able to buy that there is only 'one right way' to be 'saved' and get to heaven, so to speak. This is a thoughtful and a scientific look at what it means to 'wake up,' from the ways it can look and feel to a comparison/exploration of common traits across religions and in wakeful individuals themselves who had no spiritual path. I especially found the concept of having a 'self-system' (both an old one and then a wakeful one) interesting and helpful to consider. After 35+ years of exploring, reading, practicing a variety of practices and just simply being interested and curious - this book was exciting and reassuring while providing a few answers to questions I've long pondered.
Profile Image for Donnell.
587 reviews11 followers
April 11, 2017
The number of stars are NOT an indication of the value of this book, which I consider quite high. It offers valuable info on the awakening process and gaining this info could actually move the process along for the reader.

To sit down and read the book through, though, is a bit tough. I had to stop, actually, about mid way through and then jump to a skim of the "myths" about awakening and a read of the "Appendix: An Inventory of Spiritual/ Secular Wakefulness", which is particularly valuable."

One thing that makes reading tough is that Taylor spends much time giving us the history of various spiritual practices. It's great that this research exists, and I understand the desire to overshare research as I tend to do it myself--but it can make reading feel like a slog.

Profile Image for Karen Kerrigan.
10 reviews1 follower
June 19, 2017

A very detailed account of awakening as well as the different religious groups perception of wakefulness. Deep and thorough but ultimately a great read. It gave me insight into some things that I didn't know and validated many of the feelings that I've been having over the past few months. How wonderful it is to be awake with peace and wholeness!!! Thank you Steve for your inspired research and genuine effort.
Profile Image for Timbrel.
19 reviews1 follower
November 3, 2017
Validated my experiences

This book is an unbiased collection of data presented in an intelligent and efficient fashion that anyone can read and understand it. I am grateful it was available to read because it was nice to finally see that my experience was normal (lol well, normal for someone awakening anyway). It would be a good read for everyone, from seeker to someone who has already found.
Profile Image for Trudy.
95 reviews1 follower
April 6, 2017
I was only a few pages into this when the left wing political lecturing started. I should've known better, but I'd somehow overlooked the name, Eckhart Tolle on the cover. Then I remembered he's Oprah's approved arbiter of spirituality. Oh, well. It was an interesting concept. Maybe someday somebody will write this book without politics, that would REALLY be something!
2 reviews
February 3, 2018
Good Book

Nice detailed review of the types of Spiritual Awakenings posible in humans, why, how and when they occur. The overall need at a personal and for the overall evolution of our specie. Nicely Done !! Loved the way you explained why all this is happening, not as a personal as a much as it is related to our evolution.
February 4, 2019
كتاب عجيب .. عبارة عن بحث لحالات الاستيقاظ الروحي ..
يصف الكاتب عملية الاستيقاظ الروحي كتجربة
March 3, 2020
Veramente ammirevole l'impegno di Taylor nello strutturare in maniera completa e chiara quel processo a tratti misterioso, a tratti assolutamente naturale, del risveglio e della crescita interiore (anche se probabilmente quest'ultimo termine non piacerebbe all'autore).
Ho apprezzato in particolar modo le continue analogie tra le religioni e discipline tradizionali nel loro volgersi ad aspetti di risveglio: Taylor traccia i punti in comune tra induismo, buddismo e scuole mistiche delle religioni tradizionali e li mette in rapporto con gli aspetti pratici ed esistenziali di casi studio reali.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
966 reviews71 followers
July 30, 2020
really interesting and illuminating book. i'm not sure if it's the nature of the topic, but after the first 40% or so, it felt like the same points were being repeated in different words. but either way, it was really helpful.
229 reviews
October 5, 2017
. Gave me a greater understanding of the process of waking up to a world beyond the ego and hope for an increased waking for the human race as a whole.
Profile Image for Meagan.
6 reviews2 followers
May 3, 2018
By reading only the last chapter, you can get all the value of this book. Worth a read, if only for the ending.
Profile Image for Sara.
217 reviews8 followers
October 14, 2018
Excellent book to understand the different ways spiritual awakening can happen and how to deal with it, if it happens to you.
Profile Image for Dusica.
56 reviews4 followers
February 9, 2019
A book I have been looking for for a long time to explain ‘consciousness shift’ occurring in daily existence. Indeed, a must read for anyone on a spiritual path.
Profile Image for قدموسة كتب.
130 reviews12 followers
March 16, 2020
يتحدث الكتاب عن قضية الاستنارة الروحية في الاديان الشرقية ومن وجهة نظر نفسية وعلمية ...

يعيب هذا الكتاب الفصول الطويلة والاسهاب وتكرار الافكار.
Profile Image for Yameen.
24 reviews8 followers
November 1, 2020
Very interesting take on spirtual awakening & enlightenment.
A must read for those interested in spirituality, connection, buddhism, consiousness & enlightenment.
1 review
November 3, 2020
It was a good book, I expected it to be different, but I dont mind how it turned out.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

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