A Definition

"Awe is a significant life-experience that combines the following holistic dimensions: the humility and wonder, thrill and anxiety of living; the capacity to be moved; and contact with the bigger picture of existence."

In his follow-up to Rediscovery of Awe: Splendor, Mystery, and the Fluid Center of Life, Kirk Schneider, a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary humanistic psychology, has gathered the personal stories of people who have moved beyond "the quick fix" of drugs and religious dogma to a transformative awakening to awe.

Conditions that Favor Awe-Based Awakening

• a capacity to savor the moment
• a focus on what one loves
• an appreciation of balance between fragility and resiliency
• contemplative time alone
• an ability to give oneself over — discerningly — to the ultimately unknowable.
• an openness to the mystery of life and being.
• a capacity to slow down.

Conditions Unfavorable to Awe-Based Awakening

• poverty and deprivation
• haste
• rigidity
• gluttony
• self-inflation
• the preoccupation with money
• a steady diet of mind-numbing TV
• an enthrallment with simple answers
• fixation
• reductionism
• polarization

Through the Portals of Awe

Many of the people who share their feelings about awe in this book talk about the critical role it played in their passage to a new life. Others focus on the importance of awe in their encounters with nature, beauty, and healing. Schneider has included chapters on the spiritual practice of awe in education, drug addiction, chronic illness, aging, humor, and everyday life.