This week, Zoe is reading Out of the Darkness by Steve Taylor – an inspiring collection of stories about people who’ve experienced a spiritual rebirth after intense trauma or turmoil. Most of the people featured have transformed themselves after suffering in extreme ways, and their stories offer hope to anyone going through something similar.
The human spirit has an infinite capacity for regeneration and renewal. Our consciousness is wired for transcendence and transformation, if we’re willing to surrender at the point of greatest darkness rather than turn away in fear. To focus on suffering may seem morbid or gloomy, but it’s only by pushing beyond our limits that we can discover our strengths. Not many people would choose to suffer as some in this book have, but it’s reassuring to know, should we find our lives being turned upside down, that there is a way through.
As well as recounting stories of personal transformation, the book also asks why these experiences occur. Why do some people undergo a shift in consciousness due to trauma, while others don’t? Steve Taylor also suggests it may not be necessary to experience such extreme suffering in order to have a spiritual awakening. If we can learn from the experiences of others and practise detachment, we may find we have more freedom than we ever imagined. In fact, this book demonstrates how normal the process of awakening is, and that a transformed consciousness is our birthright if the challenge of the Dark Night of the Soul is embraced.
“[Spiritual awakening] exists as a potential inside everyone. It’s just that normally the potential is dormant. To manifest itself, it normally has to be triggered by turmoil and trauma. However, if we know it’s there, latent in the same way that a butterfly is latent inside a caterpillar, then it should be possible to release it in other ways too…
There is nothing esoteric or otherworldly about this state. On the contrary, for those who experience it, it’s completely natural and comfortable, almost a state which they ought to have existed in all along. In comparison, our normal psyche seems a kind of aberration, a trance-like state of disconnection and discord which should never have become normal. The shifters have woken up from this trance into a more real, meaningful and harmonious world.”
Read the full review here: http://jessicadavidson.co.uk/2013/12/17/out-of-the-darkness/