Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor
Leeds Beckett University | LEEDS MET · Department of Social Sciences

PhD

About

26
Publications
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184
Citations
Introduction
Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University. Steve does research in transpersonal psychology and positive psychology and also teaches Consciousness Studies and Peace Psychology. He is also the author of a number of popular books on psychology and spirituality.

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
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Michael Daniels's book Shadow, Self, Spirit is an essential book for students of transpersonal psychology-perhaps the clearest, most wide-ranging and well-written overview of the topic that has yet been written. However, this article suggests some problematic areas with Daniels's approach, such as his criticism of transpersonal psychology's focus o...
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Many readers of this journal will be familiar with Irreducible Mind (2007), a book which has already attained the status of a classic in the mould of William James's seminal writings on philosophy, psychology and mysticism. Consciousness Unbound is a sequel to Irreducible Mind-in fact, a second sequel, following 2015's Beyond Physicalism. Conscious...
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This paper summarises my research into the state of ‘wakefulness.’ I put forward the ‘essentialist’ view that the concepts of a higher-functioning ideal state in various spiritual traditions are conceptualisations of the same essential landscape of expansive human experience. Based on a thematic analysis of transcripts of interviews with 85 individ...
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The essence of any psychologically healthy society—and the basis of the utopian or eupsychian society envisaged by Abraham Maslow—is an individual state of empathic connection that gives rise to qualities such as compassion, responsibility, justice, fairness, and equality. Opposed to this, is a psychological state of hyperindividuation and psycholo...
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This article is an introduction to a philosophical approach termed "panspiritism." The fundamental principles of this approach are summarized, with discussion of how it links to earlier (mainly Eastern) philosophical perspectives, how it differs from panpsychism and its relationship to idealism and theism. Issues such as the relationship between mi...
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Time Expansion Experiences (TEEs) occur when a person’s normal experience of time slows down or expands significantly. Previous research has associated them mainly with accidents but also with altered states of consciousness such as mystical experiences, psychedelic experiences, and near-death experiences. This article describes a qualitative study...
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The cases of 16 individuals (12 women and 4 men) who reported powerful transformational experi-ences following bereavement were examined, using a mixed methods approach, including a qualitative thematic analysis of interviews and two psychometric scales. Both approaches found significant evi-dence of positive personal change. Prevalent themes inclu...
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Although they superficially belong to different genres of music, Black Sabbath and Joy Division share a fundamental commonality in that their music was shaped by – and powerfully depicted – bleak urban industrial environments. This article highlights a number of specific ways in which both bands’ music depicted (and was influenced by) this environm...
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Reasons why Neo-Darwinism is no longer viable as an explanation of evolution are explored, with arguments and evidence from contemporary theorists and scientists. An alternative view of evolution is suggested, based on a 'post-materialist' worldview.
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There are sound evolutionary and philosophical reasons for believing that human beings have a powerful innate disposition towards pure altruism—an altruism that is not a form of disguised selfishness, a survival strategy, or limited to those with whom we are closely genetically related. An overview of archaeological and anthropologic evidence sugge...
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Awakening experiences' have been misunderstood to some degree by their long association with religious and spiritual traditions and practices. The research reported here-161 reports of awakening experiences-suggests that most of them occurred outside the context of spiritual or religious traditions. Neither were they induced by spiritual practices...
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For more than two decades now, positive psychology has brought an emphasis on positive human experiences. But is there one type – perhaps the most positive of all – that has not been adequately investigated? This is the ‘awakening experience’.
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This article summarizes a study of 32 individuals who experienced psychological transformation following periods of intense turmoil and trauma in their lives. Several individuals reported temporary spiritual experiences following turmoil, but the majority underwent a permanent psychological transformation. These experiences are termed suffering-ind...
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A typology of experiences of sudden spiritual awakening is suggested, proposing that they may occur in two major forms, or modes. In a study of 19 cases of self-reported sudden spiritual awakening (within a larger sample that included cases of wholly gradual spiritual awakening), it was found that 13 cases could be interpreted in terms of either (a...
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The issue of whether it is possible to separate science and metaphysics is discussed, with reference to William James and the writings of quantum physicists. The metaphysical framework of scientific materialism is analysed and some of its key assumptions are identified. It is suggested that these assumptions are becoming increasingly untenable, as...
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In reply to Hartelius’s (2016) response to my paper “From Philosophy to Phenomenology: The Argument for a ‘Soft’ Perennialism” (Taylor, 2016a), I provide arguments in support of my model from contemporary scholars of mysticism, who advocate a move from a philosophically-based perennialism to a phenomenologically-based essentialism. This discussion...
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In response to Hartelius (2017), I suggest that the evidence for perennialism or essentialism can be tested, and is publicly accessible, through engagement with the spiritual practices that have given rise to cross-cultural mystical experiences with common characteristics. This suggests that essentialism could be included in transpersonal psycholog...
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Awakening experiences are temporary experiences of an intensification and expansion of awareness, with characteristics such as intensified perception, a sense of connection and well-being. Ninety awakening experiences were collected and thematically analysed to identify their triggers and characteristics, and also their duration and after-effects....
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This paper argues for a soft perennialism, distinct from the hard perennialism which suggests that spiritual and religious traditions are expressions of the same underlying spiritual realities. There are two reasons why it is necessary to think in terms of a soft perennial model: firstly, because of a number of important common themes or trends acr...
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A study of 161 temporary awakening experiences showed that over 23% were triggered by, or associated with, intense turmoil and distress (Taylor, 2012b). Examples of some of these turmoil-induced awakening experiences are given, illustrating the wide variety of traumatic experiences involved. (The type of trauma was found to be less important than i...
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Dirty diapers, being woken up in the middle of the night, a house full of screams and squeals, food splattered all over the walls, toys strewn chaotically over the floor, no more late nights out, no time to read books or attend courses or retreats . . . What could be spiritual about bringing up children? Isn't spiritual development just one of the...
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This article summarizes a study of 32 individuals who experienced psychological transformation following periods of intense turmoil and trauma in their lives. Several individuals reported temporary spiritual experiences following turmoil, but the majority underwent a permanent psychological transformation. These experiences are termed suffering-ind...
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Full-text available
The validity of the pre/trans fallacy in relation to childhood spirituality is questioned, suggesting that 'pre-egoic' spirituality is as valid as 'trans-egoic,' and stems from the same source, although different in some important respects. Sources of spiritual experiences and states in general are examined, and childhood is proposed as a state wit...
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Many theorists—including Freud, Habermas and Wilber—have suggested that there are strong parallels between ontogeny and phylogeny, and that the development of the human species has followed the same basic pattern as the development of the individual from birth to adulthood. I discuss this view in relation to archaeological and anthropological knowl...
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Why is human history a catalogue of one war after another? Physicalist and sociobiological explanations of war seem to be lacking, especially when we consider archaeological and ethnographic evidence for the absence of war amongst hunter-gatherer societies and during the early to middle Neolithic period of history. James DeMeo's book Saharasia sugg...

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