If you are one of those searching for the true meaning of happiness, one book you must not miss reading is Steve Taylor’s Out of the Darkness (Hay House, 2011). This book brings clarity and understanding to our otherwise misunderstood ideal of happiness, looking at the concept of happiness from a psycho-spiritual angle.
Taylor, a psychology lecturer in Britain and author of the best-selling book Waking from Sleep, has included in his book true studies of people, some of them widely known for their excellent work or achievements, showing their transformation to a state of peace and positivity after experiencing trauma or turmoil in their lives. These “shifters”—as termed in the book—changed for good, no more taking life for granted but valuing each moment of it as a joy in itself. Whether it was some terrifying physical accident, intense emotional crisis, or a close encounter with death, the trial in life paradoxically worked wonders for the shifters, whose entire perception of everyday life and personal involvement in its activities derived new meaning—a state of deep satisfaction and harmony with all that is there.
What precisely could cause such bliss is explained by the author in terms of our psychological structure. The book explores the role of ego in human perception and attitude. Ego is held at the core of the quest for doing more, going for the mundane, and to have more than is there already—leading us to unfulfilling, presumed points of happiness. But after the sufferings or coming face to face with death, the ego is beaten down and its shell of possession around our mind is broken, liberating the inner self to true happiness and fresh appreciation of life.
Out of the Darkness has many important lessons for its readers and answers to many important questions, including but not limited to:
Difference between religious conversion and spiritual transformation
Breaking attachments for attaining happiness
Psychotic states versus higher states of consciousness
Spirituality after substance abuse
Work, relationships, and spirituality
Freedom and happiness
Steve Taylor’s book is inspirational, informative, and full of hope. In our times when each day comes to millions as a challenge to make more, Out of the Darkness shows what it really means to make the most of our lives each moment. This book is without question a must-read for everyone.