Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives
Most of us walk through each day expecting few surprises. If we want to better ourselves or our lives, we map out a path of gradual change; perhaps ... Show synopsis Most of us walk through each day expecting few surprises. If we want to better ourselves or our lives, we map out a path of gradual change; perhaps in counseling or psychotherapy. University of New Mexico psychologists William Miller and Janet C'de Baca were longtime scholars and teachers of traditional approaches to self-improvement when they became intrigued by a different sort of change that was sometimes experienced by people they encountered--something often described as "a bolt from the blue" or "seeing the light." And when they placed a request in a local newspaper for people's stories of unexpected personal transformation, the deluge of responses was astounding. The vivid, moving stories they gathered form the basis for this compelling book. Exploring the experience of "quantum change" through the lens of scientific psychology, the book identifies two kinds of sudden personal transformation: insights and the more mystical epiphanies. Some participants in the authors' study accepted their experiences as products of rarely tapped inner resources; others as gifts from a higher power. Many recounted their epiphanies and sudden insights in exquisite detail years after the fleeting event, describing such enduring results as a greater sense of meaning in life, a shift in values or goals, or freedom from unhealthy behaviors. Closely examining the life conditions and personality traits in place both before and after the quantum change occurred, the book shows that such experiences are not as uncommon as typically believed, nor are they easy to toss aside as wishful thinking or passing delusions. The authors draw from research findings and psychological theory to address fascinating questions about where quantum change comes from, why some of us experience.