Awakening to Spirit

On Life, Illumination, and Being

By Lee Irwin

Subjects: Mysticism
Series: SUNY series, Explorations in Contemporary Spirituality
Paperback : 9780791442227, 388 pages, July 1999
Hardcover : 9780791442210, 388 pages, July 1999

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Table of contents

Opening Meditation

Ten Principles of Spirit

The First Principle

The Second Principle

The Third Principle

The Fourth Principle

The Fifth Principle

The Sixth Principle

The Seventh Principle

The Eighth Principle

The Ninth Principle

The Tenth Principle

Closing Meditation

The Ninety Aphorisms

Appendix: The Divine Sophia




Explores the concept of Spirit in the postmodern age.


Awakening to Spirit explores the nature of spirituality in the postmodern age as a personal journey within a living, responsive cosmos. In a world of multiple religious traditions, spiritual ambiguity, and widespread secular atheism, Lee Irwin offers a non-traditional view of spirituality that's intrinsic to personal growth and development.

He presents Ten Principles that reflect stages of spiritual growth and culminate in a mystical encounter inherent to an experiential view of contemporary spirituality. Various physical, emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and psychic aspects of spiritual development are considered, leading to a discussion of spiritual maturity, old age, and self-renewal. Social relations, compassionate love, and responsible, mature human relationships are emphasized. Altered states of consciousness (dreams, visions, mystical experiences) are presented as a valid, necessary means for an understanding of Spirit, and many ideas from contemporary cosmology, process theology, parapsychology, and western esotericism are integrated into the book.

Lee Irwin is Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at the College of Charleston. He is the author of a number of books including Visionary Worlds: The Making and Unmaking of Reality, also published by SUNY Press.


"This book literally drew me into its depths. It is important in itself as the record of a journey of a soul, a contemporary version of the mystic way shared with others by the experiencing of subject. I couldn't put it down. " — Ingrid H. Shafer, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma